The Strengths Perspective of Case Management: A Promising Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Enhancement

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The medical model or disease concept approach to substance abuse treatment is practiced in most residential substance abuse treatment programs. Despite wide acceptance, many of the factors inherent in this approach may actually increase patient noncompliance with treatment regimens. These factors are related to the pathology-based nature of substance abuse treatment, an overemphasis on patient denial, and the paternalistic role that treatment staff often take in the treatment of substance abusers. The Strengths Perspective of Case Management/Advocacy has demonstrated usefulness as an adjunct to treatment that remedies these detrimental factors and improves compliance with, and retention in, treatment. The specific activities that lead to this improvement are discussed.

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