Lasting Recovery - it Takes a Family

Ask the Experts by Jeff and Debra Jay

Q: My 28-year-old brother went to treatment for his alcohol and cocaine problem last year. He never followed his recovery plan, and relapsed almost right away. He's getting really bad again, so we probably need to intervene, but isn't there something more a family can do? 

A: Yes, today there are many more things you can do. Addiction is a chronic illness, and family members can play a critical role during and after treatment. Studies have repeatedly shown that family involvement in treatment can improve outcomes, but now there's even more you can do.

Treatment is like a launching pad for recovery. Because addiction is a chronic illness, like heart disease, it can't be cured. But like heart disease, there are many things loved ones can do to support the patient. If a culture of recovery can be developed and nurtured in the family, it's far more likely the patient will do what they need to do to keep their illness in remission.

The most detailed and far-reaching method for accomplishing this task is called Structured Family Recovery™ and it's laid out in the book "It Takes a Family," by Debra Jay. There are eight essential elements to this program, which also includes the patient. By following the program through the first year of recovery, families can greatly increase the odds of success in confronting this deadly disease.

It only makes sense. If your brother were a severe diabetic, wouldn't there be some changes made around the dinner table? Wouldn't people become more conscious of their actions and language, to support his health? The same is true with his addiction. "It Takes a Family" lays out a program that any family can follow. 

Save the Date

The Spirituality of Taking Action: A Cooperative Approach to Lasting Recovery

Jeff & Debra Jay, Love First, Inc.
Presented in partnership with The Family Center, the Grosse Pointe News and The War Memorial as part of its This Americana Series.

6:30pm The War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms

FREE, Register online at or call 313.432.3832

Jeff Jay and Debra Jay are the authors of, "Love First, a Family's Guide to Intervention." They head a national private practice of interventionists, therapists and recovery mentors. They live in Grosse Pointe Farms. Contact them at 313-882-6921 or through their web site:

Jeff and Debra are members of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.

Enriching Our Community Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community's hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded with a mission to serve our community through programs and resources vital to today's families.

All gifts are tax-deductible.
To volunteer or contribute, visit the 'Get Involved' page, call 313-447-1374.
Email: or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.