ROLES IN ADDICTION: Family Role 1, The Addict The person with the addiction is the center, and though the key to alcohol and drug addiction recovery, not necessarily the most important in family recovery. The "world" revolves around this person, causing the addict to become the center of attention. As the roles are defined, the others unconsciously take on the rest of the roles to complete the balance after the problem has been introduced. Recovery many times on this person. Family Role 2, The Hero The Hero is the one who needs to make the family, and role players, look good. They ignore the problem and present things in a positive manner as if the roles within the family did not exist. The Hero is the perfectionist. If they overcome this role they can play an important part in the addiction recovery process. The underlying feelings are fear, guilt, and shame.
Family Role 3, The Mascot The Mascot's role is that of the jester. They will often make inappropriate jokes about the those involved. Though they do bring humor to the family roles, it is often harmful humor, and they sometimes hinder addiction recovery. The underlying feelings are embarrassment, shame, and anger.
Family Role 4, The Lost Child The Lost Child is the silent, "out of the way" family member, and will never mention alcohol or recovery. They are quiet and reserved, careful to not make problems. The Lost Child gives up self needs and makes efforts to avoid any conversation regarding the underlying roles. The underlying feelings are guilt, loneliness, neglect, and anger.
Family Role 5, The Scapegoat The Scapegoat often acts out in front of others. They will rebel, make noise, and divert attention from the person who is addicted and their need for help in addiction recovery. The Scapegoat covers or draws attention away from the real problem. The underlying feelings are shame, guilt, and empty.
Family Role 6, The Caretaker (Enabler) The Caretaker (Enabler) makes all the other roles possible. They try to keep everyone happy and the family in balance, void of the issue. They make excuses for all behaviors and actions, and never mention addiction recovery or getting help. The Caretaker (Enabler) presents a situation without problems to the public. The underlying feelings are inadequacy, fear, and helplessness.
Addiction and the Family Healthy Family System: Self worth is high. Communication is direct, clear, specific and honest and feelings are expressed. Rules are human, flexible and appropriate to change. It is natural to link and be open to society. Each person has goals and plans to get there, and should be supported by the family.
Rules in a dependent or addicted family: Dependents use of drug is the most important thing in a family life. Drug use in not the cause of family problems, it is denial which is the root. Blaming others, don't make mention of it, covering up, alibis, loyalty of family enables. Nobody may discuss problem outside the family. Nobody says what they feel or think.
Family Roles Lead to Codependency (Please visit Family Roles and Codependency)