Finding out a loved one is suffering from addiction is both painful and a challenge. It moves us to help as an initial response, knowing that addiction is not just any battle someone can easily overcome alone. Addiction is a chronic disease that needs treatment and intervention. Alongside those are genuine love and support from the families and friends of those suffering from the disease. We always want to help make things easier for our loved ones, but do we know how to help an addict without enabling? In this article, we will find out how.
What Is Enabling?
Enabling happens when a family or friend of an individual with addiction unintentionally and excessively supports the addiction. It is very common among people who have loved ones suffering from addiction. People who enable come off as cushions, making things a lot easier for those with addiction and preventing them from suffering the consequences of or taking accountability over their actions. When you enable someone with addiction, you provide them the liberty to continue taking the drug or alcohol and reinforce them not to get treated. When enabling occurs, boundaries and respect are unclear in the relationship.
How Enabling Can Look Like
People with loved ones suffering from addiction enable the addict. They enable them because they blame themselves for what happened to their loved ones. Their guilt makes them sacrifice their boundaries, energy, money, and time. They do this because they think this will help their loved one, without realizing they are only creating a barrier towards recovery.
Below are ways on how enabling can manifest in relationships:
How To Help An Addict Without Enabling
Here are ways on how to help an addict without enabling:
What Causes Enabling
Enabling can happen and is very common in relationships with individuals suffering from addiction. It occurs because a codependent personality is present. Codependency is a compulsion; it is self-destructive that prevents a person from having a healthy relationship. Boundaries are non-existent in codependent relationships. People often overstep their own needs just to cater the other’s needs. It is what causes enabling in a relationship with someone suffering from addiction. In codependency, there is no room for No’s, just ‘Yes-es’. Recovery cannot be achieved if there are no set healthy boundaries.
Helping is an instinct. It is valid that families would jump right in to help when a loved one suffers from addiction. While someone with addiction must get help from their family, it is also crucial to know how to help an addict without enabling. Genuine love and support will aid their recovery, but boundaries are just as important. Helping while enabling is not helping -it only makes the addiction linger. Educate yourself to understand the situation better and help your loved ones in the most healthily and appropriately possible way.