Family Roles of Addiction

Decent Essays
Kirsten M. Holley
Substance Abuse
Chapter 5-6 Exercise Family Roles of Addiction

I have never thought of myself as someone who had to deal with the struggles of addiction, I never had a problem with drugs or alcohol so the whole topic of substance abuse wasn’t really important to me. After reading more into the chapters of my book I now know that even if you are not the addict that doesn’t mean you are not caught up in the problems that addiction brings. Addiction is a disease that affects the family as a whole and sadly enough there are many real life situations where this occurs. “As the addict becomes more and more disabled by addiction, family members adapt to accommodate the changes in the addict.” (Ferguson,
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They make excuses for negative behavior in the family which in return just encourages the negative behavior to continue. The mother plays this role; she buys the wine for dinner every night knowing that one bottle will not be enough even though her husband will be the only one drinking. She chooses to pretend that everything is okay and that her happiness is not as important as her families and as long as she keeps up the acting eventually everything will be good. She takes all of her husband’s joking insults with a grain of salt and goes behind any mess he makes with a broom ready to clean up after him. She knows that their family is not as finically well as her husband likes to boast about but she tries to keep them afloat the only way she knows how. To her hitting rock bottom is not an option and she knows that confronting the problem will just make her life even more of a mess. These roles of addiction make such an impact on each individual and until the family can recognize their situation and identify what role they are taking place in then the family will continue their dysfunctional ways. “The overall goal in letting go any of these roles is to stop doing the work for the addict.” (Wood) By stopping these roles you force the addict to deal with all of his/her consequences from their addiction and choices they have made. Not only do you force the addict to tackle his /her own problems but you also allow yourself to be free
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