What is Enabling?
Enabling is the act of providing someone with the means or opportunity to do something. In some cases, enabling can refer to providing someone with support or encouragement to continue engaging in harmful or destructive behavior, rather than helping them to change their behavior or seek help.
Why do people enable people suffering from addiction?
There are many reasons why people might enable an addict. Some people may do so out of love and concern for the addict, believing that they are helping the person by protecting them from the consequences of their addiction. Others may enable an addict out of fear, such as fear of losing the relationship or fear of the addict becoming angry or upset. Still others may enable an addict because they feel guilty or responsible for the addict’s behavior, or because they don’t know how to respond in a more helpful way.
What are some different ways someone could enable a person with addiction?
There are many different ways that someone can enable an addict. Some common examples include:
- Providing the addict with money or other resources to support their addiction, such as buying them drugs or alcohol
- Providing housing or food for the loved one so that they can use their money for their addiction
- Making excuses for the addict’s behavior or minimizing the consequences of their addiction
- Refusing to acknowledge the problem or deny that the addict has a problem with addiction
- Blaming others or external factors for the addict’s behavior, rather than holding the addict accountable
- Protecting the addict from the consequences of their behavior, such as by lying to cover up their addiction or bailing them out of legal trouble
- Enabling the addict to continue engaging in their addictive behavior without facing any consequences or facing only minimal consequences.
How do I know if I am enabling someone’s addiction?
Here are some signs that you may be enabling an addict:
- You frequently make excuses for the addict’s behavior.
- You cover up for the addict or lie to protect them from the consequences of their addiction.
- You help the addict financially, such as by giving them money or paying their bills.
- You try to control the addict’s behavior, such as by hiding their drugs or alcohol.
- You avoid confronting the addict about their addiction or avoid talking about it altogether.
If you are unsure whether your actions are enabling an addict, it can be helpful to seek advice from an expert. Send us a text to 833-594-7146 and let’s talk through the details.
How do I stop enabling an addict?
If you are enabling an addict, it can be difficult to know how to stop and what to do instead. Here are some steps you can take to stop enabling an addict and help them get the support they need:
Educate yourself about addiction and its effects on the brain and behavior. This will help you understand why the addict behaves the way they do and why certain approaches may be more or less effective.
Set boundaries and communicate them clearly to the addict. For example, you could say that you will no longer cover up for their behavior or enable them financially. Be prepared for the addict to push back against these boundaries and be firm in sticking to them.
Seek support for yourself. Enabling an addict can be emotionally draining and it’s important to take care of yourself. Consider joining a support group for loved ones of addicts or seeking therapy to help you cope with the challenges of dealing with addiction.
Encourage the addict to seek professional help for their addiction. This may involve finding them a rehab center, helping them find a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction, or connecting them with other support resources.
Be prepared for setbacks and relapses. Addiction is a chronic condition and recovery is a long-term process. It’s common for addicts to experience setbacks and relapses, and it’s important to be supportive and non-judgmental during these times.
It’s important to remember that stopping enabling behavior is not the same as abandoning the addict. By setting boundaries and supporting the addict in getting professional help, you can help them take important steps towards recovery.
What should I do if I think a loved one is enabling an addict?
If you think that a loved one is enabling an addict, it is important to approach the situation with care and sensitivity. It can be difficult to confront a loved one about their behavior, but it is important to communicate your concerns and offer support. One approach is to express your concern in a non-judgmental way, and suggest that they seek help from a professional who can provide guidance on how to support their loved one in a healthy way. It may also be helpful to suggest that they join a support group for families of addicts, where they can learn from others who are dealing with similar situations.
How can I help an addict without enabling their addiction?
If you want to help an addict without enabling their addiction, there are several things you can do. First, it is important to set boundaries and make it clear that you will not enable their addiction. For example, you can refuse to give them money if you know it will be used to buy drugs or alcohol. You can also make it clear that you will not cover for them or make excuses for their behavior.
Another way to help an addict without enabling their addiction is to encourage them to seek professional help. This can include suggesting that they attend therapy or support group meetings, and offering to help them find resources in their area. You can also offer to go with them to their first few meetings to provide support and encouragement.
It is also important to take care of yourself during this process. Supporting an addict can be emotionally and mentally draining, so make sure to prioritize your own well-being. This can include seeking support from friends and family, practicing self-care, and seeking professional help if needed.