ADDICTIONS AND ANSWERS: IS BEING "CODEPENDENT" THE SAME AS BEING AN "ENABLER"?

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By; Dave Moore and Bill Manville

BILL: Frances G. writes us about Chris Herren, the one-time famous basketball star. "Wearing his Boston Celtics warm-ups," said a story on the Internet, "he'd hustle down to the player's parking lot to meet his drug dealer. Herren was a junkie, in need of a fix so bad that he marched directly to the locker room to get loaded on OxyContin."  What impressed Frances G. was that Herren's wife stuck with him.  "Dr. Dave and Bill," she says, "my husband is addicted to pain pills too. But people at Alanon told me not only was my husband 'powerless' over his addiction, but I was too. That no hope message made me feel I had to either quit Alanon, or get a divorce.  Are they right?"

DR.DAVE: Like a lot of wives (and husbands too) I meet in my practice, Frances is appalled by the idea that her spouse's addiction can turn her into an 'enabler,' using her love to extend the poisonous life of his disease.

BILL: Probably one of our most controversial columns was back in 2007, when you took Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid to task  for enabling his drug-addicted sons...

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