Families and Substance use Disorders

Rachel Russell | 05 Aug 2018
Traditionally, the family component of addiction treatment centres around concepts of co-dependence and œboundaries with a heavy emphasis on teaching family members to identify and avoid enabling behaviours. The underlying premise is that one person in the family has a problem, and that problem is causing problems for everyone else. Families are usually treated separately from the person with the substance use disorder, and it is not uncommon to hear the family shouldn't be involved or the client isn't ready to deal with family work. This presentation will offer an alternative framework that: contextualises addiction as a problem that affects the family as a whole; challenges blame; cultivates collective problem-solving; and emphasizes a relational paradigm. Such an approach offers an opportunity for families to be involved in recovery at any stage of individual treatment, and builds on family strengths to support individual (and family) recovery in a unique way
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