In order to get someone who is struggling with substance abuse the help they need, specific actions need to be taken. A common problem between those with a drug or alcohol addiction and the people around them is the development of codependency issues.
An issue similar to enabling, codependency can worsen a person’s struggle with substance abuse, making it all the more important to understand how to manage addiction and prevent this connection from developing.
Codependency in Addiction
What is Codependency?
Codependency develops when a person indirectly or directly encourages someone struggling with alcohol or drug abuse to continue their habit. While enabling is the action that allows a person’s addiction to continue, codependency is the relationship itself between the two people.
Where Does Codependency Develop?
While codependency can develop between any two individuals, it’s often common in relationships, either familial or romantic. This is often due to the fact that a loved one does not require a person struggling with addiction to face the consequences of their disease, essentially teaching that person that their behavior is acceptable and does not warrant any change.
Signs of Codependency
Those who become codependent with someone struggling with addiction often exhibit certain behaviors, such as:
An extreme need for approval from others
An unhealthy dependency on the relationship (they will do anything, including excuse poor behavior, to hold onto the relationship)
Fear of being alone
A tendency to consistently do more than their share of work
Difficulty adjusting to change
A sense of guilt when asserting themselves
The Difference Between Codependency and Proper Helping
As you watch someone you care about battle addiction, you may feel obligated to help them — but it’s essential to help them in the proper way.
If you exhibit enabling behavior, such as making excuses for their behavior or absences, or help them financially as their addiction hurts their wallet, you may be forming a codependent relationship that allows their addiction to continue.
To properly help a loved one, you need to directly address their disease and work to get them into a professional program that puts them on the path of sobriety.
Residential Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Pennsylvania
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