It is common for couples who are in love to begin merging various aspects of their lives. However, this can become a problem when couples start to abuse drugs or alcohol. When this occurs, one person might contribute to behaviors that maintain the abusive habits of the other person. From making excuses and covering up questionable behaviors, to helping them conceal their addiction from their friends and family, codependency results in one person constantly making compromises that fail to adequately address the underlying issues associated with drug and alcohol abuse.
Forms of Codependency
When it comes to a codependent relationship, there are usually two sides. One person serves as the manipulator while the other is the enabler.
- Manipulator: The person who is struggling with addiction is most often the manipulator in a codependent relationship. The manipulator is able to persuade the people who are close to them whenever they need money for their addiction. These people tend to have a major influence over their partners and will not hesitate to use this to get what they want.
- Enabler: These people are often timid and usually enable and encourage the manipulator’s behavior. Whether this encouragement is done knowingly or unknowingly varies from case to case. Often, the enabler ends up losing their own identity to meet the needs of their loved one’s addiction, which can result in low self-esteem and the fear of being abandoned.
This type of behavior can be self-destructive and ruins both relationships and lives.
Consequences of Codependency
If you are in a codependent relationship, drug abuse and addiction can make the situation even worse. For example, let’s say that a husband has a drinking problem but his wife enables his behavior. Instead of seeking help for the husband’s addiction, she continues to give him money for alcohol because she thinks if she doesn’t, he will just get it on his own. Because the wife in this example just wants to do things that will make the manipulator show them attention and love, she ends up finding herself in a codependent relationship. The husband becomes dependent on the wife to feed his addiction and the wife becomes dependent on the husband for attention and self-esteem. If this self-destructive cycle continues, it can end with someone dying or being hospitalized.
If you think you are in a codependent relationship, you should call our team of drug rehab professionals at to get help.
How Do You Treat Codependency & Substance Abuse?
The first step of treating a codependent relationship is to first admit that there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. This admission can come from the intervention of friends and family or the advice of a professional.
Enablers can speak with a therapist to work through their issues that make them passive, while the manipulator can get help through substance abuse treatment. The two can also seek codependency treatment that will help them learn how to build a healthier relationship.
Are you or a loved one in a codependent relationship? If so, our drug rehab professionals in Scottsdale can assist you. Call toset up a free assessment today.
Dr. Greg Gale has been practicing and providing leadership in the field of psychiatry, substance use, and integrated care in the Phoenix metropolitan area for over 11 years. He joins us from his role as a national medical director overseeing behavioral health, substance use, and integrated care services for Humana Behavioral Health. Previously, he was CMO and VP of Clinical Services at Partners in Recovery, a not-for-profit behavioral health and substance use service organization, which operates five clinics throughout Maricopa County.