What is the Relationship Between Codependency and Alcoholism?

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What is the Relationship Between Codependency and Alcoholism?

If you struggle with codependency or you know someone who is a codependent alcoholic, there are ways to get help. You don’t need to continue relying on an unhealthy codependency that exacerbates your alcohol use. 

What is Codependency?

Codependency is a situation where one person is completely reliant emotionally and psychologically on a partner. Codependency can happen in a parent and child relationship, a sibling relationship, a regular friendship, or a romantic relationship. 

In most cases of codependency, one person enables another person’s self-destructive tendencies. With a codependent alcoholic, that means one person on whom the alcoholic is emotionally and psychologically dependent enables that alcoholism. Unfortunately, codependency and alcoholism are all too common.

For some, codependency means:

  • they can’t make decisions in their relationship, 
  • they can’t identify how they feel personally, 
  • they can’t communicate successfully, 
  • they have poor self-esteem, and 
  • they value the approval or opinion of their partner or someone else in that relationship more than theirs

Codependency and alcoholism can manifest in many ways. 

What are the Signs of Alcoholism?

There are many signs of alcoholism, including a strong need for alcohol. In most cases of severe alcoholism, an individual continues to abuse alcohol even though they know it causes problems in their personal life, they have problems controlling how much they drink, or the withdrawal symptoms are so severe that they cannot go about their daily lives without alcohol. 

Other signs include:

  • Delirium
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety or loneliness
  • Aggression and compulsion
  • Dizziness and shaking
  • Sweating
  • Cravings

What is the Relationship Between Codependency and Alcoholism?

Codependency and alcoholism can have a significant relationship. Codependency is typically a learned behavior which means an individual who suffered from childhood abuse, mental health disorders, or lived with dysfunctional parents might learn unhealthy relationships and develop similar characteristics applied to their personal lives in adulthood.

These circumstances can create situations where an individual struggles with alcoholism and at the same time becomes codependent on the people around them. When two or more people become connected in any form of relationship, they tend to develop qualities from one another, and take on roles that complement those qualities or characteristics. 

With time a codependent relationship means one person might take on the unhealthy behaviors of another person who already struggles with an addiction like alcoholism. 

For example: John and Mary go out on a date. Mary orders drink after drink after drink and urges John to do the same. John, who might otherwise have only ordered one drink, watched his mother berate and control his father growing up, so succumbing to the demands of a woman is an unhealthy, learned behavior. John agrees. This type of alcohol abuse continues for each date they go on. Months later, their dates always center around alcohol, going to bars, clubs, and restaurants but little else. Within a year, John doesn’t hang out with his friends anymore unless they agree to binge drinking. Having pressured John for a year, John now pressures everyone around him and does not think he is worth hanging out with unless he and everyone else are intoxicated. 

This is just one of many examples of how codependency and alcoholism can start, simply enough, but spiral out of control. 

How to Find Treatment for Codependency and Alcoholism

When you set about finding treatment for codependency and alcoholism, you need to look for a treatment center that specializes in both of these issues. Good treatment centers will offer help for addiction or substance abuse alongside underlying mental health issues. Doing so addresses the cause of alcoholism so that you don’t simply revert back to your dependency within a few months.

With Marina Harbor Detox, we create individualized treatments for each person. We know that every situation is different, so our staff works with you to provide compassionate aid along this journey toward sobriety. We know that treatment for codependency and alcoholism takes time and that is why our private, luxury detox facility can help you overcome the initial withdrawal using many advanced medical techniques while also giving you the life skills and therapy you need for long-term stability and success.

If you are ready for treatment, let us help you with your codependency and alcoholism.

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