If an individual uses drugs in amounts that pose a threat to their health, it is called substance abuse or drug abuse. There can be several reasons for starting the abuse including a physical dependence brought on by a legitimate reason for the initial prescribed use or recreational purposes. Drug abuse, if it is not treated on time, can change the dynamics of an individual’s life as well as affect their job, friends, and family. Once the abuse starts, it is imperative that the user is confronted about their destructive behavior before it starts to affect their jobs, friends, and family. Many times the family can have this conversation without a trained drug and alcohol interventionist, and their doing so, should a drug and alcohol interventionist need to be involved at a later date, may help the second intervention seem like an ambush.

The Roles Family Can Play in Active Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction is a family disease in that it affects the entire family, even those are who are not abusing any drugs. Throughout the course of the family member’s addiction family members can unknowingly assume may roles. A good drug and alcohol interventionist will be able to recognize and consider these roles during the family meeting preceding drug and alcohol intervention. Several of these roles include:

The Mascot

(Usually the youngest child) These individuals try to make everyone laugh and make the situation appear better than it really is. They have the propensity to run from problems and use humor to solve them.

The Hero

(Many times the oldest child) These individuals try to make everything seem perfect on the outside but inside they isolate. They tend to be workaholics and have trouble with relationships.

The Scapegoat

The scapegoat is a member of the family who is blamed on the addict’s behalf. They deliberately create other concerns to direct attention away from the real issue. They’re very creative at deflecting the outsider’s attention from the addicted individual. Many times these individuals develop their own substance abuse problems, and these issues should be discussed prior to any drug and alcohol intervention.

The Lost Child

The lost child does not confront any incidents caused by the addicted individual’s habits. They are both physically and emotionally unavailable. The reason for not coming forward is that they don’t want to deal with conflict. They tend to hide their emotions and suffer silently.

The Enabler

This is the person who defends the addicted individual by excusing their vicious behavior. They are unwilling to hold the individual accountable for their actions. They may spoil the drug and alcohol intervention by preventing the addict from experiencing negative consequences. They adopt this behavior to avoid shame and embarrassment due to the poor choices of an addicted individual. In some cases, it is even observed that the rescuer stunts the addict’s behavior of recovery if they don’t change their actions. Many times these individuals have codependency issues that require treatment themselves.

Looking For the Right Place to Help You?

Here I Am Addiction Services is a specialized drug and alcohol intervention service that supervises family, friends, or co-workers as they interact with the addict. We understand how confusing the intervention process can be, and encourage you to take the right steps at the right time. From getting an intervention to re-integration into your community, we’ve got your back.

Get a free consultation today.

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