Practical Strategies for Families Struggling with Addiction

By Louise Stanger EdD LCSW 11/10/20

This book will help you better understand what your loved one is going through while also offering realistic advice for approaching their addiction and how it affects your entire family.

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Addiction in the Family book cover
We all have steps we can take to remediate, to change and transform.

Today I write from my heart based on my clinical knowledge and research in the behavioral health field and my own years of field experience. My latest book, Addiction in The Family: Helping Families Navigate Challenges, Emotions and Recovery is the guidebook I wish I had when I was first learning about substance use (addiction and mental health disorders) when I was a young woman. 

Addiction and mental health are subjects that are close to my heart so much so that when the phone rings I always answer. Most of the time on the other end is a concerned person calling because they just don't know how to respond to a loved one or client who is spiraling out of control due to a substance use disorder.

I know those feelings because I grew up in a family where one never knew what would happen next, as addiction, mental illness, tragedy, and trauma prevailed.

When I was approached to write this book about substance use disorders and the family, I felt energized, honored, and humbled. Little did I know that I would be writing in the midst of a global pandemic and widespread racial and civil unrest. Both matters have great consequences, and not unlike addiction, can hold one hostage. However, we all have steps we can take to remediate, to change and transform.

Truth is, I was highly motivated to write—to make a difference. And now that it's written, I wish that someone could had given me this book when I was struggling to figure out what was going on in my own family, and provided me with guideposts that were easy to understand and use. I am humbled and grateful that I am able to do this for others through Addiction in the Family.

This book is Family Focused and practical in that it teaches one how to set boundaries, deal with strong emotions, and teach you the best ways to communicate with your loved one. It is hopeful and full of real-life examples to help you understand your experience.

The book is divided in to six easy-to-read chapters, which I invite you to skim or skip around. Each chapter is self-contained, offering education, real-life vignettes, talking points, and an easy self-care activity to try. The vignettes are based on real clients I have worked with, yet all personal information, names, and identifying characteristics have been changed to preserve and protect their privacy and confidentiality.

Chapter 1 explains what substance use disorders are and how they affect everybody. In chapter 2, we'll discuss the many behaviors and family roles that one may assume in the face of a substance use disorder. Here we'll explore the addictions arsenal of denial, blame, manipulation, and secrets, as well as the differences between codependency and prodependence, as we learn how to empower our loved ones in healthy ways.

Exploring treatment options is a mighty task. There are so many different options, and it's hard to know which is the right path to take. Chapter 3 will help you discover the many options available, and the benefits of consulting with an unbiased professional to help you make the right decision. We'll also explore ways to talk with a loved one about seeking help.

We all know life is messy; it's no surprise that the road to recovery is likewise full of speed bumps, hiccups, and green, yellow, and red lights. Chapter 4 offers insights as to the meaning of recovery, the emotional roadblocks to recovery, and how to grow as a family member and best support your loved one. Chapter 5 discusses the importance of self-care in the midst of a loved one's substance use disorder, and how to incorporate self-care into daily living. Finally, chapter 6 celebrates the hard work you and your loved one are doing, and sets the stage for building resiliency, celebrating yourself, and discovering joy.

Along the way, you'll be invited to experiment with some effective self-care activities, ranging from developing a gratitude practice, hitting pause, taking five, and breathing, to mindful meditation, walking, journaling, and being of service.

While Addiction in the Family focuses primarily on substance use disorders, it is also relevant for those whose loved ones experience process disorders (for example, digital, shopping, gambling, eating, or sex addictions), as well as those who experience co-occurring mental health disorders.

Thank you for reading, I am honored and humbled that you stopped by today. I invite you to share your journey with me. Please contact me at 619-507-1699, [email protected]. You have my word that I will always greet you with kindness and professionalism. It is my goal to inform, inspire, education, and help your family heal.

Addiction in the Family is available on Amazon.

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Dr. Stanger has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW, BBS #4581) for over 35 years, and specializes in substance abuse disorders, process addictions, mental health disorders, sudden death, trauma, grief and loss. She is an Ivy League Award winner (2019 Interventionist of the Year from DB Resources in London and McLean Hospital – an affiliate of Harvard), educated social worker, popular author, internationally renowned clinician, interventionist and speaker and an expert on mental health, addiction, process disorders and chronic pain. She gets to the heart of the matter in helping families because she’s passionate about bringing hope and healing to loved ones.

More info at www.allaboutinterventions.com.