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Taking a different approach, Recovery Case Management

If you have ever had a family member, friend, or loved one undergo the struggles of a substance abuse problem/addiction, you know firsthand how draining and difficult it can be to find appropriate help for specific needs. In this article, I will be detailing what substance abuse is, and how the recovery case management treatment may be a solution one may want to consider if they seek specialized help to support future success in sobriety. 

Substance abuse, what is it, and what exactly falls under that category? 

Substance abuse is the overuse or dependence on a substance. A variety of different examples of addictions fall under substance abuse, such as: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Drugs (heroin, marijuana, LSD, etc.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Tobacco

All of these listed are stimulants/depressants that can make a person suffering feel a sense of release for a short amount of time which in turn creates an addiction to the feeling, creating a dependency. 

A nice bar lineup representing alcohol.
While there are occasions to celebrate and some may include alcohol, make sure to consume it responsibly. Image courtesy of Unsplash

For example, alcohol. Made legal for all to consume once turning a certain age depending on the country, drinking has become a social norm for those to let go of worries, sadness, and stress. Endorphins are released in your brain once consuming alcohol which can lead to a “high” making the person drinking feel more confident or relaxed. Due to this increase in seemingly “positive” emotions one can feel, if not controlled then a tolerance begins to build causing the person to continue to overload themselves to grasp at any chance of feeling that high. Substance abuse is a chronic condition.

What is a chronic condition?

A condition that will usually reside for a year or longer which in turn typically makes medical attention necessary to the contribution of a person’s health. They can be so severe that life as it once was cannot continue if the person does not make changes to value their health.

What is recovery case management?

Recovery management is a service that aims to aid in the recovery of an addict. Specializing in not only direct help but also support in hopes to guide the client through their journey in the simplest way possible. 

Why should recovery case management be implemented when a person can seek help on their own? 

Motivation, while it may seem like a simple concept to some, is an incredibly difficult utility to have when a person is suffering from an addiction. Every day of sobriety is a challenge so to add on having to find help can be a deterring concept. 

A client can at times feel overwhelmed with the number of people/services they must encounter. Though this can vary from person to person. Typically these people do not know what might be best for their specific needs, nor in some cases would they want to find out unless they had to from a professional. And even in some of those cases, some might not trust their professionals simply because they are typically diagnosing their physical symptoms; not because they know who the individual patient is and what they need.

You have to put your mind into the perspectives of those dealing with these chronic conditions. Feelings of shame or embarrassment can arise making it difficult to translate their needs to multiple sources. Trust is also a large factor of the process when getting through an addiction; a person must feel comfortable sharing such personal details which can be difficult when they have to tell that information to a handful of strangers they picked out without assistance. It can be difficult to know where to start. 

With that being said, outlets such as a psychiatrist, mental health counselor, substance abuse counselor, etc. If a client has to go to all the ends of the earth to navigate treatment, one can imagine it can be quite nerve-wracking. It is already difficult to come to terms with having an addiction, it is an entirely different story when you have to also have the motivation to go out of your way to receive treatment. 

Recovery management is the solution for those who would require assistance in choosing the treatment they need. Clients are offered single contacts for health and social services to avoid the constant referrals that may deter a person’s trust in the process. This consistency makes it much easier for those affected to begin to trust their case manager. 

What does a case manager do?

The role of a case manager is to aid their client in locating the best-fit resources and to offer support and determination to ensure that motivation is kept. It is the job of the case manager to list specific resources for the client, the client then chooses and the case manager weeds out the best option from there. The goal is to allow the person a smooth process in their endeavor to get healthy once again; they advocate for their client.

Group of three women laughing.
Three women standing together smiling and laughing. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

What are the benefits?

Research has proven that the first 90 days of sobriety will make or break whether or not the person will relapse. Due to this, the program is a minimum of 90 days. During this time clients are monitored and specifically focused on their needs. Routines and behaviors are taught to consider outside of the treatment facility in hopes to help implement them into their daily lives. Family relations are emphasized as well as the involvement of other organizations to continue to show support like churches and self-help groups. 

Overall this support is personal, depending on the community outreach levels, these case managers can be with their clients physically, aiding them in ways like taking them to the bus or even going to a store. All of this is done to avoid the feeling of loneliness, and it helps the case manager to further understand the person and what they go through. 

This method of recovery has been proven to work. It makes sense considering support is such a large factor in aiding those struggling with addiction. If you or someone you know has been running into walls when considering treatments, it could be valuable to look into recovery case management.