According to their website, there are over 25,400 autonomous Al‑Anon/Alateen groups in more than 130 countries, and millions have received help.Still, some question the utility of programs like Al-anon.
In the Vice piece, “Why the Codependency Myth of Drug Addiction Needs to Die,” writer Maia Szalavitz criticizes the idea of enabling as “unscientific” and “harmful” to drug users.
She quotes psychologist and author of , Carol Tavris, who describes codependency as a “mush of reasonable ideas…
A codependent person enables an addict by helping them to avoid suffering the natural consequences of substance abuse.
Self-help books such as Melodie Beatty’s bestseller, and 12-step programs like Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous insist that family members of drug users need care, too, and will often encourage those affected by addiction to detach or remove themselves entirely from people who are a danger to themselves and others.
While co-dependency certainly affects both men and women, I’d argue that women experience codependency uniquely.