If a family member is dealing with addiction, you, and every member of your family are being affected. The effects on each person vary. Some may become preoccupied with the addict’s substance abuse, obsess about it and try to find ways to control it. Others may choose to avoid it, deny it or numb the issue. There are those who will avoid conflict at all cost, and remain silent. Some will surrender to a sense of helplessness and ignore or tolerate the addict’s behavior. Many take on the role of “rescuer” or hero. Some get lost in the family system. Whatever your role in your family’s situation, denial is a huge part of the disease of addiction. It is not only the addict who can deny or minimize their problem, family members who are at a loss as to how to help may begin to tell them self that the addict in their lives is “not that bad”. The fact is, the non-addicted members of the family become casualties of the disease, too; often focusing so much on the problem of addiction that their own personal needs are neglected. Relationships suffer. Lost sleep, anxiety, poor self-care, and depression can steal from the quality of life of the non-addict.