Photo by Jacqui Morley

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”  Sun Tzu – ‘The Art of War’.

Who is the Enemy? Let’s be clear- it’s Addiction itself that’s the Enemy, not your child.

Understanding Addiction is vital if you are going to emerge from the unmanageability of life with an Addict in the family. You’ve got to know what you’re up against so you can use the strategies on this site and take steps to outwit this disease.

Notice in Sun Tzu’s quote above that you must also know yourself. Families are like ecosystems round our Addict and unwittingly, we enable his addiction. But once we recognise our part in this and take steps to deal with our own character flaws, great progress can be made. Find out more about that in the other sub-categories of  The Parent’s Journey on this site.

Addiction is a technical subject. To explain it thoroughly, I’m bringing in the expertise of a professional who has worked in the field for many years.

In the course of my journey through the minefield of Addiction with my son, I met Karen Odell Barber. Karen is a consummate professional with a deep understanding of Addiction and she is a gifted counsellor and strategist. She has advised many families on how to navigate this minefield and give their child the best possible chance of recovery.


Karen Odell Barber is Founder and Vice President, Clinical Outreach for The Eagan Institute in California. She brings 21 years of experience as an adolescent and young adult therapist. She is an Arizona Regent Scholar and studied at the London School of Economics after she completed her undergraduate degree. She completed her master’s degree in counselling at San Francisco State University, with post graduate training in addiction treatment from UC Berkeley.

Karen’s parents are English and she holds dual US/UK citizenship. Karen lives and works in California.