Drug addictions are often seen as personal experiences and many might not take into consideration the fact that drugs and other substances can turn loving and caring homes into battle zones. Support for family members can often be overlooked and seen as unnecessary, when in fact, it is just as important as the support given to the addict.
A family impacted by substance abuse often develops a dysfunctional system. where family members often take roles to cope with the unhealthy system. (Addiction center 2020)
These roles usually are
- The savior or the hero. They usually achieve things, look good, and never let the family down. They often compensate for the “failure” of their family and for the shame the family feels due to family members’ addiction. (Addiction center 2020)
- The mascot usually provides comic relief for the struggling family. They might use pain to minimize and deflect the pain they are feeling. (Addiction center 2020)
- The lost child usually hides out both emotionally and physically. They also avoid conflict and suppress their emotions. (Addiction center 2020)
- The scapegoat is the person in the family that gets the blame. They usually create other problems and conflicts to take the focus of the actual issue. (Addiction center 2020)
- The Enabler/Rescuer/Caregiver is sometimes unable to hold the individual accountable for their own actions. They smooth things over to keep the addict from facing consequences. (Addiction center 2020)
Family members often blame themselves for the situation they are in. Support groups for family members can help them deal with these emotions and move forward with their life despite the situation. Supporting family members is also a key factor in the recovery process. (Recovery centers of America 2020)
In our interview with our working life representative, our professional mentioned that having different peer support groups for drug addicts and alcoholics close ones is essential. Support for alcoholics family members is very different from the support given to family members of a drug addict. Different addictions also have different effects and this should be taken into consideration when planning services. Our professional also mentioned that municipalities need to offer more support services for people.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson