Are You an Enabler? 10 Signs that You Are Enabling Your Love One’s Addiction

woman looking concerned - are you an enabler - no more enabling - signs you are enabling your loved one's addictionThere is a fine line between enabling and helping an addicted individual, so let us first distinguish the two. Helping people with an addiction means acting in their best interest. It means paving the path for them to truly conquer this debilitating battle against substance abuse. In most cases, helping entails talking openly about an individual’s substance abuse problem, and further seeking outside, professional help as it is needed: through a counselor, behavioral therapy, or an addiction treatment center.

Enabling, or supporting an addiction, on the other hand, is when a loved one (a parent) makes it easier for the person with an addiction to continue their damaging, drug-using lifestyle. Most often, enabling is an inadvertent act, and is disguised by common, well-intended actions that one feels are actually “beneficial” to the addict. This is where the line starts to blur. Enabling commonly comes in the form of a family member providing help when their loved one should (and is able to) handle the task on his or her own. Continue Reading

How to Help an Addict

black and white photo of two people with hands clasped - how to help an addict you care about - no more enabling -

Should I choose a residential or outpatient program? What is the right length of stay for an individual in treatment? How will you know when they are ready to discharge? Is coming home post treatment the right answer? These are all questions that families ask as they are trying to help an addict you care […]

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Detaching Is Not Abandoning

image of a white puzzle missing one red piece, which is detached from the puzzle resting in front - detaching is not abandoning - no more enabling

A big recommendation when trying to help families with an addicted loved one is to detach with love. The misconception with this is that detaching is to completely abandon your loved one. Detaching is not abandoning. I recommend detaching because being so hyper focused on the problem and how you can fix it only makes […]

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photo of a man drowning with a hand reaching out of the water - powerlessness

When facing an addicted individual, what’s normally seen is anger, frustration, and the inability to place anything above the substances that are being used.  It is difficult to see past the harm that has caused a severance in the relationship. One sees the actions of the individual, and fears any repercussions that might come if […]

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How to Support Someone in Drug Rehab

A lot of times getting your loved one to treatment is only half of the battle. Typically there are a lot of questions that one might face once they get to this place: Is treatment going to work? How can I support them best? What should I say when I write them? What do I […]

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Enabling After Treatment

Shadow of family holding hands| Enabling After Treatment

Enabling after treatment is a behavior that families and loved ones of addicted persons often find themselves enveloped in.  A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working at a transitional living program for young adults who completed a long-term drug and alcohol treatment program.  The families and clients were excited to begin a […]

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Detachment From Addiction

family holding hands - detachment from addiction

A family member or friend facilitating an addict’s treatment and recovery is often casually referred to as “tough love.” What immediately comes to mind is the moment of elucidation, perhaps at an intervention, when deeply rooted problems are addressed directly and the truth is dragged into the light. Such an event is considered the point […]

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