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Is Your Codependency Hurting Your Loved One In Recovery?

When a loved one is sick from addiction, it’s often family and friends who come forward to seek help. Treatment centers often work with parents, partners, and friends who only want what’s best for the addicted person. You may know your loved one has a substance use disorder, but not how to get them help.

Unfortunately, there’s a danger of “helping” your loved so much that they can’t get the treatment they need. This kind of help often leads to codependent enabling. This can be a severe problem for loved ones, even when the addicted person enters recovery. You may not know how to give it up.


Understanding Codependency & Enabling


Codependent enabling happens when you take care of a loved one even when they are equipped with the tools to take care of themselves. For example, if you have an addicted person in your family, you may decide that they need your help paying rent because they have used up their funds on other things, such as drugs. Or, you may promise to pick up a person from a bar, no questions asked, whenever they get too drunk to drive. Over time, this person comes to rely on you for a ride home every evening, taking advantage of your goodwill.

Enabling prevents the addicted person from facing the consequences of their behavior. The addicted person will get what they want from the enabler, and the enabler, in turn, will become codependent.angry codependent couple

So where does codependency come in? When the addicted person is happy, that makes the enabler feel “happy,” even when unhealthy patterns have been established. More and more of the enabler's time goes into "fixing" the other person, to the point you may resent them and neglect your own life. You may give up friends, lovers, and hobbies to "help" this person.

Enabling and being codependent hurts both parties. The enabler drops everything in their own life to take care of the addicted person, and the addicted person pushes the limits of their addiction, knowing that there are few consequences to endure alone.

People help their addicted loved one out of love, but when you help them with things they can obviously handle but choose not to, you’re infantilizing them. Your loved one can sit in a jail cell overnight when they’re arrested for being drunk in public. They can pay for their own taxi rides home. And if they need to keep their cell phone on, then they need to earn the money to use it. Even when a person is afflicted with a substance use disorder, they are still an adult. If you don’t set limits, they will continue to spiral without feeling like there are any problems.


Getting Help for Codependency

Codependency can make you miserable, and enabling can prevent your loved one from seeking or accepting help for their substance use disorder. In treatment, there is usually family therapy can help you learn together about breaking old patterns.

There are also meetings that can help you cope with your own patterns and your loved one. Enabling doesn’t give you any control over their actions, but places like Al-Anon and Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) can help you find the support you deserve to break the cycle of codependency and enabling.

There is aways help available for those who are willing. If your loved one is ready to quit using, give us a call to learn more about treatment options. Or better yet, ask them to give us a call at (619) 363-4767.. All calls are 100% confidential.



Read Full Bio
Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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