Financial Capability in Addiction Research and Clinical Practice
Richard J. Nance MSHHA, MSW, LCSW is an Adjunct Instructor, at Utah Valley University. He also works for the Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment, Provo, Utah,. He is a Mountain Plains ATTC advisory board member and member of the Educators workgroup. He is the co-author of an article published online December 10, 2020 in the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse.
It is pretty typical to find that people starting treatment for SUD have significant issues with their finances, maybe due to spending money on their drug of choice, missing work or being fired, legal fees/fines, behind on bills, along with the health, family, and relationship problems that are consequences of the SUD.
This paper is the first analysis of the extent of financial capability among SUD clients who are expected to manage their own finances, i.e. they did not have rep payees like some clients with a diagnosed mental illness. While they may have denied any serious financial issues during intake/assessment, as they progressed through treatment, clients became more comfortable talking about their financial issues with their case managers. Second, it was found that most clients feel that money management is important to their long term recovery. The paper demonstrates the need to address SUD recovery as a wholistic process that includes social, mental, physical, and financial needs.
The authors state, “these findings point to a need in existing services for clients with SUDs. Policy makers, treatment providers, and social workers who are concerned with access to recovery and recovery capital should consider financial capability as an integral part of their treatment strategies.”