Are your actions allowing a loved one who has a problem with drug and alcohol addiction to continue as they are? There is the possibility that your actions are enabling. Enabling an addict is not something people set out to do, but it is very common among those living with substance users and it is harmful to both the user and their loved ones.
Stop Being an Enabler
After close examination you may find that you are enabling someone. Once you are aware, it’s time set clear boundaries with the person. Tell your loved one that you will not make excuses for him or her anymore. Tell them you will not give them money any more for rent, cell phone, or anything else because you do not want them to use the money for drugs or alcohol.
Then, stick to the rules you’ve just made. Things may get increasingly challenging when committing to the boundaries you’ve set. Still, doing so means you can spur your love one to face consequences of their behavior and possibly will encourage them to get the treatment they need. No longer can you take the easy way out and give in to their demands. Stand firm and enforce your boundaries.
Make a conscious effort to show the addict you do love them and want what’s best for them. You are going to say no to them many times: “No, I won’t give you money”, “No, I won’t call in sick to work for you again” or “No, I won’t make an excuse for your family as to why you are staying home”. Yet, you do still care. The whole goal of stopping your enabling is to get your loved one to accept the help he or she needs. Tell your loved one you want them to get help and will do whatever they need to get that help.
Finally, as you stop enabling your loved one, turn some attention to self-care. This has been a long, tiring road for you, and you need support as well. Consider joining a group like Alanon or see a counselor to help you through the emotions you are experiencing.
Enabling is not healthy for anyone involved, so it is time to stop. Be sure you do it in the right way so you can get the results you want for you and for your love one.Share your thoughts below or follow us on Facebook! If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call us at (877) 959-5909.