Couples in which a partner abuses alcohol or other drugs often have moderate to severe relationship dissatisfaction, often engage in high levels of marital conflict, and experience frequent instability. Poor interactions and couple stress often contribute to problematic substance use and relapse. As such, behavioral couples therapy (BCT) was adapted for use with substance-abusing couples in an effort to help the family break the cycle of abuse and relapse and teach spouses productive responses to alcohol-related or drug use situations, thereby reducing substance use and decreasing the perpetuating interactions between the user and their partner. BCT involves teaching couples skills that promote partner support for abstinence and emphasize reduction of common relationship problems and improvements in relationship functioning.

Treatment Components, Efficacy, and Cost-Effectiveness

BCT evolved from early ...

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