The 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that only 20% to 25% of individuals with serious substance abuse problems seek treatment within the first year of their diagnosis. One might surmise that access to resources is driving these numbers, but in fact, outright refusal of treatment by substance abusers is the main culprit. Fortunately, recent research has discovered that the family members of treatment-refusing substance abusers can play a critical role in influencing the problem drinker or drug user to enter treatment. An overview of some of the early interventions designed to help these family members is presented first, and a description of a newer program with an impressive scientific base, Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), follows.

Traditionally, desperate family members of ...

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