Family Involvement in the Adolescent Recovery Process

“It is not a coincidence that some of the most successful substance abuse prevention and treatment programs for adolescents are strongly family-based. Any discussion of family involvement in services, however, must ask the question, Which individuals in a person’s life constitute family? For the purposes of helping an adolescent to move forward in treatment and recovery, it may be helpful to be very flexible in the definition of family. A useful distinction has been made between traditional families, extended families and elected families, with elected families representing families self-identified and formed by choice and not by blood, marriage, or law. Elective families may include godparents and other significant but non-biologically-related significant others. The most helpful strategy is that the entire network of support and resources be utilized during treatment and relapse prevention.” (p. 5)

Source: Engaging Family Members Into Adolescent Drug Treatment by Daniel Santisteban, Ph.D., May 2008 (Florida Certification Board/Southern Coast ATTC Monograph Series #3)

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