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Some people with substance use disorder (SUD) struggle to establish healthy boundaries with friends and loved ones. Co-dependency, enabling behaviors, or other unhealthy dynamics may interfere with treatment if left unaddressed. Studies have shown that “When substance misuse is present in an intimate relationship, both partners need help.” Painted Desert Recovery helps clients and their loved ones heal together. Clinicians provide clients with tools for identifying and repairing co-dependent relationships.
In co-dependency relationships, there is often a power imbalance, and one person may enable the other individual’s self-destructive behaviors. The exact nature of the enabling and power imbalance varies widely. In many cases, co-dependency causes people to build unhealthy expectations for the relationship. Often, the person with the most power in the relationship has narcissistic tendencies.
Co-dependency usually involves the following:
People create narratives to make sense of the world around them. Often, in cases involving unhealthy or toxic relationship dynamics, individuals place themselves in the role of victim to reduce emotional distress. According to Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, during one study, researchers found “In the co-dependence narrative, [individuals with addictions] were not morally guilty but victims of victims.” Researchers “observed that the cure for this group was achieved through an individual’s courage to stop repressing negative feelings or secrets and embrace openness and awareness about themselves and their family.” Co-dependency is usually treated using family and individual therapy.
Co-dependency forms for different reasons and manifests in distinctive ways for each relationship. On the surface, most forms of co-dependency revolve around an imbalance of power. However, the exact cause and effect of the relationship dynamics vary depending on the situation.
Some of the most common types of co-dependent relationships include:
Every person has a unique experience. Many people recovering from SUD benefit from personalized treatment, including family therapy or couples counseling.
Unhealthy relationships are caused by many things, including:
People experiencing co-dependency often struggle with fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, and difficulty setting or maintaining boundaries. Clinicians at Painted Desert Recovery help clients identify the underlying causes of maladaptive behaviors or relationship issues affecting their mental health. The care team collaborates with clients to help them gain essential skills and tools for building healthier relationships and boundaries with loved ones.
Unaddressed co-dependency may cause some clients to leave treatment before they have fully healed. The other person in the relationship may try to take control of the recovery or demand their loved one return home before the program ends. Clinicians at Painted Desert Recovery educate clients and their loved ones on the realities of addiction recovery and how to address potential relationship conflicts while participating in treatment.
Some people are unaware they are in a co-dependent relationship. Painted Desert Recovery uses comprehensive admissions assessments to diagnose clients and determine what factors may impact their recovery, including family conflict or co-dependency.
The clinical team helps clients build healthier relationships by teaching the following:
Co-dependency affects relationships between vulnerable individuals and narcissists. The type of co-dependency impacts how it affects a person’s recovery from SUD and how the clinical team addresses the behavior. In some cases, clients with co-dependent family or friends may struggle to remain in treatment unless they address the relationship. Clients are given the information they need to more fully understand what caused the unhealthy dynamics and how to avoid them in the future.
Individualized care plans allow the clinical team to focus on areas most helpful to each client. In instances where people have co-dependent relationships, family therapy is often an essential part of treatment. Clients are educated on the importance of a nurturing home environment during treatment and ongoing recovery. Some people with maladaptive relationships benefit from sober living programs or other spaces where they can continue receiving support and aftercare in a healthy home environment. Painted Desert Recovery provides clients with the resources to maintain recovery after completing treatment, including referrals for continuing care and aftercare planning.
Painted Desert Recovery helps women identify and heal from co-dependent relationships. Recovering from substance abuse involves taking steps to avoid falling back into maladaptive behaviors, including toxic or co-dependent relationships. Clinicians provide clients the tools to establish healthy boundaries and protect themselves from co-dependency. To learn more, call us at (844) 540-0353.