[based on Ventura AS, Bagley SM, To Improve Substance Use Disorder Prevention, Treatment
and Recovery: Engage the Family, J Addict Med 2017;11:339-341]    While it’s GOOD to see from personal experience that a certain intervention can solve a problem; it’s BETTER to see the solid research and evidence proving it.  “Evidence-based interventions targeting family members of individuals with SUDs have been shown to improve health outcomes for all family members, result in better addiction treatment outcomes, and prevent adolescent substance use.”  So when will we start helping families?


Have you ever gotten the call from your child saying “pick me up at the airport tomorrow”; without knowing the aftercare plan, and perhaps not feeling comfortable with your child returning to your home?  Have you ever asked the residential program staff how your son/daughter is progressing, and been told “we can’t tell you, HIPAA”?

The full Journal of Addiction Studies article contains numerous citations of research supporting the abstract’s summary.  I’ve included some key points from the article.  Our Family Opioid Coaching uses evidence-based approaches and quality, balanced science to promote health and welfare.  Be sure to view the Resources section whether you’re interested in coaching, or not.

  • “There is evidence that the health of affected family members is directly correlated with the severity of their loved one’s SUD (Weisner et al., 2010).”
  • “Implicit and explicit assumptions about family members as the root ‘‘cause’’ of SUDs need to be challenged. The exact combination of influences that put one at risk for developing a SUD include both genetic and environmental factors, vary from person to person, and is not predetermined (Timmons and Hamilton, 2014).”
  • “Family members are not disempowered bystanders and are able to influence the trajectory of a loved one’s SUD.”
  • “Despite clinical guidelines promoting inclusion of the family in all SUD treatment, for all patient populations, generally families are not being engaged by the health care system to improve their own health or the health of their loved ones with SUDs.”
  • “With the appropriate supports and education, families can prevent and identify unhealthy alcohol and drug use, promote early engagement in addiction treatment, even in treatment resistant individuals, and support sustained recovery.”