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Mar 28, 2018

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When addiction strikes a family, it often breaks up into a series of roles. These roles are typically similar to the family member’s past behaviors. These roles are many but the most common ones can be described in the following way: the person suffering from addiction, the enabler, the hero, the scapegoat, and the mascot. While not every family will be large enough to fill these roles or the many others, members do change roles at various times.

The person who is struggling with addiction is obviously the focus of the family unit in this circumstance. The role of everyone else will be reliant on the way they interact with this person.

When there is addiction in a family, the whole family is sick. Family is deeply involved in the struggle with addiction, which means it is very important for them to become involved in their own recovery. This is not just about supporting the individual overcoming the addiction, but about creating a healthy environment for themselves.

What came first to mind?

When you first came in, how did you see your disease affect your family?
Do you see the hero, scapegoat, enabler in your family?
What do those labels mean to you?
Why do you think these people fell into these roles?
What was communication like with your family of origin when you were using?

How do you see recovery affecting your family of origin?
How does recovery affect your immediate family?

Exploring the past is important in recovery, why is this true for you?
How do secrets and denial keep a family sick?
Why are secrets and denial common in the alcoholic family?

Is there alcoholism in your family other than you?
Is there recovery in your family other than you?
Is your immediate family part of a recovery program?

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Mike from FLA