Helping Families Understand Substance Abuse vs Addiction

Helping families understand alcohol or drug use vs abuse vs dependence, aka addiction, can be a key first step for the family members seeking help for a loved one. This is not to be confused with an intervention, where the objective is to send the loved one to rehab following the session. Rather this to provide an information session so that families (with or without the loved one whose substance use is of concern present) can fully understand what’s at issue.

Helping Families Understand Alcohol or Drug Abuse vs Alcoholism | Addiction

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 its substance abuse or addiction, for example) is a first step. To further your understanding and answer questions, I provide a variety of Family Consulting and Coaching Services.

Armed with this knowledge, families and the person with the substance misuse problem are better able to let go of some of the blame, shame, denial and anger that gets in the way of moving forward or making next step-decisions. It can also serve as an intervention of sorts, and if the person with the substance abuse problem is present, it often prompts them to take next steps to address their drinking or drug abuse problem.

To get a better sense of how I use simplified brain and science-based research in my consulting sessions with individuals and families, please watch my short, 10 minute video, “Alcoholism is a Disease and It’s Not Alcohol Abuse.”  Additionally, you may find the following articles helpful, as well:

What’s at the Core of Addiction?

Shatter the Shame of Addiction

5 Reasons People Relapse After Years of Sobriety

Why to Addicts | Alcoholics Lie, Cheat and Steal

Treating Addiction Like Other Chronic Diseases – We Don’t Make People Wait to Treat Their Heart Disease

I have recently written two short eBooks to further help families (and the person struggling with their substance misuse):


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



To learn more, please call 650-362-3026 or email To learn more about Lisa, click here.