The word “enabler” is a loaded one. It implies that someone keeps on doing things that they should realize don’t help their addicted loved one, but they can’t or don’t seem to be able to stop themselves. Keep in mind that the person who is living with an addiction keeps on drinking or doing drugs and on some level knows that the behavior is not healthy. They are not able to stop on their own. When the question, “Are you enabling your family member?” comes up, it’s part of a more complicated scenario that is part of the Dance of Addiction.
When you see your child, sibling, parent, grandparent, cousin, or other close relative going through a difficult time, your first instinct is to help. Families are supposed to stick up for each other and watch each other’s’ back. We’ve all heard the expression that, “Blood is thicker than water.” The first few times you are faced with dealing with a situation that stems from an addiction, you may not necessarily realize what is going on, either.
Keep in mind, too, that addicts get very good at getting what they need to keep their addiction going. They will ask for money, food, a place to stay, or whatever else they need. Providing these things when the person can do it for him or herself is enabling.
Drug and Alcohol Intervention to Stop the Cycle of Enabling
How does a family enable the addict? It happens seemingly naturally, and to end it, you need to make a decision that you want your family member to get well. This is not one that a person who is currently addicted can make on his or her own. A loving family can decide that it is no longer prepared to support and enable an addiction anymore. With the help of a professional interventionist, you don’t need to wait until your loved on reaches rock bottom before getting help. Check out this Intervention Video to find out how the process works.
It’s not easy to change patterns of behavior that may have been place for years, especially when your intentions have been to spare your loved one pain and embarrassment. No one would ever fault a caring family for trying to look after someone who needs help. When it comes to dealing with addiction, families need expert guidance to provide the kind of help that gets their loved one to seek the treatment they need.
A professional drug and alcohol interventionist works with the family to help them understand that addition is a problem affecting all of them, and they can face it together. Family members learn new and healthier ways of relating to their loved one that don’t involve enabling, and the addicted person can get into treatment. To learn more about interventions, click here for more intervention videos.