Role of the Family in Addiction, Recovery, and Mental Health

Role of the Family in Addiction, Recovery, and Mental Health

Season 1, Episode 12

Host(s): Dr. Larry Force, Andrew O’Grady, Elisa Gwilliam

Guest(s): Brenna Hackbarth, Eileen Linn

The INTERSECTIONS Exchange team is joined by Brenna Hackbarth, a recovering alcoholic and advocate for addiction recovery, as well as her mother, Eileen Linn to discuss the impacts of addiction on family dynamics. At 13:30, Linn and Dr. Force describe the work families have to put in to be proactive in their loved one’s rehabilitation and recovery.

Topics Discussed

  • Difficulties associated with acknowledging addiction
  • Importance of family and community to successful recovery
  • Support before, during, and after rehabilitation
  • Taking recovery one day at a time
  • Including family more in recovery


Key Quote(s)

  • “Denial is such an unbelievable thing. It robs you of your intelligence and your intuition.” – Eileen Linn
  • “Families tend to recover slower than individuals because so many bridges have been burned.” – Dr. Larry Force
  • “During my addiction, I was tired of not living the life I knew I could.” – Brenna Hackbarth


INTERSECTIONS is an innovative, peer delivered, modular self-care program developed by the National Organization of Adult Addictions and Recovery (NOAAR) and Mental Health America of Dutchess County.

Addiction, chronic illness, and mental health are dimensions in our lives that isolate us. They isolate us from ourselves, from others, and from our spirit. INTERSECTIONS helps us connect and reconnect to reach our full potential.

INTERSECTIONS promotes the reduction of reoccurrence, improved maintenance of recovery plans, and success within family systems and the community.

Modules include:

  • Orientation
  • Meditation
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Mindfulness
  • Personal Visions and Goals
  • Spirituality

INTERSECTIONS is based on a theoretical orientation called The Theory of Dimensionality and is rooted in a Practice-Based Intervention, Dimensional Solution Based Treatment (DSBT).

“We cannot fix you because you are not broken … everybody has stuff. We are all in Recovery from something.”

About MHA Dutchess County

Mental Health America of Dutchess County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure nobody gets left behind in our community due to lack of mental health services. Our staff and volunteers work day and night to:

  • Strengthen families
  • Overcome fear
  • Help people dealing with anxiety
  • Link individuals to the supports they need
  • Provide safe spaces to heal
  • Break down stigma
  • …and much, much more.