Recognizing Codependency in Addiction: What It Is and How to Address It

Family members talking to one another, codependency and family dynamics in addiction.

Codependency can be a complicated emotion involving feelings of love, fear, and remorse. Codependency is frequently overlooked, but it is an essential aspect of addiction treatment. Understanding what codependency is and how it contributes to addiction is the first step in dealing with it. This blog post will explore the concept of codependency and its association with addiction and provide some recommendations for addressing it.

What is Codependency?

Codependency is a relationship dynamic in which one person becomes overly dependent on another. A codependent person might feel that their happiness, security, or sense of worth is linked to the other person's well-being. They might also enable or excuse destructive behaviors like addiction. Codependency may occur in the family setting, among friends, or in romantic relationships.

How is Codependency Related to Addiction?

Codependency is common in families affected by addiction. Family members may frequently come to the aid of their loved one struggling with addiction, covering up their behavior and making excuses for them. As a result, codependents may sabotage their loved one's recovery or enable their addiction. They might feel responsible for fixing the problem and, as a result, ignore their own needs.

Recognizing Codependency

To recognize codependency, it is crucial to pay attention to how you feel in your relationship with the person struggling with addiction or substance abuse. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you feel compelled to help them even if it’s detrimental to your own well-being?
  • Do you make excuses or cover up their behavior?
  • Do you prioritize their needs over yours?

If you said yes to any of these questions, you might be codependent and unknowingly enabling their destructive behaviors.

Addressing Codependency

To address codependency, it is essential to set boundaries and prioritize your own needs. Establishing boundaries might be challenging, but it is an essential step to recovery. Start by saying no to certain requests made by your loved one, especially if you know it will be detrimental to your well-being or their well-being. Learn to detach from their addiction; in other words, recognize that their addiction is not your fault, nor should it define you. By detaching, codependents give their loved ones the opportunity to hit rock bottom and seek help.

Seek Professional Help

Recognizing and addressing codependency requires professional help that should be sought from a detox center where the person struggling with addiction is in treatment. Treatment centers have therapists specializing in codependency and family therapy. Codependent programs include education about the codependency trap, support groups where you can share your experience, and continued therapy to deal with the emotional effects of being in a relationship with a person struggling with addiction.

Codependency is a prevalent and overlooked issue that often occurs in families affected by addiction. Understanding what codependency is, how it contributes to addiction, and how to address it is essential to ensure successful recovery for both the addicted person and their loved ones. By setting boundaries, detaching from the addiction, and seeking professional help, codependents can overcome their addiction and lead a healthy, happy life.

If you or someone you love has an addiction and needs help, know our compassionate team at Decision Point Center is here to help. Learn more about our mission or contact us by calling (844) 292-5010 or visiting our website.

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