Enabling the Addict
While enabling can be a serious problem for everyone involved with addiction, it is completely possible to break the enabling cycle so the addict can heal in productive, meaningful ways. Darlene Lancer gives the following suggestions to help someone stop enabling:
|Leave messes as they are|
Leave the addict to clean up the messes she makes while intoxicated
|Weigh your options for short-term and long-term pain|
Will helping the addict one more time cause more pain in the long run?
|Get back autonomy|
When possible, you should not allow the addict to put you in situations which may endanger yourself or others
|Follow through with plans|
Even if the addict refuses to participate in a planned activity, you should go through with it without her
In other words, take action now against enabling behaviors.
How to Learn More about Enabling an Addiction
Enabling an addict can be a difficult habit to break. For the addict to realize the consequences of her behavior, her loved ones must stop enabling drug abuse. This is sometimes the only way an addict will ever get professional help. If you think you are enabling a loved one’s addiction, then call our toll-free helpline right now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to help you figure out ways to help your loved one. They can also discuss treatment options with you, so call now to find out more.
- Rationalizing, denying, or minimizing their use
- Remaining silent and walking on eggshells to avoid anger, avoidance, or yelling from the addict
- Passively waiting, hoping “this week, I think he will see the light”
- Allowing him to stay in the home and caring for and directing and reminding him of his responsibilities
- Permitting him to carry on relationships, activities with any minor children and to attend their special events or allow him to offer a masked picture of being in control of life
- Not filing a police report when he commits a crime against you
- Not calling the police or authorities when he is a clear danger to self or others
- Allowing him to hold you hostage by stating he may “go kill himself” or disappear so you will never, ever see him again
- Allowing him to use fear against you