Family and Friends

Co-dependency Help and Healing for the Family After Cocaine Addiction

When a family member or close friends falls into cocaine addiction, most of the people around them will want to do whatever they can to help. Unfortunately, this desire to assist and support the addict can develop into something negative; co-dependency. Addiction can have serious and immediate consequences such as losing one’s livelihood, being kicked out of school etc. Co-dependency is any measure that people around the addict take that prevents them from dealing with the results of their addiction. Such behaviour inevitably enables the addict to carry on with their addiction.

It’s difficult to treat someone for cocaine addiction if the co-dependency of the family members around them isn’t also treated. This is why, family members should also go for support and co-dependency treatment even as the person with the cocaine addiction problem is treated.

Forms of Co-dependence

Co-dependency can show up in many different forms. Sometimes, those who are responsible for it have no idea of how serious these actions are. For example, a mother and wife with a cocaine addiction problem is likely to make errors such as failing to pick up her children from school. She may also act in ways that embarrass her husband and her kids. In such a situation, her family may allow her to get away with this behaviour by picking up the slack. The husband may hire someone else to perform duties that she was supposed to take care of or he may even change his own work schedule so he can cover for her.

Co-dependency is also common when the parents of a child with a cocaine addiction problem know about the addiction problem. The parents may do their child’s homework for them or call the school to tell them that he’s ill when he’s not able to attend after a night of bingeing. When such a child is unable to secure employment, the parents may give him a position in the family business where his inability to handle any real responsibility will go unnoticed. The parents may also justify the addiction as a phase that the child will eventually get past.

Assistance for Co-dependent Family Members

Co-dependent persons may think that they’re helping but the reality is that such behaviour is anything but helpful in the long run. The person with the addiction problem is less likely to face the negative consequences of their problem that will motivate them to change until it’s too late. However, it doesn’t have to be like this.

Personal and family therapy, 12-step groups and group therapy sessions all offer viable solutions for people who have a co-dependency problem. These groups can help the members to identify their own enabling behaviours and also give them the skills they need to better cope with their loved one’s addiction. The process is not a quick one and progress can be slow. However, if your objective is to see your loved one going into treatment, it’s a process that’s worth starting.

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