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Professional Addiction Studies

Building holistic skills for health professionals.

Program is offered entirely online!

ADD 208 - Families and Addiction- Winter 2022

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
42 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Admission to Professional Addiction Studies program required.
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Van Vu
Course Dates:
01/10/2022 - 03/20/2022

Required Course Materials:
Custon Courseware, avaiable for purchase from The Campus Store; Other materials provided within the course content
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:

The course offers a systemic approach to working with families and addiction. The influence of substance use on family dynamics and the concept of co-dependency and its relevance in the context of treatment will be examined. How ethnic and cultural issues, age, gender, mental health and family violence differentially impacts the family’s overall functioning will be examined. Students will practice effective ways to engage families in treatment, conduct assessments, and set treatment goals.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

1.         Recognize what constitutes family or support systems
2.         Describe the influence of substance use on family dynamics, and the effects of family on the treatment process
3.         Critique the concept of co-dependency based on current literature, research and clinical experience
4.         Identify potential barriers when involving family in addiction work
5.         Describe theoretical approaches that influence work with families
6.         Develop a family assessment and set treatment goals
7.         Examine family treatment interventions and counseling used in addiction work
8.         Examine how ethnic and cultural issues, age, gender, mental health and family violence/trauma in the context of the family’s life cycle can differentially impact the families overall functioning

Course Evaluation

The final grade is calculated based on the following components:

Discussions (20%)
Assignment 1: Family in the Treatment Process (20%)
Assignment 2: Assessment and Treatment Planning (30%)
Assignment 3: Treatment Interventions and Challenges (30%)

Course Format:

This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in Families and Addiction and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:

Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):

In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled. Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.


*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.


It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at


The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.

  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.

  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Academic Accommodations:

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.

On-line Elements:

In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.

Course Changes:

The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.

Course Withdrawal Policy:

Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (

Grading Scale:


Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages








































Course Schedule:

Module Topics


1 - Family Intervention in Addiction Work

2 - The Evolving Family

Discussion 1

3 - Stress and Addiction on the Family

Assignment 1: Family in the Treatment Process

4 - Co-Dependency

5 – Family Work and Co-Dependency

Discussion 2

6 - Barriers and Challenges to Family Engagement

Discussion 3

7 - Family-Based Theoretical Approaches

8 – Family Assessment and Treatment Planning

Assignment 2: Assessment and Treatment Planning

9 - Family Treatment Approaches and Counselling

10 - The Family Context

Assignment 3: Treatment Interventions and Challenges