Are You Enabling Your Loved One’s Addiction?

When your loved one has an addiction, it can be very hard to admit the problem. No one wants to confront their loved one about addiction or the need to go to rehab. Because of this, many people do whatever it takes to avoid the subject of addiction by enabling this behavior.

It may not even seem like you are enabling the behavior. You may tell yourself that you are doing this or that as a way to “help” your loved one out of a bad situation or help them recover from making a bad choice. The truth is, by avoiding the subject of addiction, you are allowing them to continue abusing drugs or alcohol.

7 Most Common of Enabling an Addiction

  • Acting Out of Fear:
    Do you find yourself paying your loved one’s bills? Are you providing them transportation to places that deep in your heart you know that they are getting fuel for their addiction? Are you afraid if you don’t do these things that their actions will get worse? This is a classic sign of enabling.
  • Prioritizing Their Needs:
    Are you putting your life on the back burner to make sure that your loved one has everything they need? This allows them to continue to act irresponsibly without consequences.
  • Rationalizing Their Addiction:
    Are you placing the blame for their actions on yourself or others? A person with an addiction must take responsibility for their own actions.
  • Hiding Your Opinions:
    Do you want to speak to your loved one about their addiction but are afraid of the repercussions? Avoiding the subject of addiction and rehabilitation allows them to continue their substance abuse.
  • Lying For Your Loved One:
    Are you making excuses for your loved ones’ actions? Do you find yourself lying to cover their addiction? This type of action allows them to continue their behavior.
  • Providing Them Food and Shelter:
    Has your loved one gone so far with their addiction that they can no longer provide for their own basic necessities? Covering these expenses may seem like a humane thing to do, but it does not allow them to see what their addiction is doing to their life.
  • Are You Resentful:
    Have you covered for your loved one so much that now you feel resentful towards them? While this is understandable, it is not healthy for you. Instead of feeling resentment, it is time to address the addiction and help your loved one enter into an addiction recovery center.

Enabling Hurts More Than It Helps

It is important to break the cycle of enabling your loved one to continue with their addiction. It will be very hard for you, and you will need the support of your friends and family to get through this, but it is worth the effort.

You have to step back and allow your loved one to “crash and burn.” They must be confronted about their addiction and see what it really has done to their lives. They will struggle, but you must stand your ground.

To get your loved one into rehab and work with a substance abuse counselor, they must become aware of what the addiction is doing to their life. Only when they realize what is going on and how bad it is can they make the decision to change.

The urge to protect, care for, and compensate for your loved one’s addiction will be strong. You may even need counseling yourself, but it is necessary. Until there is a real realization about the effects addiction has on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, recovery can not be started.

There Is Some Good News

As difficult as this all sounds, there is good news. Once you stop enabling your loved one’s addiction and they are ready for rehab, everything will change for the better. You will no longer feel the stress and anxiety that you were experiencing from the addiction, and you will no longer have to feel guilty.

Your loved one can enter into a holistic recovery program that can help them overcome the addiction and build a new life. It is a very positive outcome to a very harmful situation.

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