Six-Month Outcomes of a Randomized, Motivational Tele-intervention for Change in the Codependent Behavior of Family Members of Drug Users

Subst Use Misuse. 2017 Jan 28;52(2):164-174. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2016.1223134. Epub 2016 Oct 18.


Families of substance abusers may develop maladaptive strategies, such as codependency, to address drug-related problems. It is important for families to receive specialist treatment in order to contribute to the recovery process. The Tele-intervention Model and Monitoring of Families of Drug Users (TMMFDU), based on motivational interviewing and stages of change, aims to encourage the family to change the codependents' behaviors. A randomized clinical trial was carried out to verify the change in codependent behavior after intervention with 6 months of follow-up. Three hundred and twenty-five families with high or low codependency scores were randomized into the intervention group (n = 163) or the usual treatment (UT) (n = 162). After 6 months of follow-up, the family members of the TMMFDU group were twice as likely to modify their codependency behavior when compared to the UT group (OR 2.08 CI 95% 1.18-3.65). TMMFDU proved to be effective in changing codependent behaviors among compliant family members of drug users.

Keywords: Codependency; family relations; motivational interviewing; telephone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Codependency, Psychological*
  • Drug Users*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Motivational Interviewing*
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Treatment Outcome