Addiction is an incredibly hellacious condition for an individual to have to endure. Unfortunately, the struggling individual is not the only person that is affected in the course of addiction. Those that surround them, such as friends, family, and other loved ones are also burdened in a multitude of ways by the person’s addiction. While loving and caring for the addicted individual, family members can very quickly become what is called addiction enablers.
What Defines Addiction Enablers?
In reality, some of those around an addict can become quite ingrained in their struggle. All of their attention becomes fixated upon helping, caring for, and seeing to the needs of the addict. They can begin to neglect many things in their own life simply because they become so heavily caught up in the wave of their loved one’s addiction. But, in the course of this, they begin to coddle and overcare for the person, including paying their bills, fixing their mistakes, covering for them, and ignoring them lying and stealing from the loved one. Overcaring is what addiction enablers do.
Unfortunately, enabling is far too common in the course of dependency. Family members want to help their loved one, and yet they end up going about it in completely the wrong way. And, while addiction enablers may think that they are helping, they are in reality further contributing to the situation. For instance, an addict runs up a huge tab with their dealer and then goes to their loved one for assistance. The loved one may say they will pay the bill so that the person can discontinue their behavior and seek treatment. However, in reality, this just frees up the debt so the individual can get more drugs. They will do this as many times as they can, often with the loved one continuing to pay with the stipulation of “this is the last time.”
How to Help an Enabler
It can be difficult to break the habit of enabling. A person can feel like they are letting their loved one down by ceasing to help them or handle their mistakes, but they often do not realize how they are only making the situation worse. Another family member should learn how to help an enabler break out of these habits. Some ways to help do this are:
- Offer Better Ways to Help – As mentioned above, an enabler may feel that they are letting the addict down by ceasing to support them, but there are better ways actually to help. There are various words of encouragement for addicts that could be used, or they could talk to the person about seeking treatment.
- Support Groups – There are support groups for the loved ones of addicts that could be extremely helpful to these individuals. The most prominent ones being Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. Those in these groups may be able to offer advice as to how to avoid enabling and why it is not ideal.
Best Drug Rehabilitation Can Help You or Your Loved One to Achieve Sobriety
While struggling with addiction can seem like it is a hopeless situation, there is help out there. Best Drug Rehabilitation has had great success with helping individuals overcome their addictions, even those who have been struggling for years. We individualize our treatment specifically to each person’s case, and this allows us to address the entirety of their addiction, rather than only one side of it. Whether it be drugs or alcohol, our program can treat the surface addiction, as well as the mental and emotional factors that underlie it. Give us call today, and one of our advisors can answer any questions that you may have about our program.