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21.03.2008

Wouter Vanderplasschen - Case management for substance abusers: some findings and reflections based on evidence and practice

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Centre for Addictology, 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University, in cooperation with the Czech Institute for Addictology, cordially invites you to a public presentation: Wouter Vanderplasschen - Case management for substance abusers: some findings and reflections based on evidence and practice. Main lecture hall of Psychiatric clinic, Ke Karlovu 11, Prague 2, Thursday, March 27th, 2008, 3:00 p.m.

Case management has been adapted to work with persons with substance use disorders in various countries, based on the recognition that these persons often have significant problems in addition to their substance abuse. Given the lack of clarity concerning its conceptualisation, interpretation, and effectiveness, we look in this article at the objectives, target group, models, and features of case management and at case managers’ basic tasks and functions. Further, we explore whether case management should be seen as a panacea, a makeshift, or rather a binding agent.


Case management is often directed at (chronic) substance abusers with multiple and complex problems with the aim of optimising the provision of services according to individuals’ needs. Because of the lack of a common definition, this intervention can be characterised most accurately by its core functions: assessment, planning, linking, monitoring, and advocacy. The combination of these functions and some other specific features makes this intervention a unique and valuable supplement to existing services. Several models of case management can be distinguished for working with persons with substance use disorders: brokerage case management, the generalist model/intensive case management, assertive community treatment, strengths-based case management, and the clinical/rehabilitation model. However, it remains unclear which model is best suited for which population.


It is concluded that case management is clearly no panacea for all drug-related problems and all substance abusers, although it is effective as a strategy for linking substance abusers to the services they need, and thus – indirectly - for affecting primary treatment outcomes such as drug use and housing status.

 

 

 

Wouter Vanderplasschen, Ph.D is assistant professor at the Department of Orthopedagogics at Ghent University. He wrote his Ph.D dissertation on the implementation and evaluation of case management for substance abusers in Belgium. He has supervised various research projects concerning the evaluation of substance abuse treatment and concerning specific populations that tend to fall through the cracks of the treatment system (e.g. ethnic minorities, substance-abusing mothers). He recently finished a Cochrane review concerning case management for persons with substance use disorders. He teaches 'Assessment and treatment planning', 'Organisation of treatment', and 'Substance Misuse' to Master's students in Special Education at Ghent University.

 

Public presentation is free of charge and will be held in English.

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