Family Structures of Drug Dependent Individuals

  • Edward Kaufman
  • Pauline Kaufmann


Seventy-five families of former narcotic addicts were studied in New York City and Los Angeles. All patients were in residential treatment at the time of the study and they and their families participated in a multiple family group which was the source of almost all of the data. The most common pattern is that of a mother and son who are enmeshed prior to the onset of drug abuse. The father is excluded and reacts with disengagement, brutality and/or increased consumption of alcohol. However, these patterns vary in different ethnic groups, e.g., Italian and Jewish fathers tend to be quite enmeshed with their addict sons. The role of the sibling is too often neglected. Siblingó are divided equally into fellow addicts whose drug abuse is fused with that of the identified patient and highly successful parental children. Addict spouse pairs tend to duplicate patterns which they have developed in their family of origin.


Drug Abuse Family Structure Family Therapy Residential Treatment Sibling Pair 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Kaufman
    • 1
  • Pauline Kaufmann
    • 2
  1. 1.California College of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Phoenix HouseUSA

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