Codependency: a family addiction

Am Fam Physician. 1987 Apr;35(4):215-9.


Codependency is a common and treatable family-system illness that develops in reaction to the stress of addiction or another "shameful secret" in a family member. This stressful environment induces emotional changes in each family member and creates a variety of pathologic family roles. For the family physician, brief therapy for the codependent family can be visibly effective when combined with follow-up and referral to resources such as Al-Anon family groups.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Family Therapy*
  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Physicians, Family
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy