From personal experience I can tell you that co-dependency is a very normal and natural reaction when a loved one has an addiction that they won’t address or face. Addicts we care about know how to push all of our co-dependency buttons.

At first we might buy in to all of their rationalizations, justifications and outright denial—”It sounds reasonable that he only uses every once in awhile.” Or, “She only drinks on weekends, so it’s not a big deal.”

When we finally admit that our loved one has a problem it’s natural to try and control them, to force them into changing, i.e., searching out their secret booze or drug stash and throwing it out; issuing threats that we’ll kick them out if they don’t stop; spying or following them around, etc.

When our attempts to control or force them to change fail, we may descend into feelings of frustration, anger, depression and hopelessness. At this stage the addict is largely in control of our emotions—we’re becoming an emotional reflection of their behaviors, mood swings, binges, hangovers, etc.

Finally, in an act of self-survival, we may reject the addict altogether.

The problem with any of the “co-dependency” tactics listed above, and many others is that they allow the addict to deflect responsibility and find excuses to keep drinking or using.

Here’s a brief article that summarizes co-dependency and give a few quick pieces of advice for putting the focus back where it belongs—on the addict and his or her responsibility for their own recovery!

If you need some advice on how to deal with an addicted loved one, call us (801-475-4673)and we’ll guide you on the steps to take. We also have a free Family Education and Support Group meeting every Monday night with one of our professional team.


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