When you think of a system, there are things that might come to mind such as a car or the solar system.  Regardless of what you think of, a system is simply a set of connected things, which all have a purpose and function.  The family is a system connected through biological, psychological, and social effects and each member of the family has a purpose and function.  The family is a broadly used term that can mean members who are related through biology or it can mean the individuals who reside in one environment.  Family members are defined by their emotional connection to each other and usually behave interdependently of one another.

The family as a system is an important idea in matters related to addiction.  The one who is an addict serves a function but may be the one who feels more emotionally isolated from other family members.  The family system will adapt to the addict including their behaviors and emotions; however, family members may take on a specific role to help reduce the stress.  Living with an addict is not easy and uncertainty can exist in the home.  Through certain roles the non-addicted individual can learn to function amongst the chaos.  It is important to note though that the addict also takes on a role to distract other family members away from their addiction.  This individual is known as the scapegoat.  All problems in the family are the result of the addict’s behavior

There are other roles that family members adopt to relieve the dysfunction in the home.  The enabler is an important role as it keeps the addict from accepting responsibility for their actions.  The enabler will protect the addict to avoid embarrassment and to avoid conflict.  The enabler feels the need to have some control over difficult situations and will often “clean up” after the addict.  The enabler also makes excuses for the addict, which can minimize the consequences of the addict’s behavior.  The enabler may truly believe that they are helping the addict but what they are doing is the opposite.  Enablers need to learn to let go and allow the addict to experience consequences of their behavior.  Enablers might have a difficult time if the addict decides to enter a program of recovery.  When this happens, the enabler will have to adopt a new role as the enabling role will no longer serve its purpose.  The enabler can learn to help the addict but in more productive ways.

Hired Power is a recovery services family providing personal guidance so you can bring recovery home. From safe passage to recovery assistants, our goals is to support you every step of the way. Please call us at (800) 910-9299.

Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More

        HIRED POWER

        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at