Where there is active addiction, drugs, alcohol or behavioural problems, there is usually one or many family members who are profoundly affected. As people progress into the disease of addiction, it is most normal for spouses, parents, children and siblings to become increasingly preoccupied with the behaviour of the addict. Confusion, chaos, anger, despair and fear become embedded into the family system. Families adapt to the addictive behaviours with unhealthy defenses that further destroy the fabric of the family (refer to codependency workshop to elaborate on unhealthy coping mechanisms).

Families do not know how to deal with the disease of addiction and unknowingly contribute to the progressive dysfunction and breakdown in the relationship with the addict and all other family members. It is imperative for family members to understand their personal role in the family dynamics in order to repair and restructure their own lives.

By meeting with a family counsellor, you can take the first step towards ending the chaos, even if the addict does not seek help.


Group Dynamics for Families Tuesdays - 1:30-3:00pm (Pre-registration required)


This group is dedicated to helping family members who are suffering due to a loved one's addiction.

Our family group involves individuals who all share the same experiences. Whether it be a child, spouse, sibling or parent, the chaos and inability to live in the status quo are what bring family members to the realization that their lives have become unmanageable, and what they are doing is not and has not been working. With other group members and a facilitator, we explore and gain understanding of what is in our control to change and what is not.


Parenting Workshop - 6-Week Course (Pre-registration required)


Our philosophy at Chabad Lifeline embraces the idea that improved communication skills between parents and their children can enhance or create positive relationships. By cultivating a safe and trusting environment in the home, children can feel more confident to speak to their parents at challenging times in their life that may include experimentation with alcohol, drugs, sex, bullying and peer pressure.

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, will challenge standard parenting tactics by teaching innovative and practical hands-on techniques to help children respect themselves and their parents.