(Your Substance Use Affects Me)

At BOSASNet we have a number of parents , guardians or even friends who come to seek help on behalf of their family member who have substance abuse disorders only to discover they also need support to cope with the challenges they are facing.

Co dependency is when someone exhibits too much and often inappropriate caring for another person who usually has an illness including addiction.

Their main focus will be to try and change this person even forgetting that they also have an obligation to themselves.

Who is a Co-dependent?

A co-dependent is anybody with a loved one who has a substance use disorder and has difficulty dealing/coping with the emotions or behaviour brought on by their loved one’s disorder.

This can be a parent, child, sibling, colleague, and even a student.

As mentioned above we often adopt maladaptive behaviours to help us deal with this disease.

Below are some unhealthy ways that we may adopt:

• Low self-esteem- you doubt yourself and keep comparing yourself to others, and take the blame for other people’s wrong doings.

• Care taking- You feel responsible for everyone and tend to suffer the consequences of other people’s actions.

If the person you want to help does not accept your help you might feel rejected, loved and unappreciated.

• Control- You have a need to control those who are close to you; because you feel that there is a certain way that people should behave.

Sometimes you also have an addiction of their own like becoming workaholics or even abuse substances themselves to feel in control.

• Denial- You find it difficult getting help for your co-dependency, by thinking that because you are not the one with the substance use disorder therefore you do not need to be enrolled in a program to get help, then you keep focus on other people forgetting that you also have needs.

• Anti-social – You become withdrawn and isolate yourself from others

• Dysfunctional communication- You have challenges communicating your thoughts, feeling, and needs.

At times you may be scared of being honest for fear of hurting other people thus sacrifice your own happiness.

Being a co-dependent can lead to some challenges can affect you psychologically , physically and emotionally.

This can result in anxiety, unhappy life, high blood pressure, substance abuse and suicide.

Why is it important to seek help for co-dependents?

As a co-dependent you have to know that you need come before other people, and that you are responsible for your own wellbeing.

Below are the tips for getting help.

• Seek help and support from those trained to help you.

• Understand that you are you are not to blame for the behaviour of the one with substance use disorders.

• Learn more about the disorder so that you understand it better.

• Break your own denial and secrecy about what is happening in the family

• Stop protecting and taking the blame for or making excuses for other people, for instance if your child has missed school do not them report them as sick , let them take responsibility for their actions

Services offered at BOSASNet

At BOSASNet we recognise the importance of co-dependency counselling. We offer the following services:

• Individual counselling for co-dependents

• Monthly support groups for parents and family members.

Co-dependency is a reality , if you think that you might have a co-dependency or substance abuse problem , or if you have a family member of friend who does , we encourage you to seek help.

You can find BOSASNet on Facebook or call us at 3959119/3913490, Fax 3951333 , email: [email protected] For more information.

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