Problematic substance use is a significant concern for Aboriginal communities across Australia. Most approaches to intervention are individualised, locating the problem and the solution in the substance user. When problematic use is common within a family and community, individual treatment is likely to be ineffective. A literature review of familyfocussed and culturally specific drug and alcohol interventions was conducted to inform the development of family-focussed interventions in the community setting. The review supports the development of family-focussed interventions, suggesting this approach will be culturally appropriate and effective for Aboriginal communities. The potential role of social work in working with Aboriginal communities on problematic substance use, and likely barriers for the profession, are discussed. © 2011 Australian Association of Social Workers.