Photo Home
Who We Are
Research & Policy

> Case Management
> Family Assessment
> Family Support
> Parent Education
> Substance Abuse and Mental HealthTreatment

News Room

  Free To Grow
  Mailman School
  of Public Health
  Columbia University
  722 West 168th Street,
  8th Floor
  New York, NY 10032

green corner
NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
image image image Family Partners Community

Substance Abuse and Mental HealthTreatment
Treatment is the most effective intervention when substance abuse and/or mental health difficulties cause problems for individuals and families. Research shows that when children grow up in families with substance abuse, family violence, or untreated mental health problems, they are more likely to develop these problems themselves, or to engage in other high-risk behaviors as they move into adolescence and young adulthood. Treatment, therefore, is not just for the family member who demonstrates the immediate need; it is useful for the entire family.

Treatment takes many forms, ranging from outpatient day treatment and short-term inpatient, to longer-term residential treatment. Treatment modality options include individual, group, and family counseling. The best type of treatment depends on the needs identified in preliminary assessments. Many treatment programs also provide aftercare services designed to assist the individual or family in maintaining the progress made in treatment.

Some individuals with substance abuse problems find that treatment and other life changes are sufficient to eliminate the problems. Relapse is often a significant problem, so relapse prevention strategies are built into many treatment programs, along with strategies to promote abstinence. These help individuals to avoid or replace the situations that trigger the urge to return to substance abuse. Aftercare services and community support groups are particularly useful in preventing relapse.

Click below for information on additional resources and strategies.

Other Helpful Info

Directory of Drug, Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Substance Abuse and Mental HealthTreatment Strategies

  Focus on Families
  Relapse Prevention
  Brief Strategic Family Therapy

  Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)

  Motivational Interviewing


copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.