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Alcohol and Substance Abuse

An estimated 24.6 million people in the United States, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), struggle with substance abuse–related problems. Substance abuse may include alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. Those affected belong to families whose other members may also be affected directly or indirectly; substance abuse may change the nature of the family relationship permanently. Because substance abuse is so prevalent, it is important that family counselors are able to assess families for substance abuse and related issues, are aware of the specific dynamics that arise when working with families with substance abuse issues, and can assess the family’s readiness for change. Family counselors play an important role in treating substance abuse because treatment may help families as a ...

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