Drug and Alcohol Interventions Using the Systemic Family Approach
Drug and Alcohol Interventions Using the Systemic Family Approach
Most family therapists have adopted a systemic family approach, which views substance abuse as a symptom of dysfunction in the family. Family therapy is based on the view that the family is a distinct system, and each person in the system influences how it functions.

What is the regular systemic family approach?


A systematic family model is also referred to as the advocacy approach model developed by Ed Speare and Wayne Raiter. It's a way that the whole family can truly recover from addiction as a whole if the family is involved in treatment.


This model is based on the idea that if the system changes, everyone within the system will also change, including the addict (systems theory). It is designed to be a non-confrontational, non-judicial form of intervention.


The ultimate goal of the Systemic Family Model is that the whole family will become motivated to seek treatment for them and teach them the following health traits:


·         Communicate in a healthy way

·         supports

·         to encourage


How the Systemic Family Model Works in a Drug and also Alcohol Intervention


In a regular family intervention, the following occurs:


·         The intervention group consisted of only family members and professionals.

·         The family employs a professional intervention specialist or mental health worker with expertise in treating substance use disorders and in conducting interventions.

·         The intervention specialist sets up a series of appointments and immediately invites the person with a substance use disorder to invite them to meetings. The interviewer does not confront the person with the substance use disorder during this initial interaction, but may explain why the meetings are taking place.

·         Meetings occur in which the interventionist, the family members directly involved, and the person with a substance use disorder participate. They are not secret planning sessions.

·         The group discusses the nature of the substance use disorders in general, as well as how they affect a person's health. The nature of addiction and its effects on family members and others are often discussed by the interventionist. This is done in a general psycho-educational setting, with no specific example from the family.

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·         The interventionist may discuss different types of treatment for individuals with substance use disorders and often focus on the specific substance use disorder in question. For example, if the target person has alcohol use disorder, stimulant use disorder, cannabis use disorder, etc., the interlocutor will discuss specific issues associated with that disorder.

·         The group may also talk about how an individual's behavior affects family members.

·         The speaker discusses how the communication patterns of family members can be modified to allow everyone to communicate and express their feelings and thoughts in a clear and concise manner.

·         The intervention specialist may talk about how the individual's family influences his or her behavior and how they contribute to the individual's substance use.

·         The person is encouraged to receive treatment.

·         Family members are also encouraged to seek medical and social support, such as attending support groups.

·         The process often consists of the five or more meetings.

·         In the best case scenario, the family unit agrees to participate in therapy to deal with the situation. This can include individual treatment for intervention topic substance use disorder, family therapy for the family, and support group involvement for all, among others.

·         The group begins to apply gentler pressure for treatment as more meetings are completed.

·         Once all the individuals who need treatment agree to have it, the intervention process is complete. If some members continue to refuse treatment, there may be consequences associated with this.

·         After the intervention phase is completed, the treatment is often continued. Depending on the individual difficulties being addressed, treatments and social support group involvement may last for years.


The efficacy of family therapy

Research on the effectiveness of family therapy is ongoing. However, several studies indicate that it may be a useful ingredient in addiction treatment.

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One study found that various forms of family therapy can help keep drug users and their families in treatment, reduce substance use and other harmful behaviors, and improve social functioning.

Another study found that the couple’s behavioral therapy can lead to abstinence, improved relationships, reduced incidence of separation and divorce, and reduced domestic violence.

A study that reviewed advances in family therapy research found that family therapy therapies can be helpful for a variety of adolescent problems, including substance abuse, schizophrenia, and conduct disorder.