For Families

Help for friends and families of alcoholics | drug addicts | substance misusers | persons with a substance use disorder or someone who drinks too much or abuses drugs is as important as helping the person with the substance misuse problem. I know. I am such a family member and friend. Unfortunately, it took me decades before I finally understood this, and it is for that reason that I am so deeply committed to helping the family members and friends understand the complexities and inter-connectedness of all of this. It takes this sort of understanding in order to appreciate what a person can do to improve their own lives – right now, today – as well as help their loved one.

Understanding Alcohol or Drug Use | Abuse | Dependence  aka Substance Use Disorders

Often families and friends are at their wits end by the time they are visiting a site like this. Helping them understand what it is they may be dealing with (whether it’s substance abuse or addiction, for example) is a first step. Helping them understand the stress-related impacts on them of coping with a loved one’s substance misuse behaviors (aka Secondhand Drinking | Secondhand Drugging) is equally important and the key to helping them recover their own mental and physical health and quality of life. To further these understandings and answer common questions, I have recently written two short eBooks:


Now available through most eBook retailers.

Now Available from Most eBook Retailers.

Now Available from Most eBook Retailers.


Quick Guide to Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn’t 

Quick Guide to Secondhand Drinking: A Phenomenon That Affects Millions




Individual and Family Addiction Education Consulting and Coaching Services

I am a Nationally Certified Family Recovery Coach (NCFRC) and always available for initial phone calls from readers who have found my work through an Internet search or referral from a friend, therapist, or treatment center and want more information or just to talk. My number is 650-362-3026, and I’m in California on Pacific Standard Time. There is no charge for these initial phone calls, and if I don’t answer, please know I will call you back.

If after an initial phone call, you would like more help, I offer the following education consulting and coaching services:

  • Family Consultations – a comprehensive educational session during which time I share the research behind the facts about addiction (substance use disorder) as a brain disease, the difference between addiction and substance misuse, how a person develops the disease, what constitutes effective treatment, why co-occurring disorders treatment (meaning to have both a substance use and mental disorder) is critical to long-term recovery, how the family can and cannot help, and similar topics. The person with the substance use disorder is more than welcome to participate (or not).
  • Individual Recovery Recovery Coaching – this consists of working with me as a professional Family Recovery Coach via phone or Skype or in person to expand one’s understanding of the topics just mentioned above AND to receive coaching on what one (the family member) can do to help themselves regain their physical and emotional health and quality of life whether their loved one seeks treatment or not.
  • Finding Effective Treatment Consulting – there is so much out there to learn and understand in order to identify treatment that will be effective for YOUR loved one. I help people become informed consumers of effective treatment. I do not make referrals to specific treatment centers, but I do help people identify what they should be looking for based on what they tell me of their loved one’s situation, including the list of questions they will want answered when contacting a potential treatment center in order to make their final decision. I also help them narrow their search to the centers that meet their criteria.
  • Continuing Care Plan Consulting – once the stay in rehab is complete, the “Now what?” and fear of a relapse and what to do if there is one can be crushing. I work with families to develop a Family Continuing Care Plan (CCP) that involves the person in recovery and the family members with whom they will be living or engaged with after rehab. It is an important step toward ensuring long-term recovery by helping all concerned talk about the issues, action plans, agreements, boundaries, continuing care needs, and the like. A CCP is not a “be all, end all,” rather it’s a beginning. The process provides a way for family members to express their fears, hopes, expectations, and understandings in a safe, moderated setting to develop a “game plan” for how to proceed.

Please know I am not a therapist nor medical doctor.


If you don’t find what you are looking for, please use the contact form to send me a confidential email or call me at 650-362-3026 (PST). I have been researching, writing and consulting in this area since 2003 and can help you find the answer(s) for your particular situation. The important important take-away is that there is hope and a way out. It really can and does get better.