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A guide on how families operate in systems and how those systems affect a family’s response to mental health and addiction issues.
A PART OF THE FAMILY FIRST INTERVENTION FAMILY ROLES ADDICTION RESOURCE
Why Don’t Families Get Help For Addiction?
What To Do When a Family Member is Enabling a Loved One’s Addiction
When speaking of enabling, it is best to start and end with, “why?” Why are you enabling? Why do families enable? Why would a (mother, father, brother, sister, etc.) allow addiction to continue and not get a loved one help immediately?
The reasons why families don’t act are as numerous as the excuses an addict gives for not getting help themselves. Often times, it is the family of alcoholics and addicts that give the most excuses of why not to intervene and start addiction treatment — and that’s what they are: excuses.
“Enabling is Disabling”
“When you enable someone to do nothing, you disable them from doing something.”
The entire family can come up with a million excuses for delaying dealing with the problem, but – at the end of the day – they are all just excuses. Most families don’t realize the urgency of the situation, because they are immersed in it, and therefore have their own part to play in the excuses.
Excuses for Delaying Addiction Intervention & Treatment
- We can’t get the family together in time. (This is an emergency)
- We’ve already tried this before and it didn’t work. (So you are just giving up?)
- If we’re going to do this we are going to do it right. (But then you don’t get around to it)
- The Addict/Subtance Abuser is fragile and we don’t want to make the wrong move and upset them. (But the wrong moves have already been made. It is past that time now).
- The addict got themselves into this and they need to get themselves out. (Or they could die before they are able to figure out how to get themselves together).
- We are the family members and know what’s best for our loved one. We aren’t going to let just anybody come in and tell our loved one what to do. (Someone’s got to do it, and you still haven’t)!
STOP THE EXCUSES!
Think About How These Excuses Sound if Your Loved One Dies Before They Get Help.
That is the Gravity and Seriousness of the Situation.
Every addiction is as serious as life and death, whether you care to believe that or not. Therefore, we will deem every excuse as insufficient. Just as you would if your loved one was in a car accident or had a traumatic injury, you would want to know that everything was done to try and save their live – no excuses.
Without the excuses, we are back to: “Why?” This question goes to the family members and friends – why? Why are you codependent or enabling the person to keep using drugs and alcohol? Have you not been able to bring yourself to admit that they are an addict or an alcoholic? Do you get some sort of benefit from them not getting help?
We have to direct this at you the family member, because if you have not been a part of the path toward getting help for your loved on in their fight against addiction, you ARE the enabler. This is you in this role.f
We Can Help. We Identify the Roles Because We’ve Seen it All Before.
A Family First Addiction Interventionist really is your family’s friend in saving the life of your loved one, even though we have to speak some harsh truths. That’s our job! We identify these family roles as a resource for families everywhere to see the similarities in THEIR family system. It can help families see that they are not alone — other families gone through similar if not exact situations. We’ve seen it all before, and we’ve seen both the positive and negative outcomes of decisions that family make or don’t make.
The role of the enabler is not inherently a bad role, and it doesn’t make you a bad person, but does mean you & your family need some help from professionals like us.