Trying to figure out how to help an addict without enabling can be extremely difficult. There is a striking difference between supporting an addict and enabling a loved one. However, many people view the behavior as the same, if not similar to the other. Thus, leading to confusing one behavior and action from the other. To draw a distinct line between the two, supporting someone is helping them do what they cannot do for themselves. To enable someone is to do things for them in their place, tasks they should be fully capable of doing themselves.
Addiction is no laughing matter. It destroys families, relationships, and any life that is caught in the middle or involved with it. However, if you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse, call 385-327-7418. Being there for someone who is asking for help is not enabling. Instead, it is a form of supporting the one you love and care about.
Learn How to Support
“Support means being honest with your loved one even if they do not want to hear what you have to say, researching treatment centers for your loved one, not making excuses for your loved one’s behavior, and showing your loved one ‘tough love’ by not covering up the problem, but rather exposing it.”
Trying to figure out the best way to support a loved one struggling with addiction can be confusing. However, there are some ways you can be supportive of someone suffering from substance abuse, for instance:
- Educating yourself on addiction
- Suggesting the individual joins a treatment program
- Offering a helping hand if they wish to seek out a recovery support group
- Participating in therapy with them, if they request or offer you to
Ways to Support
There is no better way to support an addict than to educate yourself on the topic. Not only does this show your love and concern for the individual, but it also helps you understand what your loved one is going through. Above all, knowledge is power, and having it will allow you to have the ability to help the one you love and care about.
When you love and care about someone who is enduring substance abuse, it is important to make them aware of their behavior. After making them aware of their behavior, it is significant to ensure that they are not alone if they choose to pursue recovery. Furthermore, use the opportunity to suggest a few treatment and recovery programs if you know of any.
Attend Therapy Sessions
Sometimes attending the first session in any recovery treatment program or support group can be nerve-wracking. For example, if you notice your loved one is nervous, feeling anxious, or uncomfortable, ask them if they would like you to come with them. Make sure that they are allowed to bring a friend or relative with them before doing so.
Maintain Open Communication
People who are in early recovery of substance abuse will often come across challenges while trying to live sober. Some people do not know how to cope with the stresses of sobriety and often revert to their old habits. To better prevent relapse, however, you and your loved one could create a space or scheduled time to communicate with one another openly and honestly. For instance, you can discuss a variety of things, their day, how they are feeling, and what is on their mind. They need to know that they are loved. In addition, they should know they have someone readily available should they need to talk with them.
If you need further assistance on any of the above information, then please reach out. Our expert will be able to help guide you and your loved one to a happier and healthier life.
”When you enable someone, you’re giving them permission to continue their negative behaviors.”
Enabling someone who is battling substance abuse is a form of supporting their addiction. Those who enable an addict’s behavior make them feel their actions and habitual behavior is okay. Also, it does not come with consequences. This can happen in a variety of different ways. For example, these ways can include:
- Loaning them money without knowing what they are using it for
- Making excuses for their behavior
- Trying to believe that they are just going through a phase
- Lying to cover for them
Enabling behavior is defined as actions that are forcing, overlooking, or supplying addicts with reasons to keep using.
Forms of Enabling
Do Not Force…
Treatment – First, the thing about treatment is that the person who is affected by substance abuse has to be the one to seek it and want it. No one can or should force them into recovery. You can only suggest it and hope that they will choose to pursue it.
Attending Sessions – Second, like you should not force them to seek out recovery programs, you should not force the individual to attend support sessions. If they want to, they will. If they do not, then they will not.
Behaviors – Third, when you love and care for someone who is addicted to a substance, you should refrain from trying to control their behaviors and habits. Yes, it is important to make the user aware of their behavior and how it is affecting those around them. However, avoid telling them how they should and should not act. Trying to exert control over an adult who is struggling with substance abuse may very well induce the user to increase their drug or alcohol intake. Likewise, worsening their addiction.
Do Not Overlook By…
Denying – Refusing to accept that someone you love and care for has an addiction will not cure them. Denying the truth only allows the situation to progress. It can also make their behavior and habits worsen.
Avoiding – You should refrain from avoiding your loved one, instead, however, accept their behavior for what it is and try to help them. If you don’t, then you may be indicating to them that you no longer love or care for them. This is not the case, and you may just be disappointed in their choice of habit and are unsure how to handle or be around them.
Ignoring – By ignoring the problem and the user’s behavior, you may feel that they are maintaining peace. Thinking that it is just a phase they are going through or something that will go away with time are both ways addiction can be ignored. Instead of talking to the addict, you are allowing the chance of the addict’s habit to progressively increase by not doing anything about their behavior.
Do Not Give…
Money – You should avoid offering or loaning funds to someone who is struggling with substance abuse. Without knowing and seeing what the money is being used for, you won’t know if they are purchasing drugs or alcohol with your money.
Supplies – As stated previously, one should refrain from purchasing any drugs or alcohol for the individual who is suffering from substance abuse.
Do Not Trigger Them
To best support someone who is suffering or recovering from substance abuse, it is advised that you refrain from using alcohol or drugs around them.
Do Not Give Up
Furthermore, when trying to support someone who is dealing with substance abuse, you may experience a lot of frustration. Whether it is because they refuse to seek help and recover, or if they already went through the recovery process and relapsed. The last thing an addict needs or wants to hear is that the person trying to support them no longer believes in them. However, in the event that someone gives up on an addict, they become prone to giving up on themselves. They may begin feeling like they are worthless, a lost cause, or someone who is not worth anybody else’s time. Keep in mind that addiction is never an easy battler to conquer. Fortunately, it is not unachievable.
If you are worried that someone in your life is suffering from addiction, then call us today. Our specialists can provide you with the proper tools and resources you need to help someone else or even yourself.
Set Boundaries and Limits
While it may seem harsh, setting boundaries is a vital factor that is important for everyone who is involved with someone who is struggling with substance abuse. Creating boundaries and limits for your loved one trying to recover from their addiction allows you to define what you will and will not tolerate in their household or relationship. Without creating boundaries and limits, an addict may take advantage of the opportunity. Unfortunately, this can further their habitual behavior to the point it causes harm to the user and the person who is trying to support them. Also, when you begin to build boundaries, you are allowing healthy detachment from the loved one who is practicing substance abuse.
Moreover, detachment is a key factor that helps prevent their addiction from worsening. In fact, it limits their interaction with others who they may be dependent on, using for their financial supply, or their “backup plan.” Depending on your situation setting boundaries and drawing the line may be necessary.
In addition, addiction is not a battle that anyone should have to face alone. Family and friends can support anyone struggling with addiction by helping them and fighting by their side. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or any form of substance abuse, do not hesitate to call 385-327-7418. No one should fight this battle alone. We are all in this fight together. It is never too late to ask for help.
Written by: Makeila Hofer
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