According to the Federal Reserve’s annual report on economic well-being, 25% of Americans belong to a family affected by substance abuse disorder. Addiction is often known as a family disease, as the impact of one individual abusing substances can be seen on the entire family. The stigma and other challenges that come with addiction often break families. However, a supportive and loving family is crucial for the recovery journey of the addict. Here is everything you need to know about the role of the family in addiction recovery.
Different roles played by family membersIn a family with addiction problems, members often take up various roles that create a dysfunctional system. These roles include:
The hero:A hero or savior is the perfect member of the family with good looks and an overachiever in everything they do. Such a member usually compensates for the family's shame and stigma about the addict.
The mascot:A mascot provides comic relief that a family needs during stressful situations. They keep the environment light with jokes and humor.
The lost child:Someone in the family hides away from everything physically and emotionally. They try to avoid conflicts and show emotions but suffer deeply internally.
The scapegoat:Someone in the family is blamed for the situation. They try to create distractions to move the attention from the individual with substance use disorder all the time.
The caregiver/enabler:They are someone who promotes drug use by overlooking the actions of the addict and often saving them from the consequences of their actions. They usually end up being why drug addicts stay on that path for a long time.
Healthy roles family members play in addiction treatmentThe dysfunctional roles are pretty standard, and they may need help to get out of the situation. However, there are healthy roles that family members of an addict can play to support them. A family member can provide the support and strong love an addict needs to overcome their addiction in a positive role. They can stay with them through treatment and therapy sessions to provide physical and emotional support to those suffering from the disorder needs.
Ways a family member can help a patient going through outpatient treatmentYou can do several things to help your family member suffering from addiction.
- Encourage them to seek help: The first thing an addict needs is to realize that they are an addict and need help. You can talk to your suffering family members and encourage them to seek help from an intensive outpatient treatment program.
- Join family therapy sessions: Go to weekly counseling and therapy sessions with your family members. Share your feelings regarding the entire issue and help them cope with the situation. Try to prevent relapses by creating a peaceful environment at home.