Care Managers Play an Important Role in Helping Patients, Families Tackle AddictionSubstance use disorders affect people from all lifestyles. Some people become addicts after they begin using drugs recreationally; others begin misusing prescription medication and develop a dependence on it that can consume their lives.
Hospital case managers are in a unique position to evaluate patients and families when they are at their most vulnerable. If a patient is experiencing full-blown addiction, it can be extremely difficult to stop without effective professional treatment.
In mid-2017, drug overdoses became the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 50. In 2016, over 4,000 people died from unintentional drug overdoses in Ohio, a 36% increase from the year before when the state had led the nation in overdose deaths.
Heroin or prescription painkillers, sometimes laced with a synthetic opioid, Fentanyl, are commonly abused drugs, as is alcohol. Case managers may also encounter patients who abuse steroids, stimulants, ecstasy, crystal meth, bath salts or cocaine.