How to Stop Enabling

Part of what makes family special is facing what the world throws at you with the love and support of those who care about you. Hardship is much easier to handle when you have loved ones who have your back. Unfortunately, one of addiction’s most nefarious aspects is how that love and protection can be twisted into unhealthy addiction-enabling behavior. Offering drug addiction help to your loved ones can quickly become drug addiction-enabling if you are not aware of the extent that your loved one is struggling with their addiction. Learn how you can offer drug addiction help without making the situation worse for your loved one.

How to Stop Enabling Your Loved Ones

  1. Stop allowing them to cross your boundaries. If your loved one continues to overstep boundaries without consequences you are contributing to their continued delinquency.
  2. Get support from your family. By giving a strong united front that refuses to enable their negative behavior your loved one may finally get the drug addiction help they need.
  3. Talk openly with the addict about your shift in behavior. Explain that you will not be enabling and allowing their destructive behavior to occur under your supervision. Most people begin to see they have a problem when their behavior becomes difficult for them.
  4. Do not make excuses for them or to cover up their behavior. Enablers tend to try to cover up the damage their behavior has on those around them. Hiding the consequences from your loved one does them no good. Force your loved one to face their consequences alone, so they see the need for drug addiction help.
  5. Do not provide your loved one with money. This may seem obvious, yet this is one of the most common ways enablers feed their loved one’s addiction. If you are the one bankrolling their bad habits you are a major factor in their drug addiction.
  6. Allow law enforcement to do their job. Many times family members want to protect their loved one from serious consequences and do everything they can to cover when they are faced with criminal charges. Unfortunately, the stakes are higher and many enablers who have lost their loved ones to overdoses wish that criminal charges were all that their loved ones experienced. You have to realize that sometimes addicts need to hit lows in order to seek drug addiction help.

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At Adult & Teen Challenge, we have been guiding students through addiction recovery for over 60 years. We offer a Christ-centered approach, helping our students discover and triumph over the underlying causes of their addiction and find the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us today.