Dangers of Codependency in Addiction

By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: December 19, 2011

No one likes to see their family member or loved one live their life being ruled by alcohol and drug addiction. The problem that many people face who have a family member or loved one suffering with addiction is that they help support the addiction in many ways. This codependency behavior is a catch 22. They don’t want their loved ones abusing drugs and alcohol but they still help them support their habit. The reasons why people fall into the trap of supporting a loved one’s addictions is endless. Ignoring the problem, avoiding mood swings, and escaping drama are just a few reasons why people choose to enable their loved ones. When it comes to alcohol and drug addiction there is such a thing as loving someone to death.

One never knows when a drink or drug is going to kill them. Sometimes, the best thing that can help a family member or loved one fighting with addiction is to create healthy boundaries. Addiction doesn’t just affect the addict. It causes destruction and worry to his or her entire family and friends. While it seems so obvious that boundaries should be created, so few are able to successfully do it. It is completely possible to love a person while still protecting yourself from their destructive behavior. By continuing to help someone with an addiction is enabling them to continue their addiction and alcohol and drug abuse. It could be helping them get more drugs and alcohol (giving them money) or getting them out of trouble that their addiction has gotten them into.

Helping someone to continue self-destructive behavior is merely acting as a codependent. Addiction treatment centers around the country offer family programs that help to teach how to create healthy boundaries with the alcoholic or drug addict. Supporting an addict that is in recovery is much different than supporting an addict in active addiction.