Public Relations Blog

Unwelcome Inheritance by By Lisa Sue Woititz and Dr. Janet G. Woititz, Ed.D.

Unwelcome InheritanceIn 1983, Dr. Janet G. Woititz published a groundbreaking book, Adult Children of Alcoholics, which became the premiere work on the subject and remained on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 40 weeks. Her inspiration for writing it stemmed from being married to an alcoholic and seeing the suffering her children were going through, along with her desire to help others going through the same experience. Now, a new book further explores the reasons why adult children of alcoholics or addicts, “ACoA” for short, continue the destructive cycle and how to stop it.

No one is better equipped to carry the message than Dr. Woititz’s daughter Lisa, an ACoA and former program director of Institute for Counseling and Training, “Dr. Jan’s” clinic.  UNWELCOME INHERITANCE: Break Your Family’s Cycle of Addictive Behaviors (Hazelden; June 2015; $14.95; Original Trade Paperback) by Lisa Sue Woititz and Dr. Janet G. Woititz, continues the healing process by helping ACoAs understand past experiences and look deeper at how they live today.

This extension of Dr. Jan’s best-seller describes the characteristics of ACoAs and what it means to be codependent and explores how addictive behavior is part of an “unwelcome inheritance.” Also explored is how being an ACoA affects parenting and what to do when your child is using drugs and alcohol. Most important, Unwelcome Inheritance analyzes the power and ability an ACoA has to break the cycle. As a child of an alcoholic, Lisa Woititz also shares personal stories from her childhood. Each chapter concludes with questions or tips, along with a quote from Dr. Jan that additionally delves into these topics. Also included are Dr. Jan’s thoughts and advice through previously unpublished writings.


  • What adult children of alcoholics/addicts can do to help break the cycle
  • How looking at past family lineage can help ACoAs expand their views and gain a better understanding of the disease of addiction
  • Approaches ACoAs can take when their child is using alcohol or other drugs
  • Why reconnecting with an addicted parent could either be a step forward in the healing process or unhealthy and dangerous
  • How self-examination, letting go of expectations, and trusting one’s instincts all contribute to positive change

UNWELCOME INHERITANCE is a must-read source for anyone looking to break the cycle of addictive behavior for themselves and for the next generation.

Lisa Sue Woititz managed Dr. Woititz’s Institute for Counseling and Training for a number of years and has worked in the mental health, substance abuse, and criminal justice fields.

Dr. Janet G. Woititz, Ed.D., was the author of several books, including the seminal Adult Children of Alcoholics, and led the movement that made “adult child” a household name. She passed away in 1994.

Learn more about the Woititz family and their organization by visiting

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 16 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care to help youth and adults reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children’s program, and is the nation’s leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery.

Unwelcome Inheritance:
Break Your Family’s Cycle of Addictive Behaviors
By Lisa Sue Woititz and Dr. Janet G. Woititz
Hazelden Publishing
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1616495909
Original Trade Paperback/E-book
Price: $14.95
Pages: 160pp.