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The Focus on Families intervention may reduce the risk of substance use among male but not female offspring of substance users

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Does the Focus on Families (FOF) intervention reduce the risk of children of parents in methadone treatment developing a substance use disorder once teenagers/young adults?


177 children (average age 8.2 years) of 130 families with a parent (75% mothers, average age 35.5 years) who had been in methadone treatment for at least 90 days and with at least one child aged between 3 and 14 years who lived with them at least 50% of the time.


Two methadone clinics, the Pacific Northwest, USA; recruitment 1991–1993, follow-up 2005/2006.


FOF intervention plus methadone clinic treatment as usual or methadone clinic treatment as usual alone (control). FOF centred on providing parenting skills and relapse prevention training for parents through a combination of day retreat (5 h), group counselling sessions (twice weekly sessions of 1.5 h for 16 weeks) and case manager home visits (average of 17 visits). Children were actively involved in the intervention training but were not directly taught these skills …

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  • Source of funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse.


  • Competing interests: None.

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