The image one often has of an addict is that he is alone. Lonely. Huddling in a dark corner by himself, drinking down the last drops in his bottle, or shooting up alone.
But the reality is, barring mental illness, an addict does not usually live in a bubble. Often, he or she lives with his family, justifying his drug abuse by blaming them for his problems—they are too critical/disorganized/dysfunctional, and therefore he “has no choice” but to use just to “stay sane.”
His family knows it’s not their problem but his problem. And they live in fear—fear that he’ll overdose, fear that he’ll get into trouble with the law or his place of employment, or fear of how the family will look in society.
So they cover up for him. Check up on him. They beg him to change. The addict makes promises that he probably wants to keep but knows he cannot. And the cycle begins again: he uses, they unintentionally enable by covering up and believing his promises.
The addict and the members of his family are in a codependent relationship (CoDA). The entire family system revolves around the addict. It’s for this reason that as much as the addict needs treatment, so does the addict’s family – whether or not the addict himself seeks treatment!
An addict’s family members can become empowered. They can gain the tools to develop a healthy relationship with the addict, set boundaries where necessary, and expect to be treated with respect.
Once the spouse and/or parents begin to set healthy boundaries, the addict often then chooses to seek treatment.
Escape from unhealthy codependency
If you are close with an addict, the biggest favor you can do for him or her is to get tools for yourself.
Retorno offers an outpatient center for people struggling with all types of addictions, including codependency. Our expert staff can help you recognize and rectify your codependent relationship to find healing for your loved one and yourself. Call us today or just fill out the contact form and click Send.Please share this post!