I use this tool, as a worksheet and template, in discussion with the family, employer and other "significant others", affected by the addict's behaviour both past, current and future. This tool is based on the Intervention approach developed by Vernon Johnson in the 60's (The Johnson Institute in the USA), my recent study of the book "It's Not Ok To Be A Cannibal." by Andrew T. Wainwright and Robert Poznanovich and my personal experience in treatment and intervention work. This tool has three different applications:
1. Before treatment
The oldest purpose of the Family Contract was as part of a family intervention (planning) process, to facilitate the addict to either admit to the need for help and enter treatment or, if in denial, to set out certain time-lines, expectations and ultimatums.
2. During treatment
During the treatment process I contract very clearly with the addict and his/her family, with specific reference to what happens if:
a) the addict terminates treatment (e.g. refusing hospital treatment, runs away);
b) the treatment facility terminates treatment (e.g. due to non-compliance);
c) the addict relapses (e.g. how many warnings given, based on what behaviour - drugging, fraternising);
d) the addict is discharged having completed treatment (e.g. relapse, court order, further treatment, banned from home if meets certain conditions). The contract also helps the family members consider what recovery and boundaries they need.
3. After treatment.
What expectations the family and others have of the addict and vice versa. And the commitments the addict will make to recovery, as part of a relapse prevention plan and recovery plan. In the event of a relapse or poor progress and if there is no prior contract, this tool helps the family re-assess the situation and decide on action with or without the presence of the addict.