Whether you are a parent, friend, or partner to someone who has a substance addiction, it can be extremely emotional and stressful to watch them struggle. Seeing your loved one have a hard time getting sober may initiate enabling behaviors whether you realize it or not.
Enabling someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol only makes it harder for them to overcome addiction. Here are some ways you could be enabling your loved ones substance abuse addiction and how to stop.
There’s a fine line between helping and enabling. Bailing an addict out of their financial responsibilities may seem like you are helping if they are having financial trouble but it only prolongs the substance abuse. While you may have good intentions, paying their bills and even giving them a place to live is digging a deeper hole into the addiction leaving them to continue relying on you to take care of their responsibilities.
One of the most common enabling behaviors that family members demonstrate is denial. Often in cases of addiction among young adults, parents tend to blame themselves for their childs substance abuse addiction. Thus denial becomes a coping mechanism. Choosing to ignore your loved ones addiction is only supporting their lifestyle. Coming to terms with the realities of addiction can help cease enabling behaviors.
Substance abusers wont be able to make changes unless they are faced with the consequences of shirking responsibilities due to their addiction. Its imperative to stop covering up an addict’s mistakes or lying about their behavior, so they are forced to face the consequences of their addiction.
Enabling an addict can be extremely taxing and unhealthy for you and your loved one. Seeking guidance from support groups, encouraging your loved ones to get help and learn how to say no can help break the enabling cycle. If your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, The PAC Program can help. The PAC Program provides young men between the ages of 18 and 30 a safe place for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Arizona.