Codependency Is a Toxic Myth in Addiction Recovery

By Maia Szalavitz: For Complete Post, Click Here…

With over seven million copies sold, Melody Beattie’s 1986 best seller, “Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself,” is considered a self-help classic and continues to sell well in a new 2022 edition.

The book popularized the idea that partners and parents of people with addiction have their own disease: codependence, which causes them to act as “enablers,” contributing to their loved ones’ continued use of substances. Like a drug, the relationship and its drama help distract codependents from their own problems, and so they resist change.

The concept has penetrated American culture. The word itself frequently appears in media and pop culture. TikTok videos on codependent relationships have hundreds of millions of views. And therapists and rehabs teach about it, as if it is a genuine psychological phenomenon.

But the influence that the concept of codependency has had on addiction treatment and policy has been toxic — and its tenets are not supported by data.

Leave a Reply