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  1. 1. The Family Roles of Addiction How the problem of addiction can imbalance our family roles...
  2. 2. Question to ponder... When a family member is an alcoholic (or chemical addict), how do you think it affects the family? How do you think it affects the individuals in the family?
  3. 3. Let’s take a look at family roles... Addiction throws off the “balance” of the family roles. New roles will be formed to relieve the pain, restore the balance, and keep the family together! The new roles will also take attention away from the addict, unintentionally allowing him or her to avoid facing the real problem
  4. 4. The “Star” of the show! “The Star” -often times a parent The star is the addict. The role is called the “star” because the addiction has such a large impact on the way the family functions. The star is usually in denial, and is blinded by his/ her chemical addiction. Many times, the star struggles to fulfill their family responsibilities. Who will help take over their responsibilities for them?
  5. 5. “The Chief Enabler” “The Chief Enabler”- usually a spouse Enablers knowingly or unknowingly do things that allow the addict to progress in their addiction, and many times help the addict hide from the consequences of their behavior. Enablers may make excuses for the addict, deny the problem, blame other circumstances, or even defend the addict’s behavior. Who will take over the responsibilities that the enabler is supposed to fulfill?
  6. 6. “The Hero” “The Hero”- usually an older child The hero tries to do as much as possible to help the family out. They are usually perfectionists or overachievers, and many times are also in denial of the family problem.
  7. 7. “the forgotten child” “The Forgotten Child”- usually a younger child The forgotten child may spend time alone to escape the problem. They can experience social difficulties (Imaginary friends, make believe play), and may be very shy. They also may have a hard time talking about their feelings or problems.
  8. 8. “The Scapegoat” “The Scapegoat”- May be any family member The scapegoat will unwillingly assume the blame for the family, instead of the addiction itself. The scapegoat may get into trouble often, have a “rebel” or “I don’t care” attitude, and takes attention away from the drinker.
  9. 9. “The Clown” “The Clown”- May be any family member The clown, not unlike the scapegoat, takes attention away from the addiction or problems. This person tries to provide comic relief to help the family during stressful times.