It is hard to watch someone you love go through addiction. That addict may come up to you and feel like they will die if they do not get their hands on drugs or alcohol. You need to remember that enabling an addiction is not helping an addict but only making the addiction grow worse.
Enabling is when you do whatever you can to “help” a loved one facing addiction whatever they ask for instead of what they need like going to a treatment facility. Enabling is allowing the addict to continue this destructive behavior by giving them money, shelter, bailing them out of jail, etc. It can also mean making excuses for them or joining them in on the behavior out of frustration or to stop further embarrassment.
Your actions may have good intentions but it will not help their addiction. Maybe you are scared that if you do not enable your loved one, then that person will close themselves off from you and you will not be able to protect them. You could also be scared that they will be angry at you or that the problem will go away on its own. Sometimes, addicts do need to face the consequences of their actions as a lot of them will wait until they hit rock bottom to realize that they have a problem. If you keep supporting their behaviors, they will never know.
Enabling an addict can take a toll on you as well by causing you to have depression, anxiety, bursts of verbal and physical anger, and uncontrollable emotions. You may not like enabling your loved one but you feel like it is the one thing you can do for them. If you continue enabling, you are going to feel regret for any negative consequences that come to the addict as well as having trouble taking care of yourself like paying for your rent or food. It is important for you to realize that it is not up to you to solve your loved one’s problem or change their behaviors. You need to stop making excuses for them or covering up their behavior. If they use guilt tactics or act like they will resent you after, stand firm. The best thing you can do to help your loved one is refer them to the best treatment facility and do whatever you can to help them beat addiction.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.