When addiction is present within a family, it can lead to a shift in roles among family members. Here are some common family roles that may emerge in the context of addiction:
Enabler: This person may facilitate or minimize the individual’s substance use by making excuses, covering up for them, or giving them money or access to drugs or alcohol.
Hero: This person may strive to overachieve and excel in an attempt to distract from or compensate for the family member’s addiction.
Scapegoat: This person may be blamed for the family member’s addiction or other problems and may act out in response to this blame.
Lost Child: This person may withdraw from the family system and isolate themselves in an attempt to avoid conflict and stress.
Mascot: This person may use humor and charm to distract from or mask the family member’s addiction.
Caretaker: This person may take on the role of caring for the family member with addiction, neglecting their own needs and becoming overly dependent on the individual.
It is important for families to recognize and address these roles, as they can perpetuate dysfunction within the family system and contribute to the individual’s addiction. Family therapy and counseling can be helpful in addressing these roles and developing healthier coping strategies and communication patterns.