Family Therapy for Drug Abuse: Review and Updates 2003-2010

Cynthia L. Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Just 15years ago, Liddle and Dakof (Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 1995; 21, 511) concluded, based on the available evidence, that family therapy represented a "promising, but not definitive" approach for the treatment of drug problems among adolescents and adults. Seven years later, Rowe and Liddle (2003) review described considerable progress in this specialty with encouraging findings on adolescent-focused models based on rigorous methodology, as well as advances with adult-focused family-based treatments. The current review brings the field up to date with highlights from research conducted in the intervening 7years, cross-cutting issues, recommendations for new research, and practice implications of these findings. Adolescent-focused family-based models that attend to the ecology of the teen and family show the most consistent and strongest findings in recent studies. Adult-focused models based on behavioral and systems theories of change also show strong effects with drug abusers and their families. The overarching conclusion is that family-based models are not only a viable treatment alternative for the treatment of drug abuse, but are now consistently recognized among the most effective approaches for treating both adults and adolescents with drug problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-81
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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