4th September 2018

Case Study - C

Case Study - C

C has been an entrenched rough sleeper for many years. I make regular visits to the spots where he begs and beds down. Through this, we slowly built up a trusting relationship and now engage regularly.

C has been addicted to heroin for many years and has never been able to fully conquer his addiction. C is currently being prescribed the maximum dose of Methadone. He finds it extremely difficult to function on a day to day basis, especially if he is experiencing severe withdrawals, and I often find him suffering from insomnia, depression, anxiety, leg cramps, restlessness and/or hot and cold sweats. As he is already on the maximum dose of prescribed methadone, sadly there is very little that can be done to help C with these symptoms and he has begun self-medicating with heroin.

My visits to C vary each time. C is very intelligent and often embarks on interesting and stimulating conversations. Sometimes we have general chats about music, the environment or family etc. On other visits C may ask me to ring housing, the doctors or benefits for him. C does not access other homeless services in the area. He is a solitary individual who likes to keep to himself, so my visits, along with providing emotional support, often also include food and hot drinks.

Most recently C has been engaging with Housing and has been given a property of his own. This is fantastic news as C does not engage with many services due to a lack of trust in them.

However, C's methadone prescription has recently been temporarily stopped. An appointment has been made to rectify this but a substantial wait is in place. Unfortunately, this has resulted in C not accessing his property and he instead has been staying in the city to beg and earn more money to prevent his withdrawals. Things are being done every day to try get C all the help and support he needs at a quicker pace. Due to services being stretched thin this has so far been unsuccessful, but we continue to try. I am hopeful for C's future although we believe a holistic package is required to help him in the long term.

C’s story highlights the fact that simply providing people with a house does not instantly solve everyone’s problems. To be successful, more follow on care and support needs to be put in place.

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