Addiction is tough. Families want to do what they can to fix the problem, but may not understand the fine line between enabling someone and helping them. Sadly, not knowing the difference may make the situation even worse. If you want to know what really works, we can help. At our addiction treatment center, we know the challenges that drug addiction causes for both you and your loved one, so we’ve put together this short list of healthy, effective ways to show your love and support on their path to recovery.
What Is Enabling?
Enabling happens when friends or family members unintentionally support drug abuse through their behaviors or thoughts. For example, they may:
- Give the person money when they’re short of rent despite knowing it will go to buying drugs
- Ignore unusual behaviors or actions in hopes they’ll stop naturally
- Not report dangerous or harmful acts, such as stealing from family members or friends because of the potential implications
These behaviors shield the user from experiencing the full consequences of their drug abuse. Well-intentioned actions are twisted into a “free pass” to continue their substance abuse. This distorted view can delay or even prevent seeking treatment.
The good news is that there are several ways to encourage your loved one to stop using and get the professional help they need.
Stop Enabling Addicts with These Five Tips
If you’re ready to learn how to stop enabling a drug addict, then try these five helpful methods. These simple actions can make a major difference and encourage your loved one to seek rehab.
1. Go to Family Meetings for 12-Step Programs
One helpful way to begin understanding enabling habits and address them is to go to a family meeting for a 12-step program. Being able to grasp what kinds of behaviors enable drug abuse is the first step to removing them from your lifestyle.
2. Participate in Family Therapy with the Addict
Family therapy can be a wonderful way to address the way substance abuse affects an entire family. It can address underlying issues in the family dynamic and help the addict discuss their feelings in a safe environment. It can also be a successful way to help them separate the disease and the actions it causes from their own personality and sense of self.
3. Stop Indulging the Addict’s Behaviors and Detrimental Behaviors
Sometimes, families do what they can to hide a loved one’s addiction. They might provide an alibi for why someone missed work or give money to the person who is using drugs to make sure they can afford rent or other necessities. Some families even go so far as to allow the drug dependency to dictate when they can or cannot do something. It’s very important that you’re firm with your loved one and refuse them the kinds of support that enable their drug use.
4. Start Encouraging Rehab Drug Treatment
It’s important for your family to address the need for drug treatment. You may turn to a facility, like Peace Valley Recovery, to discuss an intervention or treatment program that could help your loved one. When the time is right, talking to your loved one about how their drug dependence has affected your lives will encourage them to take the right step toward rehab treatment.
5. Commit to Rehab
Rehab for drug abuse is a lifelong commitment for an addict and their family. Family members must be cautious not to trigger a relapse through their actions. To help, family members should commit to ongoing therapy sessions with the person in recovery and continue to learn positive ways to interact with one another.
Contact Us at Peace Valley Recovery
At Peace Valley Recovery, we’re here to help. We know it can be difficult to navigate the confusing space between helping and enabling an addict, but we support your goals and can help you get your loved one the treatment they need. Call us today at 215-780-1953 to learn more about our services and talk with our admissions staff about the steps to take to help your loved one escape the grip of addiction.