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Why is Addiction a Family Disease?

In this Vlog, I want to talk about how addiction is a family disease. I get asked an awful lot by the families and individuals I work with, why is it a family disease?

Well, the reason that it is, is pretty simple. If you've ever been around a family that has an addict that's practicing substance abuse, you'll notice that everybody in the family is affected. Everybody is tense. Sometimes there's a lot of friction between individuals. So, we refer to addiction as being a family disease because it impacts everybody in the particular family. It also causes a lot of problems in the relationships in the family, which then leads to conflict and sometimes even the breaking down of the family relationships. There's a lot of damage that's done by addiction.

Families come to me a bit confused about what it is that they need to do to set good boundaries and how to set good boundaries. Codependency is usually a part of the process in the families who consult with me for help. They have this concept that they need to do whatever it takes, no matter what the cost, in order to get their loved one to take care of themselves and get into treatment. But that's like being a lifeguard and letting someone drown you. You can't help somebody if you actually let them derail the family and completely make the people in the family unable to function at all in their lives.

I spend a lot of time early on working with families, talking about the concept of codependency, and talking about how setting good boundaries is not abandonment of the person, but it is actually a lifesaving process. I go very much in depth to help people understand how to set boundaries, how to be assertive but still express the love and caring that they have for the family members. This particular process is actually one of the major keys to any good intervention that I do on the family, allowing them to tap into the great power they have as a family to institute change with honesty and compassion. It's a very important process in helping families.

I want to thank you for joining me today. This is a very exciting thing that I've begun doing with this particular video is put the thoughts and information that I want families to know in video form. It feels like I've joined the 21st century in respect to how I present my work and how I reach people. I hope it's been helpful today. I will be doing a couple of these a month and I really hope that they give you information that you need. I feel like I've tried to compress a lot of information in a short period of time, but that's OK. You can call me with questions you have. I have a process to where any family that wants to explore my services can actually have a free 20-minute consultation on the phone to allow them to ask questions and to get a feel for how I work.

I invite you to stop by my professional web page at You'll be able to get an even deeper feeling of the work that I do. Remember that I work with individuals and families around addiction and trauma. I also work with couples that have an addiction in it, either just with some couples therapy or some couples therapy in conjunction with a structured intervention, and there's some other vlogs on my website that will help you understand that.

I'll be coming up with innovative topics, a couple a month. Hope you join me and if you really like what you see, please feel free to join, give me your information, and become a member of the community that I have that takes advantage of my professional services. Also, feel free to share this with friends. There's usually somebody that a person knows, either in their family or in another family, that may benefit from professional help.

Regardless of who you go see, please know that there's ways to help, with compassion and honesty, families to restore their relationships and for everybody to have a brighter future.


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