Case Management Special Populations – Substance Abuse This paper will consider information illustrating the fact that there are many special populations that have a real need for services from social agencies. A special population can be explained as a group of people that need assistance in order to function and have as normal and productive quality of life as possible. They are unable to do this on their own because of a disability or deficiency that creates a disadvantage not necessarily experienced by the mainstream population. Rothman & Sager 1998) One of these special populations is those who have a problem with substance abuse. For approximately the last forty years substance abuse, which includes drugs and alcohol, has been a growing problem in countries around the world. This problem is of particular concern among adolescents however, this problem affects people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Substance abuse can be a very painful experience for individuals, which may seem impossible to them to overcome.
Some counselors choose to deal with this special population because, many, over the years have had several friends and family members who have had problems with substance abuse providing he/she with a more intimate view of the problem. It is necessary to acquire understanding of the various causes and reasons why an individual becomes a user of controlled substances, how different situations and influencing factors play a part and can lead to substance abuse. The causes seem to be somewhat varied for different individuals.
It is interesting to understand why and how the same behavior in individuals can stem from different causes, but the same behavior is manifested. In addition, an understanding of what must be addressed in order for a person to overcome a problem with the abuse and what must be done on the individual’s part and the part of any concerned person interested in offering help, including case managers in formal settings is necessary. Many students are limited by inexperience in actual case management, but may have personal experience with this population, which would be a strength to be utilized.
Support programs for substance abusers have proved to be important and successful. A case manager working in the field with this special population can use the insight gained through personal experience, which could be of great benefit and assist in helping those with particular needs. To aid a client in overcoming a substance abuse problem a general objective would be to establish a relationship with the client, which would breed a climate of trust and mutual cooperation. To use case management effectively the clinician must link clients with services that are best suited to help with specific needs.
At the outset the clinician must confer with the client to ascertain what the client wants to accomplish. It must be determined what is attainable for the client and then decided what goals will be set along with a reasonable time frame for when they can be achieved. The case manager must review programs that are available for clients and tailor recommendations and referrals accordingly. The case manager will also help in deciding what goals need to be achieved mutually between an agency and the client and what must be achieved individually.
The case manager working with any information obtained concerning the client’s situation can give recommendations for a psychiatrist if there are any accompanying psychiatric issues. If there are behavioral goals the client wants to achieve the case manager can also give recommendations for a therapist or psychologist as the need exists. The main focus for the client is an effective substance abuse program, but the case manager’s view must be comprehensive and the client must be linked with agencies that will help give them the skills needed to increase and sustain coping abilities and how to perform in social working situations.
The case manager must keep in touch with the client to reassess and evaluate the effectiveness of the agency programs and negotiate any additional opportunities that may be necessary. (Noonan, 2002) In addition, a person recovering from substance abuse may have social work needs. This would be true if the individual has family members that are affected by the problem. Recovering individuals with children may have withdrawn from parenting and need ongoing services to meet family obligations. This ongoing situation requires monitoring, and periodic re-evaluation. Fleetwood, et al. , 2001) When providing service the case manager will confront cultural issues that need to be addressed involving ethnicity and gender. It has been documented that one of the biggest problems among African Americans needing treatment for substance abuse is the means to pay. In many cases this kind of health care is given out according to the level of insurance coverage. Generally, those without it go without services. The case manager must utilize all possibilities to creatively overcome this hurtle.
Another problem is that of cultural insensitivity. Many African Americans feel that clinicians are not in tune with their real life experience. They feel that “white middle class” standards and stereo-types are forced on them causing them to see services as ineffective resulting in unresponsiveness to treatment. (Larkin, 2003) There is a need for treatment to be family oriented. Among Puerto Rican women, for example, cultural factors must be considered that include focusing on the relationship with children, immediate family and extended family.
It may be important to keep extended family at some distance so as not to interfere with treatment progress. (Black & Hardesty, 2002) For many women of different cultural backgrounds violence is a factor that can interfere with treatment. Many times women abuse drugs as a reaction to violence. Some women may have been violently forced to use drugs. Occurrences of violence can halt treatment altogether. Some women have experienced violence from treatment service staff. In these cases services for dealing with violence must be provided in addition to substance abuse treatment. (Irwin, et al. 1996) This paper considered the information supporting the fact that to help clients connect with appropriate service agencies case managers must work to become sensitive to the cultural differences of clients. The case manager must be educated and informed as to what services are available and what will be the most effective according to the individual needs of the client. In the area of substance abuse as with all areas doing this is absolute necessary for successful case management. References Black, T. , Hardesty, M. (2002) The trajectory of recovery among drug-dependent puerto rican others. Advances in Medical sociology 7 193-213 Retrieved June 17, 2009 from http://swtuopproxy. museglobal. com/MuseSessionID=dcdb5365b8c25550107 e811d492e87cf/MuseHost=www. emeraldinsight. com%3A80/MusePath/ Insight/viewContentItem. do;jsessionid=911DC4EDF005012E7D62A79C061C43BE ? contentType=Book&contentId=1783180 Fleetwood, T. , Gruber, K. , Herring, M. (2001) In-home continuing care services for substance-affected families: the bridges program. Social work 267 Retrieved June 17, 2009 from http://swtuopproxy. useglobal. com/MuseSessionID=47b96b04a9150bc 427d3253d781aa47/MuseHost=find. galegroup. com/MusePath/itx/retrieve. do? contentSet =IACDocuments&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale%28en%2C%2C% 29%3AFQE%3D%28ke%2CNone%2C49%29social+work+services+for+substance+ abuse+recovery%3AAnd%3ALQE%3D%28AC%2CNone%2C8%29fulltext%24&sg HitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=DateDescend&searchType=Advanced SearchForm&tabID=T002&prodId=ITOF&searchId=R2¤tPosition= 1&userGroupName=uphoenix&docId=A77416539&docType=IAC
Irwin, J. , Kelley, M. , Knight, K. , Rosenbaum, M. , Washburn, A. (1996) Maintenance treatment for women injection users. International journal of sociology and social policy 16 (5/6) 156-177 Retrieved June 17, 2009 from http://swtuopproxy. museglobal. com/ MuseSessionID=a5eb82d9eeed2ddc27c863a9e5e38c/MuseHost=www. emeraldinsight. com%3A80 /MusePath/Insight/viewContentItem. do;jsessionid=FD2EB0F9984ED A2230FAB8B54D5A4FAF? ontentType=Article&contentId=1661342 Larkin, R. (2003) African-americans in public housing: a traditional social work approach to substance abuse treatment. Journal of health and social policy 17 (2) 67-82 Retrieved June 9, 2009 from http://swtuopproxy. museglobal. com/MuseSessionID =a6b11e662f2c2183a87c85e17d4e94/MuseHost=web. ebscohost. com/MusePath /ehost/pdf? vid=1&hid=5&sid=2783c9ab-db4f-4272-976f-6873a7fb01a7 %40sessionmgr7 Noonan, D. 2002) Developing a best practices psychosocial rehabilitation principles template International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 15 (4) Retrieved June 17, 2009 from http://swtuopproxy. museglobal. com/MuseSessionID=c1235431 cef93ef7576a9ac 634e031c2/MuseHost=www. emeraldinsight. com/MusePath/Insight/view PDF. jsp? contentType=Article&Filename=html/Output/Published/Emerald FullTextArticle/Pdf/0620150404. pdf Rothman, J. & Sager, Jon S. (1998). Case management: integrating individual and community practice (2nd ed. ). Allyn & Bacon, A Pearson Education Company.