It’s All in the Family: Addiction is a Family Disease

It’s All in the Family: Addiction is a Family Disease

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: January 20, 2016

Ward Blanchard, LCAS, M.A.

January 20, 2016 Noon – 1 p.m. EST 1 CEU available Addiction is a family disease. Although the chemical dependency may only affect one (identified patient) within the system, the entire family dynamic is influenced by the disease of addiction. Addiction controls and overwhelms the life of the identified patient; similarly, the “obsession with the well-being” of the identified patient—can control and overwhelm the lives of family members. Family relationships within a diseased family system are characterized by worry, anxiety, and codependency and enabling. Consequently, members within the family system develop patterns of behavior and feelings that parallel what the identified patient experience. A family system suffering from the “dis-ease” of the disease of Addiction needs healthy boundaries and structure to cultivate a more functional system. Communication, self-awareness, continuing care, recovery tools, and boundaries are effective tools a family should utilize to treat the family disease of addiction. The more education, awareness, experience, recovery support, and professional support a family can gain—then the better chances that family has a long-term recovery, health, and happiness.


During the course of this workshop the presenter will explain:

  1. Addiction as a systemic disease within the family system dynamics
  2. Identified Patient and Family members experience paralleling processes
  3. Unhealthy family patterns and roles
  4. Healthy family patterns
  5. Long-term Family Recovery Process

Speaker Bio:

With a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, Ward has been working with families and addictions for the past decade. Working for 10 years in Southern California in some of the world’s premier treatment centers like the Betty Ford Center, Ward brings his therapeutic experience to Charlotte to help families heal from the disease of addiction.