Co-dependency in relationships with substance abuse are not healthy relationships, rather they are relationships that are filled with emotional stress and drama stemming from alcohol and/or drug abuse. In almost every case, co-dependent relationships involve a manipulator and an enabler.

Both Partners Have Substance Abuse

In some co-dependent relationships, it is not unusual for both partners to engage in drug or alcohol abuse. The manipulator or dominant partner will try to control the enabling or weaker partner mentally, emotionally and often times physically. This control will force the enabling partner in a multifaceted role as that of a counselor; or the person with whom they can engage in alcohol or drug abuse with; and at times the person in which the dominant partner can take their rage out on. The relationship may carry on in this manner until one or both partners are in treatment, jail or dead.

One Partner Has Substance Abuse

Similarly, there are co-dependent relationships in which only one partner has substance abuse and the other partner does not use drugs or alcohol. In most cases, the partner that abstains may struggle with a low self-esteem or a severe lack of self-confidence. In this type of relationship, it is not uncommon for the partner without substance abuse to ignore the problem and resist encouraging their addict or alcoholic partner to seek detox or rehab treatment because they are afraid that the relationship will end if the partner gets healthy. They may even believe that they are saving the addicted partner.

Co-dependency and Family Members

Co-dependency is not limited to partners/spouses, but can also be applied to relationships between parents, children and siblings. The relationship roles between members of a co-dependent partnership is not the key factor, but rather that the members feel as if they are complete. Co-dependent relationships from the outside appear as if everything is normal and well, but on the inside, the relationship has a roller coaster effect.

In cases where the drug addict or alcoholic is the financial provider in the relationship, it is not unusual for the abuser to be exceedingly cruel, intimidating, manipulative and abusive to the other person in the relationship

In a co-dependent relationship, it is nearly impossible for the partner without substance abuse to get away largely due to the fact that the alcoholic or addict will say and do anything to make them stay. The most common tactic is promising that things will change, but sadly they rarely do. Where these methods do not work, the manipulator may use threats, both verbal and physical to force the individual to stay.

A Solution to the Statistics

Unfortunately, co-dependency is often a recurring theme in some individuals’ life. The person may bounce from one co-dependent relationship to the next and statistics show that the vast majority involve drug abuse.

Depending on the type of substance abuse or addiction, it may be necessary to seek medical detox and to enter a rehab treatment program to quit using drugs and alcohol. There are a number of different types of rehab treatment including traditional inpatient and outpatient services and 12 Step programs. Getting help is the first step to dealing with a co-dependent relationship.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.