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  • 1 East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
  • 2 Medicine Hat College, Alberta, Canada
  • 3 Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA
Open access

Abstract

Background

The risks of behavioral addictions are well documented. There are biological, medical, social, spiritual, psychological, and safety risks to the individual as well as risks, like ripple effects, to the family and friends with whom the individual with behavioral addictions lives. The phenomenon of collateral damage from addictions, especially alcoholism and substance dependence, is well documented.

Aims and methods

A selected review of the literature reveals little regarding the risks of collateral damage, in particular codependence, from behavioral addictions on non-addicted family and friends.

Results

This article theoretically posits the existence of codependence to those with two well documented and researched behavioral addictions, hypersexual and gambling disorder, using the biopsychosocial lens.

Conclusions

Addictions professionals are encouraged to revisit the literature on codependence and consider its influence on family and friends of those with behavioral addictions when providing services.

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