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Codependency: Addiction's Best Friend

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You’re struggling with an addiction. The person who lives with you can choose to worsen your condition or contribute to your desire for treatment. How is codependency addiction's best friend? If your loved one decides to support your drug habit, that’s a learned behavior, which mental health professionals call codependency.

How Dysfunction Creates Codependency

Imagine a child who grows up in a family with someone suffering from an alcohol use disorder. That child learns early on how to deal with the issue.

When the disease continues without any adults intervening and acknowledging the problem, the child learns denial and avoidance.

This person grows up and becomes an adult, and now finds themselves in a relationship with someone struggling with an addiction. That individual now takes on the role of the self-sacrificing caregiver who puts the addict’s wants first. Subconsciously, he or she mimics the actions adults took in the past.

Subconsciously, we often mimic the actions we observed adults take in the past.

Why Codependency Makes Addiction Worse

In daily life, a codependent spouse bails out an alcoholic who’s in jail for drunk driving. Other examples include parents who blame schools for teens’ drug use and colleges for young adults’ amphetamine habits.

Because individuals in the caregiver role fear losing a relationship if they don’t “play ball,” the behavior continues.

However, there’s also a dark side to the practice.

Because co-dependent people hunger for the approval of others, they thrive when people notice their victim roles. There’s also an underlying need for control. By making a substance abuser dependent on their cover-ups, these spouses freely vent their anger at times. They won’t change, and the people with the addiction problem won’t either.

Codependent Family Members Need Help Just Like Those with an Addiction

Codependency-Addiction-Best-FriendCodependency allows addictive behaviors to thrive. It protects those struggling with addiction from the consequences of their actions.

Because there’s no incentive to change, addiction worsens.

However, it also gives someone with drug dependence the excuse that it’s the other person’s fault.

In short, you’re dealing with a vicious cycle that calls for expert intervention. The best course of action is to help your loved one find residential treatment at a professional rehabilitation center. Removing these folks from the toxic home environment that makes accommodations for using is the first step toward healing. Next, the co-dependent family member needs to get help as well.

Codependency allows addictive behaviors to thrive.

It’s highly likely that this individual would benefit tremendously from the trauma therapy.

Think back to the early childhood scenario we mentioned earlier. It’s clear that many of the issues stem from that time and need to be addressed.

Sometimes, codependent people don’t want to seek help. However, not getting help jeopardizes their loved one’s future sobriety.

How The Clearing Can Help

At The Clearing on San Juan Island, Washington, our residential rehab multiple therapies to aid in both you and your loved one’s recovery, including:

  • Spiritual Psychology
  • Self-counseling techniques training
  • A progressively building program
  • Intensive counseling
  • A group healing experience

If you’re stuck in a co-dependent situation but want to break free from addiction, there’s help. Call The Clearing today at 425-275-8600.

Download E-Book Heal Underlying Core Issues


Gregg Makuch

This post was written by Gregg Makuch

Gregg helps get the word out about The Clearing. When he’s not riding his bike and enjoying the beauty of the San Juan Islands, Gregg loves to cook and spend time with his family.

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