“Enabling” is a term that gets thrown around a lot when we discuss people who are suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, many parents and spouses of people who suffer from addictions unwittingly fuel the habit with their enabling behavior. This is because many spouses and parents confuse unconditional love and support with enabling the behavior. If your spouse, child or other loved one is struggling with addiction to alcohol or other substances, read on to find out how you can show them your love without enabling an addict.
Love without Enabling
If you are watching a loved one battle addiction, here are a few things that you need to understand:
- It is not your fault. You did not cause the addiction, and it is not your problem to fix. Of course, you can still love and support your addict, but it is not necessary to take responsibility for the addiction.
- You should not give your loved one who is an addict any money or other financial support. Providing them with cash only fuels the addiction. Even if you are paying their bills for them, you are freeing up other disposable income to spend on drugs. This is the most common way of enabling an addict.
- You should not give your loved one access to personal transportation that they can use unsupervised. This will allow them to gain access to the drug to which they are addicted. By enabling an addict by using an automobile as well, you are potentially putting your loved one and others at risk of a DUI related tragedy.
- You should be receiving therapy, with or without the participation of your loved one who is an addict. You will need support as you watch your addict loved one go through this process. Under the direction of a mental health professional, you can successfully navigate managing the addiction process without potentially enabling an addict in lieu of providing healthy support.
- You should not allow your addicted loved one to live with you while they are using drugs. Although this may mean that they choose to be homeless, you should only allow them to live with you if they are not actively using drugs. Bailing them out of jail is also a form of enabling an addict. It may seem counter-intuitive to leave your addicted loved one behind bars, but it could be exactly what they need in order to start on the path of recovery.
- You should continue to love and support them. Let them know that you are here for them when they decide to get the help they need in order to deal with their addiction. However, you must make it very clear that you cannot tolerate their abuse of alcohol or drugs. By setting these healthy boundaries, you can still provide the love and support they need without the complication of enabling the behavior.
It is incredibly difficult to watch someone you love deal with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Still, it is possible to love them unconditionally without unintentionally supporting their addiction. If you know someone who is struggling with a drug or alcohol program, get the help you need from Drug Treatment Center Finder today so that you can best help your loved one fight their addiction!