Codependency: What To Do If Your Loved One is Addicted
When someone you love has become addicted to drugs or alcohol you may find yourself trying to protect them from the consequences of their own actions. You believe that by doing all in your power to help that person recover, to help that person stay on the straight and narrow path, all will be well. However, there is a fine line between offering healthy support versus harmful enabling behavior.
Enabling is often seen in relationships between addicts/alcoholics and codependents. Enabling behavior occurs when a codependent person, either directly or indirectly, takes on the full responsibility for tidying up the wreckage of the addict’s self-destructive actions or makes excuses for their conduct.
Rescuing someone or solving someone’s problems may seem like a caring and compassionate action, but in the case of the disease of addiction, trying to control another’s harmful and destructive abuse of chemical substances is an impossible task. What you can do is to focus on your own life, your own well-being.
Only when the addicted person is faced with the consequences of their actions, only when the realization that they have hit rock bottom and have no one there to pick up the pieces of their self-destructive behavior/conduct will they be able to come to the realization that they need professional help.
When we find ourselves trying to fix another’s problem or if we find ourselves needing to help the other person for the purpose of feeling our own sense of identity – then we are dealing with co-dependency. There may be times when we all battle some form of co-dependent behavior but when the struggle becomes all-encompassing and affects one’s emotional, spiritual and physical well-being, then it’s time to seek help.
In my next blog we will delve into the patterns and characteristics of codependent behavior (or codependency).
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. At The Treatment Center, we help our patients experience hope and healing from their addiction. Regardless of what substance you are addicted to, The Treatment Center can help you break free from the chains of addiction. Call us now at 877.392.3342, or chat with an admissions counselor online. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays.
Judi Jenett is the Family Program Coordinator for The Treatment Center.