Family roles in addiction can change, stay the same or even be manipulated by the addict. Family roles in addiction vary depending on who is addicted and the overall family dynamic. When addiction strikes, and it can strike anyone, there are changes in the family. Some people notice a change in the addicted family member while others are unaware that there is an addicted relative in the family. The latter can also be caused by denial as well. Family members love, and love can make people do strange things. When someone is addicted, a loved one may want to deny the problem. Denial can happen for many reasons, and is a major cause for addicts never receiving treatment. When you have a loved one who is struggling with drugs or alcohol, it is important to understand family roles in addiction.
Parents, Addicted or Not
The parent’s role in a family is to be the glue that keeps everything together. Parents are strong, selfless, caring individuals who go to extreme lengths to see that their families have shelter, food , clothes and extra money for fun. Sometimes the stress of being a parent can cause the mother or father to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is not unnatural when a parent is addicted, family roles can be turned upside down. Some children wind up becoming the provider of the house because the mother or father is too addicted. When a parent is addicted, it is important that the rest of the family steps in immediately help them and their children.
If you are a parent dealing with an addicted son or daughter, then the family role is more obvious. Family roles in addiction can change, but when the child is addicted it is crucial that the parents take change and force their loved one to get help. An addict, especially a child, may never go to rehab unless they are forced to. It is hard for a parent to make their child do something they do not want to, but it is important to look at the big picture and do what is best for your child.
Extended Family Roles in Addiction
As previously stated, every family dynamic is unique. Family roles in addiction are vital because there could be an Aunt or Uncle or Grandparent that can be the ultimate voice of reason. Extended family roles in addiction are just as important as the children and parents. For example, an addicted teenage boy may trust his cousin’s judgment more than his siblings or parents. Or an addicted father may listen to his brother over his wife or mom. Every family needs to understand their family roles in addiction in order to know what the right course of action is if ever confronted with an addicted loved one
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