Family Roles In Addiction

Family Roles In Addiction

Family Roles in Addiction

In an addiction-affected family, the roles of family members are altered due to the substance abuse problem. These roles may include enabler, lost child, mascot, or scapegoat. Addiction changes these roles, which can interfere with healthy family interactions. If you think your family is affected by addiction, you should consider addressing the problem before it becomes worse.


Family members who enable the addiction may be referred to as scapegoats. In this role, the enabling family member denies the addiction and tries to make the situation seem better. They may also take on a martyr’s role and make excuses for the addict, trying to restore family harmony. These family members often have low self-esteem and experience anger and guilt. They often engage in behavior that is harmful to themselves and others, or they are even involved in criminal activities.

These roles develop over time and most family members are unaware of why they act the way they do. They may get defensive or angry if someone asks them about their role. This reduces their desire to change. Moreover, they believe their current beliefs are effective and valid, which makes it difficult to explore new ways of acting. Addiction erodes relationships in families and destroys the family system.

Enablers usually act as the addict’s closest friends. They may do more chores around the house and take on additional responsibilities. In addition, they may try to minimize the chaos in the family by using humor. Enablers are also in denial about the extent of the addiction and will make excuses for the addict.

Ultimately, family involvement is essential for overcoming an addiction. Depending on the addiction, family members may either help the addict by being there or enable the addiction. Through addiction treatment, family members learn their roles in the addictive household and how to provide support, set boundaries, and change mindsets. This way, family members can prevent themselves from being negatively affected by addiction.

Lost child

The lost child is an individual in the household who feels invisible and is not well-cared for. This person has difficulty making decisions, building meaningful relationships, and socializing with family members. This person is often the middle child or youngest in the family. If you or someone you know suffers from this role, you should seek help.

The Lost Child seeks privacy away from the chaos in the family and avoids socialization. This child is often shy, emotionally disturbed, and lacks the ability to form relationships. They also tend to ignore other members of the family and engage in fantasy activities. If the problem seems too much to handle, the Lost Child may act out.

When a family member is addicted, it is common for someone in the family to act as a scapegoat. The scapegoat provides the family with an object for their frustration, allowing the chemically dependent parent to take the blame away from them. This allows the addiction to continue and progress.

The Hero role is another role that occurs in a family. A hero is a role similar to the caretaker, but a lost child often assumes this role. They try to restore the dysfunctional family, while hiding their own feelings of fear and pain. The hero role also has its disadvantages: they may struggle internally while trying to cover up the addiction. They may experience anxiety and depression, and their actions may enable the addict.

While it’s important to be aware of family roles and identify them, it is possible to overcome them. Family members must develop coping mechanisms and ways to stop tolerating the behaviors of the addict. Ultimately, the family needs to help their addicted loved one get help. But a lot depends on the level of cooperation and support from the rest of the family.


The Mascot is a role that a family member plays in the life of a person with addiction. The mascot is often the victim of family anger and defiance and can also be the scapegoat for the addict. This role can cause a person to be withdrawn and struggle with anxiety and depression. Moreover, the person who is the scapegoat often suffers from behavioral problems, such as under-performing at school. In addition, they may engage in risky or violent behaviors.

As the youngest child, the Mascot often assumes the role of a mascot. This role is similar to that of a class clown. The mascot tries to make others laugh to mask his or her own discomfort. In other words, the Mascot tries to distract others from the pain and anxiety of his or her loved one with addiction by putting them in a happy frame of mind.

The Mascot is the youngest child in the family, and they struggle with emotions and attention. This means that they usually develop addiction as a result of poor coping skills or deflection strategies. They are also very restless and often unable to focus and fail to develop strong decision-making skills.

In addition, a Mascot’s role can also be unsettling to those around them. In addition to being boring to their family members and friends, a recovering Mascot may be unnerving to their co-workers. Despite this, they should be taken seriously. This is the best way to protect the mascot from negative attitudes.

Another role that a mascot takes in a family is that of the hero. This role is similar to the caretaker role in that it attempts to restore balance and order in the household. In addition, the hero role is usually assumed by a more mature or self-sufficient individual. This individual often strives to keep up the outward appearance of the family and to avoid the emotional turmoil that accompanies it.


A family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may be referred to as the enabler. This role involves covering up mistakes and feelings of guilt. The enabler can also become the family class clown or martyr. A loved one in recovery may have a different role in the family. It is important to know the different roles that each member may have in the recovery process.

The scapegoat role is often played by the oldest child in the family. This role can be harmful, as this person will take on responsibilities that are out of proportion to their developmental stage. They may also become obsessed with perfection. If not addressed, this role can get the family into serious trouble.

The Lost Child role may also be played by a family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The scapegoat responds to the stress of the addiction by avoiding conversation about their role in the addiction. They may feel guilt, loneliness, and neglect, and may attempt to evade responsibility.

The lost child role is usually filled by the middle or youngest child. Often, this child is shy and withdrawn. They often feel unimportant and ignored by the rest of the family. The lack of attention can affect the child’s self-esteem and ability to develop meaningful relationships. The child may also struggle socializing with other people and making decisions.

The primary enabler is the individual who takes on the role of caring for the substance user. These individuals often put all other relationships on hold to provide for the substance user. This role is destructive to the family system, and often is perpetuated by feelings of guilt and shame. However, it is often necessary for the family to work together and repair its relationships.

The family mascot has an important role. They try to distract others from the stress of the addict’s life. They may try to distract the family by engaging in dangerous behaviors. Usually, this role is played by the youngest child.

Family Roles In Addiction

Conclusion On Family Roles In Addiction

As a recovering addict, I have heard the terms’ family roles in addiction thrown around a lot. It’s one of those things that can make you feel ill at ease or embarrassed if you aren’t a straight Christian. However, in my experience as a recovering addict, family roles in addiction really do apply to the full spectrum of family structures and relationships. For a Christian family to understand the nature of these roles, they need to get into the mindset that they are all in this together. That doesn’t mean that one isn’t a victim or doesn’t hold a grudge, but it does mean that the Christian family really does need to get each individual accountable for their part in their recovery.

understanding Family Roles In Addiction 

To truly understand how much trauma can impact a family, it’s helpful to first be cognizant of the various six roles in addiction that are often present. They are: The Addict, the Emotional Supperer, the Dependent, the Loved One, the Pier, and the Witness. It’s not enough to just know these titles, since many family members suffer from one or more of these disorders themselves, which can complicate recovery even further.

The addict is the first role, we’ll examine in terms of family roles in addiction may go hand-in-hand with the others. The addict has to realize that they have a responsibility to take care of themselves and fulfill their needs through any means available to them. This includes using drugs, using substances in excess, not eating, and performing all other activities necessary to stay healthy. An Addict may experience things like extreme mood swings, sleep deprivation, and even thoughts of suicide. It’s important for an Addict to recognize that they have a problem and that they need help.

Dependent on another person for survival can be a very dangerous position for an addict to assume. Especially if that other person is a parent, then the Addict may end up feeling responsible for doing all things possible to keep the family afloat while the addicted parent struggles with their own mental illness. It’s also not uncommon for the Dependent to become a sort of “sucky fan” for their own symptoms. The mascot is the last role we’ll discuss, but it’s certainly an important one. The mascot is typically the most heavily involved in a child’s life, so it’s important for the family to consider how the addict will handle being apart from their loved one and trying to adjust to their new role as a dependent.

I would note that the mascot is one of the least liked by addicts. This is because the addict doesn’t want to feel any sense of responsibility or obligation towards their loved ones. Unfortunately, this is just one of the ways that the addiction process manifests itself. When a family has learned that roles their family member should fill and are unable to shift their addict’s behaviour to reflect that kind of responsibility, they’re likely to find that the resulting enabling behaviours and patterns are just what’s known as “unfair”.

It’s important to remember that our mental health is precious. Just as physical health is equally important. Family members need to learn about the dynamics of healthy boundaries between dependence and enabling, healthy conflict and healthy resistance. This is an essential step for families who want to help their loved ones recover from addiction and achieve true wellness.

Related: Addiction And Family

Family plays an important role in addiction call us if your family member is in need of treatment.

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