Article 2 - Help for Families Facing Drug Problems



Addiction affects approximately 17 people close to the addict. Those most profoundly affected are the family, who need to be involved in treatment.


Families often anticipate that the professionals are going to “fix” the addict, with no involvement from them. However addiction is a lifelong illness which must be managed on an ongoing basis with the assistance of the family.


Families tend to fall into unhelpful roles when faced with addiction. Meaning well, they respond in ways which achieve nothing or exacerbate the problem. The most common  are the Rescuer and the Persecutor.


The Rescuer attempts to  “save””   the addict, e.g.  paying off  debts; making excuses about commitments not upheld.  Rescuers feel good about themselves, but are preventing the addict from experiencing any consequences, thus slowing down the process of recovery.


The Persecutor attempts to “punish away” the addiction, verbally or even physically abusing the addict, or making unrealistic threats. The Persecutor feels a sense of release, but just gives the addict someone to blame, and nothing changes.


At CTDCC we engage families throughout treatment. They are encouraged to accompany the addict to the assessment, are included in a number of sessions, and attend a half-day Family Workshop. This is a safe space attended by only family members, and is also open to families who do not currently have a member in our program. Families are educated about the nature of addiction, and empowered to respond appropriately


For further information please contact us on 021 – 4478026, email or visit