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Codependency and Addiction

Those suffering from addiction often also suffer from codependency. This is a familiar dynamic to family members and loved ones of the substance abuser and often overlooked by those who also have addiction issues themselves. Whether you’re a loved one of an addict or the addicted one yourself, there are valuable lessons to learn about codependency.

When recovering from codependency it is said to shift focus, from focus on the one suffering or recovering from addiction to the “self” so that healing can take place within. This is a difficult process as one may be so used to worrying, focusing on the addict, and fixing the “problems” alcohol and drugs are causing in their lives.

Like the oxygen mask on a plane, it is essential to focus on ourselves first in order to be supportive to another on the journey of recovery. In doing this we look at how we can heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually and how learning about ourselves can help far better than trying to help the afflicted one.

Learning to change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about addiction and recovery is what is taught in support programs and literature on codependency.

Smart Recovery Friends and Family, Alanon, CODA, and ACA are support groups for those who have been affected by someone else’s drinking or drugging. Realizing we’re not alone is very comforting when on this journey.

We need to receive so we can learn to give without losing the Self in the process.

Kristen Colton, CATC II
Addiction Counselor
AToN Center 888-535-1516