What is Structured Family Recovery™?

people-mother-family-fatherTo start let’s talk about treatment and what treatment offers. Treatment offers stabilization for the addict and alcoholic in the acute phase of addiction. Most addicts and alcoholics can stay clean and sober during a detox or inpatient treatment, there are some exceptions.

Addiction is  that “thing” takes over and even in the best conditions addicts use. Treatment programs seem to know the value of family involvement, so they have  family programs and invite family members in and these families are engaged in the treatment process while the individual is in treatment.

This is all good. But over time the family involvement lessens along with the addicts structure  and 3 to 6 months into the process the addict is no longer in treatment and disengages from 12 step meetings. The family may or may not have engaged in 12 step meetings or their  own therapy and every one essentially is on their own  just doing there own thing.  The addict and the family rarely “do” recovery together and are actually encouraged to separate from each other and work on their “program”. Some would think this makes sense, but I don’t I think families need to work together more closely on their recovery and try and figure some things out as a family.

When you think about the possibilities that can happen, families doing recovery  together is the way to go! Yes they need focus on themselves,but understand each others commitment to recovery,each others relapse warning signs or triggers and their individual plan to deal with relapse along with rewarding success.  We all know the high rate of relapse happens for those who leave treatment, not being the treatments fault. I believe treatment saves lives and without treatment we’d would have lost many to this disease of addiction.

Treatment offers just one more shot for the individual that is suffering, but with this being a chronic illness their needs to be something different in the way we treat this disease, something that is long lasting and helps get individuals to long term recovery and this is where Structure Family Recovery™ comes in. Learning that when over to 70% of the general population going to treatment relapse within the first year and doctors and pilots who are addicted have a recovery rate of about 80%, so what the difference?

It’s not that doctors and pilots are smarter than the rest of the population, but they are to engage in programing with structure from the beginning and this program that they engage in lasts for several years and the have a remarkable recovery rate. So when you think about your addict/alcoholic and what would be best for them creating a program similar to Doctors and Pilots is the way to go. Structured family Recovery™ was created by Debra Jay and this program fills in the missing piece that has been existed for Doctors and Pilots for many years.

This is a simple program that can be utilized even before treatment starts. This starts with creating a recovery team with family and friends to address addiction in the family and engage all in the recovery process, yes everyone gets in recover and focuses on themselves. When family gets in recovery the outcomes change, when family understands the process of recovery, is able to make a recovery commitment along with identifying their relapse triggers and warning signs, families get better and addicts and alcoholics stay clean and sober.

Structured Family Recovery™ is a weekly program that addresses the enabling of the disease of addiction and moves families into the ability to enable recovery and everyone is apart of the solution. SFR does not only focus on the addict it asks the addict and the family to focus on themselves and their own recovery and that’s what creates the change and increases the rate of recovery. SFR is a simple program requiring one hour a week were the family gets together via conference call along with completing one other task per week in your local area, so no matter where your are you and your entire family can participle. SFR believes that change happens when action is taken.

I am a Certified Structured Family Recovery™ counselor, one of just a handful in the world and actively work with families who are moving forward in their recoveries. SFR can begin before the addict goes into treatment, during treatment and beyond treatment. The entire family can be involved in this process. I recommend that families engage in SFR for minimum of 6 months. If this sound like something you or someone you know could use please contact me and we can discuss.


4 thoughts on “What is Structured Family Recovery™?

  • Structured Family Recovery seems to address the missing link in family recovery. We send the person with the substance use disorder for treatment and encourage the family to seek treatment for themselves. At some point, it is necessary for the family to heal as a unit. Each family member should have their own program of recovery and focus inward but the family as a system needs to recover, as well. This is a manageable way to work together even when the individuals are scattered in different locations. SFR sounds like a great concept!

    • yes SFR really does work. I have been using it for the past year and people are really being helped. Sorry for the delayed responce I just figured out how to get into my back room on the computer.


  • I am very interested in this program for myself and my family. My husband is an addict-alcoholic who is currently in jail and most likely will be admitted into a long term treatment program in a couple of weeks. I am his co dependant and his best enabler! I also do know that I have had emotional struggles all of my life and have worked to resolve my issues, but success with it is only partial and it comes and goes. With the exception of my mother, all members of his family and mine scorn us both and many have disowned either both of us, or at least him. Therefore, at a time we both are most in need of support, there is none. Please tell me how we can get signed up with your program, and what the cost is. Thank you!

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