Describing the feasibility of using case management in a specialist forensic substance misuse intervention for UK veterans: a case study [2018]

Veterans with mental health problems are a high-risk group for substance misuse difficulties and are over-represented in forensic settings. Yet, there are few substance misuse services available for this population. Evidence suggests that case management can provide effective interventions for veterans with substance misuse problems. However, there is little research to show its effectiveness in the UK. The present study reported on the implementation and preliminary outcomes of the Veterans Forensic Substance Misuses Service (VFSMS), piloted within a prison setting, to demonstrate the feasibility of the service. The VFSMS operated in four stages: Assessing needs, developing case management plans, providing bespoke support and developing discharge plans. Case studies were used to demonstrate this process, with measures of alcohol use and recovery showing outcomes for each case. Findings from three case studies suggested that case management was a feasible approach, with a range of interventions being used, including substance misuse and mental health services, plus housing and employment services. Outcome measures suggested that alcohol and substance misuse recovery improved following the VFSMS intervention. While the scope of the findings is limited, they suggested that case management is a feasible substance misuse intervention, with preliminary findings showing improvements in substance misuse outcomes.

David Turgoose, Walter Busuttil, Rachel Ashwick, Katie Booth & Dominic Murphy

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, Volume 29, 2018 – Issue 5