Are You Enabling an Addict in Your Household

If someone you care about is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s only natural that you want to help them. Unfortunately, trying to help an addict often leads to more harm than good. Whether out of fear or love, you may eliminate the consequences of addiction on behalf of your loved one. If an addict doesn’t face consequences for abusing drugs and alcohol, they have no reason to stop.

Let’s talk more about what enabling is and the most common types of enabling relationships.

What is Enabling?

Enabling an addict is more than giving them food or money. Enabling refers to any type of behavior that delays addiction treatment in Agoura. Parents are usually the ones doing the enabling, but spouses sometimes do it, too. No one consciously wants to delay treatment, but they end up doing so because they think they’re “helping” their loved one.

Examples of enabling are:

  • Giving the person money
  • Letting the person stay with you
  • Lying for the person when they miss work, school, family functions, etc.
  • Minimizing the severity of the problem
  • Rationalizing the person’s behaviors
  • Making up excuses for the person’s behaviors
  • Ignoring that the problem exists

Types of Enabling Relationships

Enabling an addict comes from a certain place. Maybe a parent is worried that if she doesn’t give her daughter money, she’ll end up prostituting her body. Perhaps a wife is concerned that her husband will leave if she doesn’t cover for him.

Let’s explore the most common motivations for enabling an addict.

  • Addicts have a hard time thinking rationally. They will do anything to get their drug of choice, and they aren’t afraid to cut ties with those who interfere. Sometimes, families are afraid of bringing up drug rehab in Agoura Hills because they don’t want to lose their loved one.
  • It’s common for addicts to blame their problems on everyone else and not take responsibility. Unfortunately, parents are quick to accept the blame and believe they did something wrong when raising their child. As a result, they don’t want to punish their child further.
  • Some enablers believe that their loved one is ready to turn a corner - all the time. They want to believe that the addict has made progress, and if they stop providing support, they’ll lose everything.
  • Some addicts are successful in getting people to believe that their actions are warranted. As if someone with their life would be a drinker or drug user, too. Some enablers believe this and minimize the problem.

How to Break the Cycle of Enabling

Stopping enabling is not easy, but it can be done. The best approach is to work with a family therapist who can help you create healthy boundaries that you can stick you. This is only the beginning of a long journey, however, as you’ll have to follow through with the consequences and be ready to support your loved one when they are ready for drug rehab in Agoura Hills.

Awakenings Treatment Center works with addicts and their families to help them recognize enabling behaviors. We can teach you how to help your loved one without allowing the substance abuse to continue. Once the enabling stops and your loved one agrees to treatment, long-term healing can begin.

If your loved one needs dual diagnosis treatment in Agoura, contact Awakenings Treatment Center today.