Addiction Treatment Should Include Family Therapy

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has unveiled the first practical guide for substance abuse treatment counselors to incorporate family therapy techniques into substance abuse treatment.

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Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy
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Six chapters are included in the publication. Chapter 1, Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy, introduces the changing definition of “family,” explores the evolution of the field of family therapy and the primary models of family therapy, presents concepts from the substance abuse treatment field, and discusses the effectiveness and cost benefits of family therapy.

Chapter 2, Impact of Substance Abuse on Families, describes social issues that coexist with substance abuse in families and offers recommendations for ways to address these issues.

Chapter 3, Approaches to Therapy, examines differences in family therapy and substance abuse treatment services. One section, directed at substance abuse treatment counselors, provides basic information about the models, approaches, and concepts in family therapy. Another section, for family therapists, provides basic information about theory, treatment modalities, and the role of 12-step programs in substance abuse treatment.

Chapter 4, Integrated Models for Treating Family Members, discusses conjoined treatment approaches as well as matching therapeutic techniques to recovery levels.

Chapter 5, Specific Populations, provides background information about substance abuse treatment for various populations, based on characteristics such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and the presence of physical or cognitive disabilities or co-occurring disorders. This chapter also describes applications to family therapy for each population.

Chapter 6, Policy and Program Issues, presents information for administrators and trainers about the importance of improving services to families and some policy implications to consider for effectively joining family therapy and substance abuse treatment. In addition, this final chapter discusses program planning models that provide a framework for including family therapy in substance abuse treatment.