Codependency and Addiction

Codependence can sometimes be described as an addiction to another person rather than an addiction to a particular substance. As a substance use disorder becomes a drug addiction, even the closest and most stable relationships can begin to erode. It can be a challenge for a person suffering from codependency and addiction to build and maintain healthy relationships. If you are struggling with addiction and relationships are suffering from it, reach out to us online or call 833.685.1700 today to discuss how our family therapy program can help you break the harmful cycle of codependency and addiction and live a happier life in recovery.

What is Codependency?

Codependency is often defined as a relationship in which one partner has extreme physical or emotional needs, while the other spends the majority of their time responding to those needs. This often has a detrimental impact on codependent partners’ lives, activities, and the other relationships they try to develop and maintain. Codependency and addiction add another layer of difficulty which can cause a downward spiral where the codependent partner cares for and enables the loved one’s challenges, thus making it easier for the loved one to maintain the challenging or destructive behaviors.

Signs of Codependency

Codependency can be a harmful component in both addiction and relationships. Some of the signs and symptoms of codependency include:

Low Self-Esteem

The codependent person may feel unlovable outside of their relationship and rely on other people’s positive opinions to feel any sense of self-worth.


The opinions of others will carry an exorbitant amount of weight for a codependent person. They will go to great lengths to ensure that other people have positive opinions of them and, in doing so, may feel intense guilt or an inability to say “no.”


The person suffering from codependency may feel an urgent need to care for others, often at the expense of their own self-care. They may not feel secure or comfortable unless they are needed.

Unhealthy Boundaries

The codependent individual may have an unhealthy sense, or no sense, of personal boundaries, either for oneself or for others in their life.

Obsessed with Relationships

Because the codependent person feels defined by their relationships, they may become obsessively focused on them.

Codependency and Addiction

Codependency and addiction do not necessarily go hand in hand. The impact of addiction on relationships was first recognized in family members of people struggling with alcoholism, and codependency is still common in those who have close relationships with people who struggle with addiction. Codependency and addiction can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Partners who are both using and abusing drugs
  • Close adult family members or significant others of individuals using drugs
  • Children of people who are addicted to drugs

The codependent partner in the relationship is not necessarily a spouse. When it comes to addiction and relationships, codependent behavior can often be found in children. In fact, children of parents addicted to drugs and alcohol may become codependent when the addiction has gotten so bad that the child begins to feel the need to take on a caretaker role within the home because the parent is not fulfilling their responsibilities.

Treatment for Codependency and Addiction

When a person struggles with codependency and addiction simultaneously, treatments such as a family therapy program can help both partners in the codependent relationship. Having addiction treatment professionals work with the addicted person’s family members to modify codependent behaviors can have lasting effects even after completing addiction treatment.

In more severe cases of codependency and addiction, the codependent partner may be advised to seek their own treatment program. The medical professionals at Alina Lodge, for example, can provide behavioral and personal therapy to improve the codependent person’s self-image, their ability to set goals and boundaries and develop a stronger sense of self-worth. This will go a long way toward overcoming their addiction and improving the most relationships in their life.

Learn More at Alina Lodge

If you or a loved one are suffering from codependency and addiction, Alina Lodge can be the starting point for your family living a fuller, happier life. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 833.685.1700 today.

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