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Families and Substance Abuse

Historically, substance use disorders were considered personal problems that are best treated on an individual basis. More recently, treatment has given way to a greater acceptance and acknowledgment of the family’s critical role in the development and maintenance of drug and alcohol abuse. As a result, an increasing number of treatment providers and the programs in which they work are intervening with the family. In this entry, the prevalence of substance abuse and comorbidity with family problems is emphasized, along with treatment options involving the family for clients dealing with substance abuse. In particular, the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on the family system is examined.

During the past 3 decades, the results of numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of family-based treatment approaches ...

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