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Alcohol & Drug Addiction Case Management

Substance addiction treatment programs have come in handy for those grappling with SUDs. After a person enters addiction treatment, a team of experts works together to ensure they get the best possible assistance for overcoming their addictions. These experts include addiction counselors, physicians, psychologists, social workers, therapists, and other mental health practitioners.

In addition, each client is usually assigned a case manager who supervises their addiction recovery. This person's role in your treatment may not be as apparent as a psychiatrist, but having them on your recovery team could make the difference between success and failure.

What is Case Management (CM)?

According to the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), case management is a collaborative process of evaluating the alternatives and services that a person struggling with addiction needs to address their overall medical requirements and those of their family. This is accomplished by promoting excellent, cost-effective treatment results via communication and using existing resources.

Client-centered and collaborative approaches are used in case management to deliver complete patient care.


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Why Case Management

Addiction impacts so many aspects of a person's life that it requires many treatments to help the addict or alcoholic recover and rejoin society as a sober, healthy member.

For a person to sustain long-term recovery while living in the community, continuity of care must be created that includes primary treatment programs at an appropriate intensity level and post-treatment supportive services. Care must be organized to facilitate seamless transitions to the next level of treatment, eliminate service gaps, and react quickly to the possibility of relapsing. All of the above may be achieved with the aid of case management.

Effective Case Management Services

The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has laid out many foundations of excellent case management. These principles should be included in a professional rehab facility’s treatment procedure, and all case managers should adhere to them. Case management should place a high value on equipping clients with the knowledge and tools they need to conquer their addictions.

Case management solutions are sensitive to the needs of people of all races, genders, ethnicities, those with disabilities, and those with different sexual orientations and life stages (including adolescence, LGBT, or old age).

Effective CM involves:

  • Consolidating services from many agencies into a central point of contact for the patient and their loved ones is the goal of case management.

  • Centering services on each patient's particular and therapeutic needs are fully client-driven.

  • Advocating on behalf of the client. 

  • Prioritizing the client's urgent needs.

  • Making services adaptable to the client's changing demands.

  • Preventative measures are taken to prevent problems from escalating to unmanageable levels.

Medically Reviewed:


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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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The Focal Point

Case management that is successful must be centered on the following factors:

Assuring patients suffering from multiple diagnoses (dual diagnosis and co-occurring diseases) get proper mental health care.

At some time, as many as 70 percent of patients in treatment for drug misuse had been diagnosed with severe depression. Case managers try to guarantee that their clients have access to psychological care during treatment for drug misuse.


Ensuring the Resolution of All Current Social Issues

Every aspect of one's life is adversely affected by active addiction. ​Effective CM also focuses on ensuring that some of these issues are addressed.

Nearly half of all men and women in addiction treatment are considered criminal justice drug abuse clients. Case managers provide clients with legal choices and help them qualify for government-funded programs, such as welfare, food stamps, and Medicare, to help them regain their financial footing.

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Case Management Models

Case management is used by practically every population that utilizes social services regularly, owing to the fragmentation of case management services, the complexity that has developed, and the growing scarcity of resources. There are various case management options to select from due to the enormous diversity of setups of social services systems.

According to the National Drug Court Institute, case managers fall into four general categories.

The Generalist or Broker

A generalist or broker is a case manager who works quickly to connect people with the best available resources. Once the need has been identified, the case manager can acquire referrals to various organizations, including those dealing in drug screening, job training, and housing. Probation courts and hospitals are familiar places where case management is used.

Strength-Based Approached

​Together, they devise a treatment strategy based on the patient's perceptions of their strengths to obtain therapy that builds on those perceptions. Complementary medicine and spiritual guidance are two examples of non-institutional therapies.

Strength-Based Approaches


This CM approach fosters a sustained interaction between the patient and case manager. The case manager and their client work together to devise a treatment strategy based on their perceptions of their strengths. A strength-based case management approach aims to help the patient build on their vital areas and improve on weaker ones. Non-institutional interventions, such as alternative medicine or spiritual guidance, might be included in this category.

Assertive Community Treatments

To sustain a serious commitment to treating the individual's drug use disorder and any co-occurring mental health concerns, patients meet with their CMs regularly.

What A Case Manager Can Do For You

Creating a Strategy

Case management's fundamental objective is to assist people in locating the resources they need to become self-sufficient and healthy, whether that aim is short-term or long-term. Person involvement is critical to creating the case plan, which a case manager draws out with the assistance of the individual. Confirmation of agreement is required in most case management approaches.

While most patients may wind up on a waiting list, case managers can open doors for those who otherwise would have to wait. Their assistance in formulating a treatment strategy that incorporates several methods is invaluable.

Assessing a Person's Eligibility for Benefits

The person and the case manager will complete paperwork to apply for benefits after the plan has been agreed upon. Some examples include Social Security or disability benefits, Medicaid or Medicare, food stamps and insurance coverage, or charitable assistance. People may also turn to non-medical support organizations, such as churches, for help in some instances.

Monitor and Evaluate the Progress of the Treatment

Clients face many difficulties as they work their way back to health. Clients may be sure that their therapy is on track thanks to the constant supervision of case managers. They also analyze the success of the programs and make appropriate modifications as people go through the various stages of recovery.

Other services can include:

  • Medication and appointment tracking

  • There will be drug testing and regular check-ins.

  • Interacting with medical professionals and members of one's own family

  • Patient-centered advocacy

  • Coordination of support actions and modalities 

  • Support services to patients around the clock

Progress in the Case is Documentation of the Patient's Progress

Individuals will leave paper trails to document their progress over time. People who quit the case management plan and return to it later may pick up where they left off and still be as successful as before. In some instances, this procedure may lead to developing a new program, while the previous plan will be maintained in others.


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The Bottom Line

At Rolling Hills Recovery Center, we rely heavily on our case managers and work to keep things running smoothly. Maintaining sobriety after rehab also relies heavily on their efforts.

Many populations, young adults, senior individuals, those with co-occurring mental health and substance misuse problems; those who have relapsed in the past; and those who have fought to overcome polydrug usage, benefit from the assistance of our case managers.

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What is case management (CM)?
Why case management?
Effective case management services
The focal point
Resolution of current social issues
Case management models
What a case manager can do for you
The bottom line
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