It is easy to get caught in the trap of enabling if someone you love has an addiction to alcohol. However, when you see your loved one struggling with substance abuse, your first instinct is to help and offer support. This help and support can have a reverse effect on the situation and make things worse if you don’t know the best way to do that. But how can you know if what you are doing enabling alcoholic or encouraging recovery?
What Is Enabling?
Enabling occurs when friends and family are doing things for an addict that they usually could do for themselves if they were sober. When family members enable their loved one’s addiction, they prevent them from facing the consequences of their substance abuse. Enabling not only creates a lax attitude toward drug and alcohol use but also gives the addicted person no desire to seek treatment for their problem.
Signs Of Enabling Behaviors
Most people try their best to reduce their loved one’s pain, but they don’t realize they’re involving in enabling behaviors that are barriers to recovery. Enabling behaviors come in many forms. Here are a few scenarios you need to keep in mind.
• Giving money to an abuser to cover their living expenses
• Cleaning up messes addict created or cleaning their house for them
• Allowing an addict to continue to steal from you without any legal action
• Covering up for a colleague who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Spending a tremendous amount of money to bail someone charged with possession of illegal drugs
• Promising to kick an addict out of your house if they continue to drink alcohol or use a drug, but failing to do so
• Tolerating verbal, mental, or physical abuse from someone high or drunk
• Making excuses or apologizing to friends and family when someone misbehaves while they are under the influence of drug or alcohol
• Lying on behalf of an addict so they can be shielded from the consequences of their behavior
How To Encourage Recovery
Putting an end to enabling behavior is very easy. You do have control over your own choices. Remove the above actions and replace them with the following:
• Actively work against guilt by encouraging recovery
• Combat any codependent tendencies
• Talk openly about the shift
• Don’t offer addict financial support
• Don’t cover up or make excuses for their behavior
• Don’t buy or offer alcohol or drugs to the abuser
• Let law enforcement officers do their job
• Work with a counselor
• Continue to emphasize treatment for addiction
Getting An Addict The Help They Need
Addiction is a chronic disease that can get worse over time if left untreated. It’s intensely hard to watch your loved one hurt themselves. However, ensuring that you are not enabling your loved one but encouraging their recovery could mean the difference between life and death. Contact Cynergi Health Partners today for help if you are unsure how to help your addicted loved one successfully.