Abstract and Keywords
Traditionally, alcohol use disorders and other substance use disorders have been viewed by the majority of treatment providers and researchers, as well as by the public at large, as problems of the “individual” that were most effectively treated by focusing on the diagnosed individual. More recently, this individual-focused conceptualization has slowly given way to a greater awareness of family members’ crucial roles in the etiology, maintenance, and long-term course of substance use and addictive behavior. As a result, clinicians and researchers alike have placed renewed emphasis on understanding substance misuse from a systemic perspective and on exploring how partner- and family-involved interventions may be used to address individuals’ substance abuse. Available evidence reveals that marital and family therapy approaches are among the most efficacious available in terms of prevention, initiating change, and treating substance use disorders.
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