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What is the Relationship Between Addiction and Codependency?

Have you ever seen that couple that despite disliking each other and having a terrible time just don’t seem to be able to stay away from each other? 

There is a high chance they are codependent on each other.

If this scenario sounds familiar, then stick around as we examine the relationship between codependency and addiction

What is Codependency?

Codependency is an obsession with someone—it’s like being addicted to a relationship or to love in an unhealthy way.

In the same way, an addict will take drugs despite them being harmful, they will attach themselves to an unhealthy relationship if they are codependent.

Codependency is a learned behavior, not something people are born with. Hence, it can be changed but also passed down to the next generation through learned behaviors.

Codependency is very common in couples associated with addiction. Usually, in a codependent couple, one person will be constantly seeking to satisfy the physical or emotional needs of the other, with little regard for their own. 

Oftentimes codependency can keep an addict from recovering.

For example, an addict might stay in a codependent relationship where there is emotional or physical abuse. This abuse might keep the addict down and fuel their need to get high and numb the pain.

Characteristics Of Codependent People

Codependent people are usually well-intended. In their minds, they are a caretaker and must go above and beyond to be loyal and loving toward those they care for.

Some characteristics of codependent people include:

  • Low or a lack of self-esteem
  • Finding it hard to be themselves
  • Difficulty making choices without approval
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Workaholism, gambling, or other addictive traits
  • Exaggerated sense of responsibility towards others
  • Confusing love and pity
  • Put in more than they get out
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Lack of boundaries
  • Get in trouble to cover for a partner
  • Feeling responsible for other people’s feelings

Addiction and Codependency

Addiction and codependency have many parallels. Therefore, it’s no surprise that addictive people may also exhibit this behavior.

The behavior is not only present in those who suffer from addiction, but it’s more common among them. For example, children can also be codependent. 

Many recovering addicts may choose to treat their codependent condition after seeking recovery. 

In many instances, they may realize that their relationship can’t continue if they want to remain sober as their partner could be detrimental to their mental health.

In other instances, addicts may choose to seek family therapy, during which the entire family will work through their cognitive issues and get better together.

Drug Addiction and Codependency: Dual Diagnosis

Codependency is technically not a mental illness or disorder but it still can make an impact similar to that of a co-occurring disorder.

Drug addiction and codependency mixed together can complicate recovery. Like with other dual diagnoses, one condition can exacerbate the other, making it challenging for the addict to get better without treating both conditions.

With codependency, things could get even more complicated. Complex conditions at home could turn out to be too difficult for an addict to handle.

A conflictive or perturbed partner may sabotage the addict’s progress, and as a codependent partner, the addict could cave right in.

If manipulation gets in the way the addict might be better off detoxing away from their partner or from any other conflictive relatives or friends. 

In this case, it’s critical that the addict resorts to inpatient treatment or sober housing to treat their drug addiction and codependency. This way they may keep a distance until the addict is ready and better prepared to deal with the situation.

A counselor or therapist in a rehab center may also be able to help by providing guidance and support to the addict on how to manage the situation. 

Are You Codependent?

If you believe you are codependent and can’t find a way out of your current situation then you need to seek professional help.

Drug addiction and codependency can be tough to fight alone and it could be dangerous if the relationship takes a physical turn.

If you or a loved one is struggling with codependency and addiction, then don’t worry! We are here to help!

90210 Recovery offers dual-diagnosis treatment and counseling for both addicts and families. 

Our holistic approach is designed to treat both conditions at its core and help you and your family get the help they need.

Contact 902010 Recovery today for a consultation and speak to one of our recovery experts today!


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