Addiction to substances such as drugs or alcohol is complex. It not only affects the person addicted, but it also affects those people around them. When someone chooses to use drugs or drink alcohol excessively, their family members may have a hard time coping with the changes in their loved ones and could develop codependency in response to these substances. It’s therefore important to know the signs of codependency.
If someone you love is experiencing a substance use disorder, it's important to remember that they need professional treatment in order to get better. This can be provided by a variety of qualified professionals at places like the best rehab centres in India which work with clients on an individual basis using a holistic approach. This is what can ensure the best results since there will always be quite a few things involved in the recovery process. After all, we're talking about changing one's lifestyle and mindset towards life so it could certainly take some time and require more than just one form of therapy.
What is Codependency?
Codependency usually has you funneling your energy into supporting the people in your life without making space for — or even considering — what you need for yourself. In other words, if you are consistently elevating the needs of others above your own, you may be behaving codependent ways. 
Originally, co-dependent was a term used to describe partners in chemical dependency, persons living with, or in a relationship with an addicted person. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any co-dependent person from any dysfunctional family. 
Codependency can have insidious origins. One of the most common origins is when one person in a relationship sacrifices their own needs to put their partner before their own. The result can be detrimental for everyone involved and long-term recovery from codependency may not be possible anywhere near as often as people expect it to be.
While codependency can be linked with relationship problems in some cases, people may have a lot of anxiety and frustration due to issues that stem from codependency.
The field of psychology uses the term codependence when describing a person who doesn’t recognize their true nature. A key element of codependence is that you unconsciously build your identity around the concept of helping others. You might deny your own emotions or desires in order to gain the approval of others. This tends to validate your self-worth.
Codependency can be tricky. An individual who is displaying signs of it will often feel like they are responsible for keeping other people happy. For example, you might have a difficult time uttering no to another person or asking for what you want in a relationship. These actions tend to stem from the desire not to make others upset with you - which is something that the codependent tends to do automatically when it comes down to their own needs.
When a person is in a co-dependent relationship with someone who abuses drugs, this behavior can have negative effects not only on their family but also on the health of the codependent individual. A study has shown that there are serious repercussions to family dynamics and also a noted health decline in the codependent party. 
At first glance, it may seem as though being codependent and having control issues don’t mesh. Digging further reveals the link between a person’s self-worth and the well-being of others. For example, when someone you love — such as a loved one who relapses or isn’t meeting their responsibilities — feels like a failure, you can feel like you have failed too. In order to avoid this, one might unconsciously shift into an action that is possessive or controlling.
Very often, codependency can put you in a position in life where you find yourself doing things for other people with the hope of getting something back that you feel like they are supposed to give to you. This is because in your mind, as long as someone else needs and depends on you, then that will serve as proof that you're important or likable. If any of this resonates with what's going on for you right now, it's possible that you could be codependent on something or someone else (even perhaps a strong family member).
A person with codependency will often try to be perfect or if not, at least be seen as such. These are people who are used to taking on a lot of pressure and feel that it is hard for them to defer to others. They over-commit themselves and find it hard to let go, which means that they might feel a sense of insecurity when someone else helps them out.
If you're codependent, you may feel the responsibility to "save" everyone around you from dangerous situations and to make sure that others are not harming themselves in any way. A common sign of codependency is that you feel like it's your job to help other people who you love with their problems no matter what they are. This type of behavior is unhelpful because fixing other people's mistakes can cause them to become dependent on your help. It also encourages other people (including those who are addicted) to continue making bad decisions even though it harms them in the long run.
When a person is addicted to drugs and their partner is also co-dependent, aspects of research-based treatment programs like levels of care and support for the family can play a big part in successfully treating addiction. For example, in a recent study from Substance Abuse and Misuse, researchers found that if addiction specialists work with one partner in a dysfunctional relationship as well as members of both families concerned about addiction (codependents) to modify codependent behaviors, long-lasting recovery effects may happen even after treatment has been completed. 
At the best alcohol rehab centres in India, reliable professionals know that a person's family and the support they get from them go a long way when it comes to recovery. This is why the best rehab centres in India have several family therapy elements integrated into their programs which are designed in such a way to help the person suffering get back their life on the right track. For example, the top rehabilitation centre in India may use family therapy in their therapy treatments programs as part of the patient's personal development goals for recovery. Help you and your family find recovery. Contact rehabsindia.in to learn more about the best rehabs in India.
- 1. What Are the Signs of Codependency? PsychCentral. (2021) Retrieved on 30 March 2022 from-
- 2. Mental Health America. Co-Dependency.
- 3. Bortolon CB, Signor L, Moreira Tde C, Figueiró LR, Benchaya MC, Machado CA, Ferigolo M, Barros HM. Family functioning and health issues associated with codependency in families of drug users. Cien Saude Colet. 2016 Jan;21(1):101-7. doi: 10.1590/1413-81232015211.20662014. PMID: 26816168.
- 4. Bortolon, C. B., Moreira, T. D. C., Signor, L., Guahyba, B. L., Figueiro, L. R., Ferigolo, M., & Barros, H. M. T. (2017). Six-month outcomes of a randomized, motivational tele-intervention for change in the codependent behavior of family members of drug users. Substance Use & Misuse, 52, 164–174. doi:10.1080/10826084.2016.1223134
AUTHOR- Dr. Danish Hussain (MBBS, MD Psychiatry, MIPS)
Dr. Danish received his M.D. Psychiatry and M.B.B.S. degrees from Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences (Bangalore, Karnataka). He has worked at the Manipal Multispecialty Hospitals Bangalore, following which has continued to undergo regular training from prestigious institutes from all over the world. Dr. Danish serves as Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at AFSMS & RC and is a member of the Indian Psychiatric Society. Dr. Danish uses a holistic approach with his patients and brings his expertise to practice to treat varied behavioral health problems from Addiction disorders to Depression, Anxiety, Personality disorders, and OCD. Dr. Danish’s goal is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
REVIEWED BY- Gauri Kapoor (Addiction Recovery Counselor)
Gauri Kapoor embarked on her journey into sobriety 7 years ago, which led her to her current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in Delhi, India. She works closely with facilities that provide residential addiction treatment such as 12-Step programs and other nonprofits to help individuals deal with their addiction.