Drugs, Alcohol and Self-Destructive Relationships
It is quite common for two addicts or alcoholics to find themselves struggling with relationship addiction because co-dependency accompanied by a drug or alcohol addiction is extremely consuming to those involved.
Drug addiction is
epitomized by loneliness and isolation. An addict's drug and alcohol use makes interaction with un-addicted individuals difficult. Shame and guilt and the need to use makes an addict withdraw from society whilst at the same time being pushed away by their loved ones due to their breaking promises, stealing and general antisocial
Many recovering addicts and alcoholics speak of their 'rock bottom' experience consisting of festering in their place of living for weeks on end with only their best friend to comfort them: their best friend being their drugs and/or alcohol. Finding a similarly afflicted person to share this life of constant drug use and isolation seems to bring a rush of comfort and safety to the desolation that their lives have become. It is common for such a couple to rarely be seen, except when emerging to meet their dealer.
Addicts who meet at the height of their addiction and form a relationship rife with co-dependency is not the only way relationship addiction progresses. Two addicts who are not yet in the worst stages of their addiction may become involved with each other, and experience their addiction worsening as their relationship shows increasing signs of relationship addiction and co-dependency. As their drug use spirals out of control and they find their addiction progressing through using harder drugs, they often begin to withdraw from friends and family and only want to spend time with their partner.
Why do addicts become involved in these relationships?
Scientists have stated for years that similar energies attract each other. The same seems to happen in humans - those in a similar state of mental health or sickness attract each other. This is why it is very common for two drug addicts to be involved in a relationship. Addicts are extremely sick people - their mental state is very ill, attracting unhealthy partners.
It is unlikely for a very healthy individual with a firm grasp of emotions, responsibilities and coping skills to be attracted to a heroin addict for example, who has no grasp of emotional and mental maturity. However, two unhealthy individuals in a relationship spells disaster as the relationship becomes based on drug use, co-dependency and unhealthy needs being met.
To a drug addict, their drugs and using are the most important things in their life. Family and friends are avoided as they are sure to disapprove of the drug use and hinder the addict from using. Responsibilities that interfere with their addiction are ignored, no matter what the consequence. Everything of importance falls away in favour of drug use. Addiction is extremely lonely as addicts push everyone close to them away to allow themselves to use drugs easily and without hindrance.
Addicts often use drugs together and their inebriated state lowers inhibitions, making sexual encounters far more likely to occur. Also, when an addict is under the influence of drugs, euphoric emotions are felt, often leading users into feeling emotions for those close to them.
What can be done?
Addiction is a disease which is progressive, incurable and all encompassing. Alcohol, drugs, co-dependency, relationship addiction and other obsessive and compulsive behaviours need to be stopped before recovery can begin. An addict is an emotionally wrecked individual by the time that they begin attempts to cease their addictive behaviours. Often an addict will only cease one addiction and continue with others, which always leads them to relapse, especially if they simply stop without
counseling or help from a support system. The key to managing an addiction is abstinence plus change.
About the Author: Oasis Counselling Centre
is a rehabilitation centre in Plettenberg Bay offering help to addicts through counselling and therapy as well as
relationship addiction and co-dependency counselling.
Rehabilitation at an addiction
counseling centre is highly recommended for addicts in a co-dependent and drug or alcohol fuelled relationship – especially as the couple will need to be separated. Relationships based upon unhealthy needs rarely become healthy and most will not survive if one or both individuals involved has a true desire to recover from their addiction. Once all addictive behaviours are ceased, co-dependency and addictions
counseling on a group and individual level will help the addicts in question to deal with their feelings which they avoid through addictive behaviours.
A Twelve Step Programme is a daily programme of recovery, allowing addicts to manage their disease on a day to day basis and cope with a good support system.
Relationships based on drug or alcohol abuse or any other addictive behaviour are extremely unhealthy and are quite a force to be reckoned with. Seeking help from counselling and a Twelve Step Programme to cease the obsessive and compulsive nature of the disease is a successful method of managing the illness on a daily basis. Co-dependency and relationship addiction are dangerous illnesses which can be arrested allowing the sufferer to regain a normal life after counselling and treatment.
Drugs, Alcohol and Self-Destructive Relationships
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Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
(Health and Geriatric Psychologist)