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How Family of Origin Effects Addiction

Family of origin is a factor with our addiction to alcohol. Although we are alcoholics because we have an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind when taking that first drink, we can also have a predisposition for addiction through hereditary and situational circumstances. Family of origin also aides in the statistics of abusing alcohol higher in a few affiliated instances.

The family already has alcoholism in their household.

A typical structure of an alcoholic family is consisted of an alcoholic parent, a codependent parent, one child as a hero, and one child as the scapegoat. It becomes imperative to each family member to maintain their roles in this dysfunctional family setting because it is the only normalcy the family knows. These roles will generally stay with everyone until help from therapy is followed.

A hero takes on the role of the over-achiever and usually excels at sports and academics. The scapegoat is the member of the family that gets blamed for everything that goes wrong within the household. These personifications can be too much for anyone to uphold. The hero can become weary in keeping the par so high as well as feeling like they are only loved because of their achievements. The scapegoat can feel alienated much of the time because they feel responsible for all the negative aspects in their home. Both roles can cause undue stress that often leads to alcoholism because it is part of the cycle that was evident in the first place.

Along with the dysfunction of a family comes secrets.  

A dysfunctional family hides because “if anybody knew what was really going on inside our family, they would be appalled”. Secrets are a coping mechanism that help dysfunctional families stay active. Since the family already exhibits judgement and contempt within the family, the goal is to protect the family from the outside world doing the same. “We are as sick as our secrets” can be heard in many 12-Step programs. Keeping secrets creates a need for perfectionism which is one of the characteristics that make alcoholics want to continue abusing alcohol.

To live with secrets and alcoholism that occur in the family of origin are difficult tasks because they afflict our self-esteem and they make us feel inadequate. We begin to try to escape like our example of alcoholism did which keeps the cycle of alcoholism alive. Having alcohol readily from our family of origin can help the inception of our alcohol addiction that started with our very first drink.


Serenity Oaks Wellness Center seeks to adorn each client which comes through our 5 week program by taking their life and making it more beautiful with the tools of recovery. Call us today for information: 844-720-6847

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At Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we offer residential detox and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities to address the needs of all our clients. Our high staff-to-client ratio ensures everyone that enters our facility gets the personal attention they need and deserve for a safe and successful detox process. To learn more about our program, contact Serenity Oaks Wellness Center today at 844-720-6847.
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