• Books by Jeff Jay and Debra Jay

Love First

The most widely read book on intervention.

Love First, 3rd edition, brings cutting-edge techniques to families who want to help an addicted loved one. It provides clear steps for harnessing the power of family and friends, to help our loved ones accept treatment. Learn how to build a better future, by moving our loved ones into a life of recovery.

Love First, 3rd edition, by Jeff Jay and Debra JayAfter twenty years as the top-selling book on family intervention, this newly revised and expanded edition contains practical tools for taking the next steps together, transforming the intervention team into a recovery team. This team becomes an ongoing community of loving support, lasting accountability, and lifelong recovery. This new edition is now written as a companion book to It Takes a Family: Creating Lasting Sobriety, Togetherness, and Happiness.

am truly excited about the book Love First. Jeff and Debra Jay have described so eloquently addictive disease within the family and more importantly, what a family can do about it.

Most alcoholics and addicts are not able to access the treatment they need. Families and loved ones who read this new look at intervention will find the keys to begin the process of recovery.

–John Schwarzlose, president emeritus, Betty Ford Center

Love First, 3rd edition

Love First – new for 2021

The most widely read book on intervention, now in its third edition. Love First has guided thousands of families through the intervention process, using the power of love to bring healing and recovery. The companion book to “It Takes a Family.”

Debra Jay reads the Introduction & Chapter 1
of Love First.


Wisdom and compassion shine on every page of this invaluable resource. A comforting, enlightening, and inspiring guide to intervention, treatment, and long-term recovery support for families and friends seeking help for their addicted loved ones.
–KATHERINE KETCHAM, author of The Only Life I Could Save, coauthor of Under the Influence, The Spirituality of Imperfection, and Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption

Jeff and Debra Jay are leaders in the behavioral health field. As a clinician, educator, author, and fellow interventionist, I am a huge fan of their work. Many of my clients have found Love First to be indispensable to their growth. A must-read for clinicians and families.
–LOUISE STANGER, EDD, LCSW, author of Addiction in the Family: Helping Families Navigate Challenges, Emotions, and Recovery

With the third edition of Love First, the Jays continue to demonstrate that they are the preeminent experts in the field of addiction intervention. In this unprecedented time of ever-increasing deaths from addiction, it is not an exaggeration that literally everyone in the world should read and appreciate this book.
executive director, Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program

A compelling and systematic way of reaching your loved ones who may have fallen down and lifting them up to lofty heights. Jeff and Debra Jay are consummate professionals who speak from the heart and connect individuals and families, making them whole again.
–COLIN KING, PHD, clinical psychologist and co-host of For Guys Only

A beautifully enhanced “bible” that I have used with clients for 20 years. It goes beyond getting a loved one into treatment. The inclusiveness of a structured family recovery restores the family integrity with love.
–MICHAEL S. PARR, MD, FASAM, board certified in addiction medicine

The road to sobriety can be complicated—especially when there are co- occurring mental health issues. Many intervention models are confron- tational. These models fit reality television, but not the real world. Your best chance of helping your loved one is a model based upon grace and kindness. Love First teaches you how to navigate resistance without add- ing insult to injury. Not every loved one is salvageable, but Jeff and Debra’s model increases your chance of success.
–JERRY A. BORISKIN, PHD, senior psychologist, specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder, VA Northern California

Jeff and Debra Jay know addiction, intervention, and family recovery better than anyone. They’ve literally written the book on it! Their body of work is fully immersed in guiding others to navigate addiction and recovery successfully. Love First offers forward-looking guideposts and meaning- ful, effective steps for long-term success in intervention and recovery— including strategies for unique and difficult situations. Families who follow this process will emerge triumphantly from addiction and despair. Love First is the most powerful and compelling book I’ve read in the field of addiction and intervention. I keep multiple copies in my private prac- tice for patients struggling to find help for their loved ones and for them- selves. Love First is a nuts-and-bolts field guide for returning the family to health and happiness.
–MIRIAM ENGSTROM, PSYD, co-founder and coordinator, The Michigan TriCounty Trauma Recovery Network

Well-written and full of compassion, this primer on helping people with addictions is literally the best book on the subject. After 47 years in the recovery field, I have confidently recommended this book to many hun- dreds of families—assured that they will receive meaningful help for their loved one.
–JAMES BALMER, president, Dawn Farm Community of Programs

In Love First, Jeff and Debra Jay present a clear path to helping a person we care about recover and grow, without losing ourselves in the process. Family members, friends, and professionals will all gain from this gentle, yet assertive, approach.
–RABBI BENNY GREENWALD, director, The Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House

When families reach out to me for recommendations when they are con- sidering intervention for their loved ones, I have only one: Love First by Jeff and Debra Jay. There is no better resource. This book is well crafted, easily accessible, readable, and most importantly, it is written with nothing but kindness and compassion for the families of those who are strug- gling. Many times these families feel like there is nowhere to turn and are concerned about even sharing about their loved one because of the stigma that exists in our society surrounding the disease of addiction. The Jays help families to know that they are not alone and, not only is there help available for their family, they will lead them all through the process step by step. They do all of this while honoring the core family value of love.
–SHERRY GAUGLERSTEWART, director of family and spiritual recovery, The Retreat

Love First helped my family surround me with their love until I could find the ability to love myself. When I am unsettled, I still seek comfort in the beauty of the intervention letters my loved ones wrote. I am grateful for the empowering insights and comfort that moved me to seek the help that has allowed me 15 years of sobriety and the opportunity to help hundreds of others find Love First as their foundation for recovery.
–SCOTT MASI, recovery advocate and director, Unite to Face Addiction

Superbly well-written, this is a must-read for anyone working with fami- lies with addiction. Debra and Jeff Jay generously share their expertise by providing a step-by-step guide to their method of supporting families in addressing addiction, a method which, as the title suggests, is founded in the transformative power of love.
–SUE DONALDSON, RSW, ICADC, CIP, interventionist, founder and director, Pegasus Recovery Solutions

Intervention is such an important process for families—it enables them to tell the truth and know the truth. The Love First model brings love to the process—this is a necessary and welcome addition to the intervention process. This revised version of Love First includes the concept of a recov- ery team with an eye toward long-term recovery. It will be most helpful for families struggling with addictive disease.
–MEL POHL, MD, chief medical officer, Las Vegas Recovery Center

iPad showing Love First book downloaded from amazon

“Building a team, choosing a chairperson,anticipating objections, using checklists, and rehearsing for the intervention itself. The reader will find it all here!”

“Love First provides the most detailed account yet of how intervention works. A significant contribution to intervention literature. An empowering antidote to the disease of addiction.”

“A no-nonsense approach to how to save someone you love from the ravages of addiction disease.”

“A convincing new approach to intervention that puts love and respect first.”

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