3. Supporting your Family Member’s Recovery

When treatment can be most effective


Some people give up substances on their own, but many require—and greatly benefit from—treatment. Treatment is most effective when it:

    matches the person’s stage of change and personal goals
    extends over a long period of time (at least three months)
    treats concurrent problems
    involves the family
    works with the person in a holistic way and addresses their physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual well-being
    includes relapse prevention strategies.

Community supports, such as outreach services, housing-related advocacy and mutual support groups are also available. In Ontario, treatment and supports for substance use and gambling problems are provided across many settings, including family physicians, psychiatrists, hospitals, outpatient programs and clinics, community agencies and private practitioners (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2015). Many people also use self-help approaches, such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.