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Substance Abuse in the Context of the Family System

Usually substance abuse is viewed as an individual problem, and the addicted family member is treated apart from the family system. However, through the readings I have learned to understand substance abuse as a family issue. Discuss your clinical impression of how substance abuse can be viewed as a coping mechanism and as an indication of an underlying family issue; be sure to include your understanding of how addiction impacts the family as a system.

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Several factors contribute to Substance abuse in the form of coping mechanisms from events such as: (a) societal pressures, (b) lack of self-concept, (c) stress, (d) financial problems, (e) marital and family problems, and (f) life stresses and challenges. Moreover, when a family member abuses substances, it has an impact on the entire family system. Research is presented that suggest substance abuse extends beyond the individual to other family members. In their study, Robbins, Feaster, Horigian, Rohrbaugh, Shoham, Bachrach, Miller et al. (2011), utilized an approach of Brief Strategic Family therapy (BFST). BSFT was shown to be an effective intervention for family and adolescent drug use and related behavioral problems. The primary goal of the BSFT intervention is to improve relationships between family members. For instance, the BFST approach was focused on helping relations within systems ...

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This solution discusses substance abuse in the context of the family system.