What is Enabling
Enabling can be extremely dangerous for everyone involved, the individual addicted to drugs or alcohol and their loved ones. Enabling discourages users from addressing their problems with professional help and can lead to situations which cause physical, mental, and psychological harm.
According to a 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health more than 23 million individuals were in need of treatment for a substance abuse problem. Out of these people only 2.5 million of them received treatment. Additionally, 19.5 million of them reported that they saw no need to seek help. This report suggests a couple of things, the first being that addiction is a serious problem in the U.S., but also that a great deal of individuals are in denial about the severity of their substance abuse.
Enabling can be difficult to identify. Often family and friends of a person with a substance abuse problem are looking to help and could be enabling without even realizing it. Below is a list of signs of enabling to be on the lookout for.
- Ignoring or cutting the addict slack for negative or even dangerous behavior. This includes overlooking problems or denying that the problems even exist.
- Prioritizing the needs of an addict before their own. It is only natural to want to provide help to an addict but enabling takes things a step further. When the needs of an addict begin to take priority over the enablers own personal needs things have gone too far.
- Lying to others to hide the addict’s behavior.
- Taking care of responsibilities for the addict.
- Blaming situations or people other than the addict for their problems.
If you find any of these above tips apply to your current situation and are looking to break the cycle of enabling, there are ways to stop.
- Follow through with your plans despite whether or not the addict wants to participate.
- Leave the addict to clean up their own messes.
- Weigh your options for short-term and long-term pain. Ask yourself “Will helping the addict again cause more pain in the long run?”
- Gain support from peer support groups. You can attend meetings to gain advice on steps that really work to help put a stop to enabling.
At A New Start, Inc., we believe that addiction is a family disease. Addiction not only impacts the life of the addict, but it also impacts the lives of family, loved ones, and friends. This is why we feel it is so important to include family in the treatment process, given the patient’s permission, to provide a supportive and healing environment for both the patient and their family.
If you or a loved one are suffering with addiction and are ready to find help, don’t hesitate to call us today at 1.844.TALK.ANS. The dedicated team at A New Start, Inc. is here to help provide the addiction treatment needed to begin the path to recovery.