Restorations Therapy Blog

Family Roles in Addiction

by on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Family can play a big part in how much a person’s addiction can grow as well as recovery. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says that addiction can place a lot of stress on family which impacts the family unit, mental and physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics. By knowing the six common dysfunctional roles that family members play, you will see how important it is to get help in order to keep the family together.

“The Addict”

The role of “the addict” is the focus of the family. This involves helping, enabling, or protecting this person in order to make sure the family dynamic stays the way it was before. As “the addict’s” behavior still continues, family members will have to pick up more responsibilities than ever before.

“The Caretaker”

The role of “the caretaker” is also the role of the enabler. This person’s job is to cover up “the addict’s” problems and responsibilities to make sure that no one in the household notices something is wrong. That can mean constantly bailing that person out of the jail or giving them money to supply their drug dealer.

“The Hero”

“The hero” is responsible for fixing up the problems “the addict” causes. This person suffers problems of their own in that they want to be strong for their family by protecting everyone, but are dealing with their own pain of seeing “the addict’s” destructive behavior and impact on the family.

“The Scapegoat”

This role is different from “the hero” in that this person causes defiance and hostility towards other family members. Maybe “the scapegoat” is tired of never having attention which involves acting out. Taking care of “the scapegoat” can make it harder to protect “the addict.”

“The Mascot”

“The Mascot” provides comedic relief to the family as their way of making things better. “The mascot” does not want to feel any anxiety or depression. This person feels powerless to what is happening and wants to prevent any unpleasantness with comedy.

“The Lost Child”

“The lost child” is the most quiet one in the family. This person does not want to deal with the drama “the addict” is bringing. This will cause that person to avoid all interactions and disappear into the background. The best thing each family member can do is help the one struggling with addiction seek treatment to ensure a stable environment for everyone. 

Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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