Easy-access Services in Low-threshold Opiate Agonist Maintenance
Employment interventions implemented in drug treatment programs have been marginally successful, but few interventions have been found to address the needs of chronically unemployed clients. Employment case management (ECM) is a comprehensive employment intervention strategy designed to motivate chronically unemployed persons to engage in work, assist in job placement, and provide post employment support through workforce integration, while maintaining progress in drug treatment. This clinical case study reports on a convenience sample of 10 chronically unemployed methadone maintained clients who voluntarily enrolled in the ECM project. Clients received individual ECM services for a period of 26 weeks. Clients were assessed at two- and eight-month follow-up intervals. Nine of the 10 clients were employed at the two-month follow-up assessment and six maintained employment at the eight-month follow-up. Moreover, three clients were able to successfully transition from welfare to competitive private sector employment. Preliminary data suggest that ECM may be an effective intervention strategy to help chronically unemployed methadone clients obtain and maintain employment. Qualitatively, clients reported that post employment intervention services such as motivational counseling, problem solving, and employer advocacy helped sustain employment.