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











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NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
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Focus on Families
Substance Abuse and Mental HealthTreatment: General

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> Focus on Families website

> Strengthening Families website



Developed for families with parents who are addicted to drugs, Focus on Families attempts to reduce the risk of relapse among parents, and reduce the risk that their children will become substance abusers.  The program is most appropriate for parents enrolled in methadone treatment programs and who have children ages three to 14. Parents are encouraged to participate in at least 90 days of methadone treatment before beginning the program. 

Focus on Families is based on the social development model of drug abuse. This model suggests that healthy development occurs when there is a strong bond between an individual and other social units, such as family, school, or the community.  It also holds that healthy development occurs when expectations around appropriate behavior are defined.


(Adapted from information on the Social Development Research Group website, 2002, http://depts.washington.edu/sdrg/FOF.htm 
and used with the permission of the Social Development Research Group, University of Washington)


Evaluation


Research shows that the parents involved in the program were more likely to use relapse prevention and refusal skills in drug use situations; were less likely to use drugs after difficult life events; reported more household rules than the comparison group; and reported a 65 percent reduction in frequency of heroin use one year later.

(Adapted from information on the Social Development Research Group website, 2002, http://depts.washington/edu/sdrg/FOF.htm, and used with the permission of the Social Development Research Group, University of Washington)


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> A meta-analysis of predictors of continued drug use during and after treatment for opiate addiction

> Drug abuse prevention through family interventions

> An experimental intervention with families of substance abusers: One-year follow-up of the Focus on Families project

> Deviance among the children of heroin addicts in treatment: Impact of parents and peers

> Parent drug use and bonding to parents as predictors of substance use in children of substance abusers


  
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Featured Strategies
> Relapse Prevention

> Brief Strategic Family Therapy





 

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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.