La Fuente understands that for families and friends of drug or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most challenging aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment. La Fuente is also keenly aware that LGBTQ people and their families often also have unresolved early childhood trauma related to coming out or being neglected as a result of sexual preferences or identities.
The role of family is an integral part of recovery. La Fuente is committed to community, and families form the backbone of any community. Repairing and restoring damaged relationships is extremely important, and family support can make all the difference.
Dysfunctional Family Roles and Addiction
The actions and behaviors of an addicted individual often put a tremendous strain on family relationships. Not only are the direct connections between the substance-dependent individual and family members affected, but relationships within the family as well. In an effort to cope with the strain, different roles emerge within the family dynamic.
These roles go by many different names, but a few of the common types are:
The Enabler often makes excuses for the substance-dependent family member. They smooth situations over and serve as a buffer between the rest of the family and the addicted individual. This is ultimately detrimental to recovery because it fails to hold the person accountable for their drug or alcohol addiction and excuses their behavior.
Within a dysfunctional family dynamic affected by addiction, the Superstar seeks to draw all the attention by overachieving. They never let the family down, exceed all expectations and look good doing it. The result ultimately hinders recovery for the affected family member because it merely deflects attention away from the affected family member and does not hold them accountable or set boundaries.
This dysfunctional family role is almost the opposite of the Superstar. Instead of overachieving, this family member creates more problems. While not necessarily drug or alcohol-related, the Disappointment creates problems at work, school, or home to draw attention away from their substance-dependent family member. Naturally, this does nothing to help the family member struggling with addiction and only adds further stress to an already dysfunctional family.
Naturally, there are other roles that family members can adopt, but they all have one thing in common: they fail to promote accountability in the addicted family member. They either excuse the behavior and actions destroying the family or deflect attention away from the issue.
Helpful and Productive Family Roles
A healthy family role encourages behaviors that are supportive of recovery. Instead of enabling the family member struggling with addiction, the family promotes choices and actions that hold the individual accountable. A reward system for positive outcomes based upon healthy decisions and actions is more productive than shame, scorn, or blame.
A loving but firm caregiver who sets boundaries and instills accountability is an example of a healthy, productive family role. Family has a tremendous impact on an individual’s continued recovery.
La Fuente Hollywood Family Therapy Program
La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center encourages your family members and loved ones to attend our Family Days, where they can begin their own recovery by addressing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions of the disease of addiction.
Family Program at La Fuente:
- Family dinner gathering and meeting with loved ones and other families
- Education and orientation on addiction within The Family System
- Presentation by clinical staff
- Multi-family groups
- Introduction to Al-Anon
- Family sessions are provided for each client