Are You Enabling A Drug Addict?

Making the right moves when someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol is not always easy. But it is crucial for getting them the help they need. If you’re not being that force that inspires your loved one to pursue help at any cost, then you may be enabling them, keeping a vulnerable addict on a dangerous path. Are you enabling an addict? Learn to spot the signs of an enabler and how to make a positive change instead.

What Exactly is an Enabler?

An enabler is someone in the addict’s life who probably cares and wants to help but may lack the skills to do so. In a worse sense, the enabler is destructive, because they’re placating their potentially lethal addiction, making it seem acceptable. Essentially, an enabling habit is anything that encourages an addiction or facilitates it, enabling it to continue. These are some common ways that enabling takes place:

  • Showing up to visit an alcoholic relative with a case of beer because you know they’ll love it
  • Paying for rent when you know they gambled it away or spent their money on drugs
  • Accepting lie after lie from an addict while pretending they don’t have a problem
  • Ignoring clear signs that the addict in your life is getting worse
  • Making an addict’s life easier, allowing them to continue their habit without consequences
  • Allowing an addict to live at your home with minimal responsibility
  • Permitting a young adult to continue living at home when you suspect a drug problem

How Enabling Works

Dr. Karen Khaleghi explains the most fundamental harm caused by enabling. “By stepping in to ‘solve’ the addict’s problems, the enabler takes away any motivation for the addict to take responsibility for his or her own actions.”

Since the enabler creates a soft, easy environment in which their addict’s addiction can thrive, their actions are pushing further away from recovery each day.

Making a Positive Change – How to Stop the Enabling Process

If you suspect that you may have been enabling an addict, both of you would benefit from switching gears and encouraging their recovery. Here are some tips for making positive change if you’ve been an enabler:

  • Take full ownership of the change and be open about it
  • Find support from peers, friends, and family
  • Never again buy alcohol or drugs for the abuser
  • Get your finances accounted for and stop paying for the addict in your life
  • Don’t make excuses for their behavior anymore

Myrtle Beach Recovery Can Help

Whether you’re trying to get help for the addict you love or for yourself, our team at Myrtle Beach Recovery has the resources and connections to get you the help you need. We provide a peaceful residence just outside of Myrtle Beach, SC, where you can work through the 12 Step Recovery Process. We offer both short-term and long-term recovery programs.

Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.