Helping vs. Enabling an Addict: Tips to Help Guide You
Oftentimes, we are faced with the tough decision of whether or not to help someone who is in active addiction, and if so how much. It is quite common for loved ones of addicts to feel that they need to help the one struggling in any way possible, because they are desperate for them to change. But in reality, helping an addict may actually be hindering them. If you find yourself constantly picking up the pieces, lending money, making up excuses, or taking on their responsibilities, it’s time to start thinking about putting your foot down. Helping and enabling are two different things and it’s important to know the difference. Helping is the act of doing something for someone else that they themselves are not capable of doing. Enabling is doing something for someone else that they should be doing for themselves.
Sometimes it may be difficult to tell the difference between helping and enabling, but tough love can go a long way. The addict may become upset that you stop “helping” them in the way that they are used to. This is to be expected. It can be frustrating and you may feel at times that by not giving into their requests, you are hurting them. But you must take a stand and put yourself first. You must know that:
- You cannot control an addict’s actions.
- Sometimes an addict needs to hit rock bottom to build themselves back up again.
- It will hurt, but in the end, you are doing the right thing by not enabling them.
Giving the addict money and bailing them out of jail time and time again only reinforces this negative behavior and they come to believe that you will be there to get them out of the messes they have created again. An addict must learn to take responsibility for their actions in order to take the first step in receiving help. The best thing you can do is to set boundaries and maintain them. It might not be easy at first, but you must follow through with these actions.
It’s important to know that you are not enabling someone if they are in a medical emergency or are a danger to themselves or others. However, you must determine a course of action that is appropriate for your unique situation.
At Banyan Treatment Center, we know that you don’t want to give up on your loved one. We understand the hardships an addict’s support system faces when dealing with an active drug user. If you are in search of an addiction detox center in Florida, contact Banyan Detox Center today. We encourage you to give us a call and let us help. Reach out to us at 1-888-781-9297.
About the Author
Allison Seriani is the National Public Relations Director for Banyan and is a contributor for Banyan’s Blog spot. She has experience with billing, operations, setting up a facility for proper licensure, consulting, marketing best practices, and public relations. Have a question? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org