How Do Codependent Parents Affect People With Addictions?

Addictions are a complex issue affecting countless families across the globe, usually with family members trying their best to help the one suffering find the help they need. However, not every family can offer the support someone with an addiction needs to get on a sustainable road to recovery. 

When you’re in a situation with codependent parents, they can negatively impact someone’s road to recovery. But people who have never experienced this type of family dynamic before often wonder — how do codependent parents affect people with addictions?

Defining Codependency 

Before truly understanding how a codependent parent can impact someone’s long-term recovery, you need to define codependency. In clinical terms, codependency refers to someone who puts the needs of others well above their own. They become overly passive and prioritize caring for someone else above everything else. They believe that they can change their negative and destructive behaviors by simply loving someone enough. 

Parents who have developed a codependent relationship may have started with their spouse and transferred those feelings to their children. When they focus all of their energy on solving the problems of their children, they may end up doing more harm than good. 

Codependent Parents and Their Children

One of the most important aspects of children growing up involves how they mature and learn to cope with the different experiences the world offers them. When dealing with negative experiences, codependent parents may go out of their way to shelter their children from the repercussions of these actions. Starting with small indiscretions, their children continue to be sheltered from these consequences and may begin to push the boundaries even more. 

As these children of codependent parents continue to grow older, they begin to dabble in more destructive behaviors. Suppose they continue to be sheltered from the consequences, the likelihood of their behavior escalating further increases. While wanting to protect their children from the horrors of the real world isn’t a moral failing, developing a codependent relationship with their child struggling with addiction can have a cascading effect that brings the entire family down. 

Fear of Change and Letting Go

In a codependent family situation, the idea of change and confronting the underlying issues of their family member dealing with their addiction can prove debilitating. Staging an intervention or incorporating the immediate family members in the counseling can force people who have become increasingly comfortable with the current situation to circle the wagons and avoid dealing with the prospect of change. 

The unknown that comes after the change is what gets into the parents’ heads. They have become accustomed to their enabling coping skills and enabling their offspring to continue with their addiction. It can quickly become difficult to break the cycle and change the necessary family dynamics. 

Turn to Silver Pines Treatment Center for the Addiction Treatment Services You Need

Dealing with a codependent parent does not mean they are inherently bad or have some deep moral failing. They are a loving person who does not have the confidence or coping skills to help their child in need the way they need. 

Instead of remaining stuck in this vicious cycle, Silver Pines Treatment Center can help. Our experienced staff has worked with people from different walks of life who have struggled with addiction and helped them take the necessary steps to begin their recovery journey earnestly. 

If you or a loved one is currently struggling with addiction, our team is here to help. Learn more about our addiction recovery programs and admissions process today by contacting us at 866-345-2147.