Family Roles in Addiction

Reflections Recovery Arizona Services After Inpatient Treatment

What are the family roles in addiction

Addiction rehab doesn’t just affect the person who is dependent on drugs or alcohol; it reaches into the lives of friends and family, too. Relatives will often share pain and fear. Family roles in addiction and addiction treatment are an essential part of the process. When the loved one enters treatment, the family feels like they’re left behind to pick up the pieces. Family addiction rehab services for counseling and treatment are a core element to how Reflections achieves success.

That isn’t the case at Reflections Recovery Center. Recovering from addiction is a truly collaborative process between our providers, the client, and his or her family. From access to a family communication specialist to quarterly workshop events, families feel valued in the treatment process and come away armed with more knowledge on family roles in addiction, and about how addiction works and how to better support their loved ones in recovery.

Communication Specialist Importance of FamilyFamily Addiction Rehab FAQsEnabling Assessment

Rehab and Family Roles in Addiction

At Reflections Recovery Center, we believe healing from addiction involves friends and family. Between the questions that clients have and the stress of a new situation, family can be an anchor in the storm, helping addicts find a steady and clear path to sobriety. We believe our family addiction rehab services are key to client success for all parties.

Likewise, the professionals at Reflections Recovery Center benefit from additional information about the client, and reaching out to those who understand the client best is essential to understanding some of the causes of the addiction. Insight into a person’s history can guide the treatment methods we use, making the rehabilitation process even more effective.

We solicit the family’s input prior to finalizing their loved one’s treatment plan after admission. Afterward, we stay in constant contact with the family as their loved one progresses through rehab, and we even invite family members to visit our facility periodically.

Once the individual has graduated from our program, they and their family can always reach out to our team members anytime with questions about recovery and relapse prevention. This is including referrals to support groups, therapists and other medical professionals.


The Reflections Family Communication Specialist

Consistent and effective communication is so important to our methods of recovery. We have a dedicated professional who works solely to improve and maintain relations among the client, their family, and their therapists. To make things even more personal, our clients see only one specialist for the duration of their recovery. Rather than being shuffled around to multiple people and starting at square one with each new specialist.

Our Family Communication Specialist will:

  • Provide weekly updates to approved family members. Recovery involves everyone, and we want those with our clients’ best interests at heart to have updated and relevant information.
  • Be available. Loved ones can contact our specialist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for instant answers.
  • Serve as a liaison. Our specialist is trained to relay requirements between parties.
  • Provide guidance. We want our clients and their families to have all the resources and instruction that they need during this process.

happy baby and family

The Importance of Family Roles in Addiction Rehab

Usually, the best support team for anyone suffering is family. The love and encouragement family offers can help in an addict’s transformation journey.

Though the help and advice from professionals goes a long way, nothing compares with what a loved one can offer. We truly value involvement from friends and relatives here at Reflections Recovery Center. Our discussion around family roles in addiction and treatment is essential. Because of our commitment to working through addiction with the help of their loved ones, we’ve designed special events to give clients a boost from the ones who mean the most to them.

Each quarter, we host a Family Weekend. This two-day workshop was created to educate family members about addiction. They’re taught about the recovery process and given communication techniques to provide extra encouragement to their loved one during treatment. There are also workshops available to inform them about family roles and dynamics for a more prepared and promising future.

The event consists of many other enlightening and fun activities that give the clients a chance to interact with family in a healing and positive environment. If you have any questions about our family services or the Family Weekend events, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Family Roles in Addiction Rehab FAQs

Learn even more about how addiction impacts the entire family. Do this by reading through our answers to a few frequently asked questions about addiction in the family:

How Do Enabling and Codependency Impact Addiction Within a Family?

To put it simply, enabling prolongs the addiction. The longer you allow the individual to abuse drugs or alcohol without sending him or her to treatment, the more you signal that this kind of behavior is OK.

When it comes to addiction, enabling means taking over responsibilities that the addicted loved one should be able to handle on his or her own. This could take the form of making excuses for them if they miss work or an appointment. Enabling also manifests as providing shelter, money or meals to the addict.

Enabling keeps the addict or alcoholic from feeling the full consequences of his or her behavior.

Most people understand that giving someone drugs or alcohol directly or that letting them borrow a large sum of money would be considered active forms of enabling an addiction. So while many families of addicts avoid actively enabling the substance use, they often overlook the more subtle forms of enabling, such as those mentioned above.

What Is Codependency?

Codependency is when two or more individuals rely on each other for things they can’t provide for themselves. When it comes to codependency, it is important to discuss family roles in addiction. Just like enabling, codependency prolongs the addiction, as well. In fact, codependency can be considered an extreme form of enabling.

In a codependent relationship, an addict may rely on the loved one for drugs and alcohol directly, or at least for a stable place to live while the substance use continues. The non-addicted individual relies on the addict for attention, love or a false sense of purpose. For other cases, the addict may be the breadwinner. In such instances, the codependent loved one is afraid to call out the substance abuse – or actually do anything tangible about it.

In any scenario, the codependent relationship usually can’t be broken from the inside. It typically takes someone from outside of the relationship to identify the problem and help the addict get into treatment. Seeking an intervention for these individuals is the best way to break the codependency and ensure the loved enters a professional treatment program.

Why Do So Many Families Not Seek Help for Addiction?

Families neglect or outright refuse to seek help for a loved one’s addiction for a number of reasons, but here a four of the most prominent:


Many parents of addicted children worry that their loved one’s struggles are an indictment of their parenting abilities. So, they try to hide or make excuses for the situation, or they might cast the child out and cut off communication.

Basically, these parents are too proud to admit defeat and send their child to rehab. Many fathers, in particular, have a hard time with this. So, they tend to try to take matters into their own hands, doing everything short of enlisting help from professionals.

But, if dads and moms would let down their guard and help their child get into treatment, then they would get to show their true mettle. As parents in supporting the child through every step of the recovery process.

Financial Concerns

Let’s face it: Rehab isn’t cheap. Neither are doctors’ visits or meetings with therapists. Many families write off getting treatment for a loved one because they think, “We could never afford that.”

While it’s true that many families may not be fully covered – or not covered at all – if they try to use their insurance plan to get a loved one into a rehab program, most treatment centers offer additional payment options. Financing options are available at many treatment centers, and some will even help you cover a portion of the costs via scholarship.

The point is, don’t give up hope if the costs of rehab sound too expensive. Think of all the money your loved one is wasting on drugs or alcohol in the meantime. Think about how his or her substance use has drained or will eventually drain your finances, too. The price of rehab likely pales in comparison to the costs of letting an addiction rage on uninhibited.

Underestimating the Situation

The average person doesn’t know all of the ins and outs of addiction. So, they truly may not know how to handle it when it happens within their family. They may write it off as “just a phase,” or they may think that setting certain rules and parameters with the loved one will bring the addiction to an end. In other situations, families may simply be in the dark about the extent of their loved one’s substance use.

It’s important to remember that addiction is the only deadly disease that many families think they can handle on their own without professional intervention. Even though they often truly can’t. Once someone is legitimately addicted, there’s almost nothing the family can do to stop the substance abuse for good. Unless they reach out for help from professionals.

Quiz: Is Your Son Addicted to Alcohol?


We explained codependency just a moment ago, and it certainly applies here. Individuals who are codependent with an addict are comfortable with the status quo. They know they might not be in the healthiest of situations, but they see this as a better alternative than “losing” the loved one to rehab and an ensuing lifestyle change.

Thus, codependents are afraid of making such a big change in their lives. This keeps them from seeking help for the addiction. What persists is all of the drama, heartache and, possibly, abuse within the relationship.

What is the family role in addiction to Take On During the Recovery Process?

Family members play different roles as a loved one is actively addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some will be crippled with guilt, others are in denial, and then there might be someone – usually a parent – who takes a redeemer or enforcer role. A sibling also might try to draw attention away from the addict. They might do this by acting out and getting into their own trouble or by constantly cracking jokes to make light of the situation.

No matter the roles being played around the addict, the addiction persists until the family seeks help from professionals.
When the loved one begins the recovery process, family members and close friends need to shift toward various roles of support. Forget about past misdeeds, and focus on helping the individual get better.

For example, one person might take on the role of driving the recovering addict to support group meetings and medical appointments. A different loved one can serve as a dedicated sounding board to the recovering addict. They can allow him or her to share thoughts, struggles and fears, without receiving judgment in return.

We Offer Family Intervention Services for Those Needing a Professional Interventionist
Before Admitting a Loved One into Our Programs:


Addiction Enabling Assessment

Family involvement can either help bring someone’s addiction to an end, or it could prolong the drug or alcohol abuse. If you have a loved one that displays a worrisome level of substance use and no one has taken any formal steps to help put an end to it, then there’s a good chance you or someone else in the family is enabling this potential addiction.

Worried that you might be the enabler?

We’ve put together a 14-question assessment with yes or no answers that you can take right now. Based on your answers, we’ll determine if it appears that you are enabling. Then tell you how you can find help for yourself and your loved one, if that is the case.

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