Case Management Guidebook

Comprehensive guidance and support to professionals working in homeless and drug services

Key Goals

  1. Identify any mental health support needs.
  2. Ensure appropriate referrals are made and supports are accessed.
  3. Explore if there is a risk of self harm or suicide and to establish a plan for dealing with this issue, should it arise.


Studies suggest that alcohol is the primary drug of choice amongst homeless individuals.23 This can be a significant barrier to both accessing and maintaining housing stability. Furthermore, service providers have noted a recent change in alcohol use whereby it is becoming part of a more complex drug use reper-toire. The rise in polysubstance use presents a challenge to drug treatment.

It is recognised that there is no single treatment modality to address alcohol problems. Rather, a number of effective treatments may be used in various settings to address different types of problems. Services include:

  • Counselling (often the most common initial treatment intervention)
  • Detox (community and residential)
  • Reintegration or rehabilitative services and other forms of aftercare.

23 Lawless, M & Corr, C (2005) Drug Use Amongst the Homeless Population in Ireland. National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Merchants Quay Ireland