People suffering from a substance use disorder can find it very difficult to quit taking those substances. It is even harder for people who have become addicted to get sober. Substance abuse and addiction can negatively affect people in many ways. When the need to consume drugs or alcohol becomes the driving force in people’s lives, they can end up alone, ill, unemployed and even homeless.

Standard recovery programs can help people achieve sobriety. However, the counseling and therapy involved in standard treatment may not be able to help those who have hit rock bottom to regain control of their lives. In such cases, intensive case management can be an effective solution.1

A Centralized Approach

People in recovery may need help from several different quarters. They will need counseling and support to help them understand and control their desires to abuse substances. They may also need help in repairing relationships with their families. If there is an underlying mental health problem, they will need professional help to address the symptoms and identify the best treatment. They may also be suffering from other health issues that require ongoing medical care. They may need help to get back to work, school or to find vocational training.

People who are provided with intensive care management will be introduced to an individual case manager. The case manager will form a partnership with them to help that person get well. The case manager becomes a single point of contact for the person in recovery, and the manager will coordinate and establish a working relationship with other service providers to ensure the person in recovery gets all the help they need.

Focus on Recovery

During intensive case management, the case manager removes the burden of coordinating many different solutions and services for the person in recovery. This enables that person to be fully focused on recovery, and not being stressed out by having to deal with logistics and other issues.

Anytime, Anywhere

Intensive case management often incorporates 24-hour support, and that support is offered where it is needed. This differs from other support systems. For example, people receiving outpatient therapy will normally attend sessions at a rehab and recovery center.2 Intensive care management clients can also attend sessions in a rehab or case management facility. However, if needed, the case manager can attend the client at home, at work, or any place else the client feels the case manager can help.


The client is at the core of all intensive case management, and the case manager strives to ensure that the client’s needs are met. For example, a person who has become homeless, often as a direct result of a substance use disorder, may see getting shelter as a priority rather than getting treatment to help quit those substances. In such circumstances, the case manager will also make finding shelter for the client a priority.

Intensive case management can benefit anybody who has problems with substance abuse or addiction, but it is particularly beneficial for those whose substance abuse has led to, or is associated with, other problems, such as damaged physical or mental health.