Research Outline

Addiction and Family Intervention


To find research supporting the idea that professionally led family intervention is useful in treating the brain changes of addiction, and leads to positive outcomes

Early Findings

While it is noted that there is little quantitative data on the effectiveness of family interventions for outcomes, it is shown that addicts are more likely to seek out treatment when they undergo an intervention.

The treatment model used in combination with many interventions is the 12 step model, which has been shown to increase neuroplasticity, allowing addicts to heal their brain structure and dopamine pathways associated with addiction.

Family interventions may prove effective due to other family members having related issues- studies show that 40% to 60% of one’s risk of developing an addiction is hereditary.

Addiction is seen as an event where the brain is trained to use drugs, and treatment that allows the brain to retrain itself and develop new pathways is effective.

Neuroscience studies show that a loving support system supports mental health and healing, so family intervention may support the development of healthy neuropathways.

Neurogenisis is the ability to generate new neurons, and considered to be an important part of the neuroplasticity associated with treating addiction. Positive environmental interventions are thought to re-establish these neural connections.

Social influences have been scientifically shown to induce neuroplastic changes in the brain- in fact social influence may play a larger role than biological or physical treatment.

The biopsychosocial framework of brain disorder and addiction notes that environmental and social factors such as family experiences are deeply related to the susceptibility to addiction.