Addiction Mandy Kloppers

Why Codependency and Addiction Are More Connected Than You May Think

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Many people don’t realize that codependency strongly comes into play when there is the presence of addiction. Most people can’t help being codependent, whether it’s the addict themselves or the loved one who’s not an addict. To better understand how this works, let’s dive into the realms of codependency and what it is.


What Is Codependency?


Before being admitted into any cocaine addiction center or any rehab facility, the professionals are first going to determine if there is the presence of a codependency relationship. Codependency is the relationship where one partner has extreme physical or emotional needs and the other partner spends their time responding to those needs, often to their own detriment. This can result in a difficult spiral that’s hard for the person to break out of, especially when there is an addiction involved. This is because the loved one does everything possible in order to maintain the addict’s destructive behaviors.


The Signs of Codependency


Some of the most common symptoms of codependency include:


  • Caretaking: the person feels that their primary purpose is to care for others, often at the expense of their own self-care.
  • Obsession with relationships: the codependent person feels defined by relationships and can become obsessed with them.
  • Low self-esteem: the codependent person can feel unloved outside of a relationship since they rely on the opinions of other people in order to experience any kind of self-worth.
  • People-pleasing: they put a lot of weight on the opinions of others, and will do anything necessary in order to have a positive opinion of them.
  • Unhealthy/absence of boundaries: the codependent person doesn’t have any sense of boundaries, for themselves or for other people. They may offer unwanted advice, manipulate others in order to feel secure or feel responsible for other people’s feelings.


How Codependency And Addiction Are Harmful


Because of the nature of the codependent, they feel the need to be responsible for the thoughts and actions of the addict. They may also try to solve the addict’s problems by controlling or manipulating them. But because they are not likely to be successful, this can lead to feelings of resentment and anger. Over time, this can lead to mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

A codependent person will also put others’ feelings before their own in order to boost their own self-worth. Because of this, they become totally absorbed by the addict, catering to their wants and wishes at the expense of their own needs.

Codependency doesn’t necessarily occur with drug abuse but it is first recognized in relation to family members of alcoholics.


Codependency will not disappear simply by leaving a codependent relationship because it has been ingrained in the individual for so long. It is a long-term process that requires changes in thinking and behavior so that they can develop self-worth and good habits for themselves. If you know someone who is in a codependent relationship with an addict, then it would be best to speak to a mental health professional to provide them with the help they need.

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.