Enabling can be dangerous. It prevents the addict form becoming willing to seek help for his addiction. For change to occur, the pain of addiction has to become greater than the fear of living without using or drinking. If an addict has someone who is always bailing him out, he never reaches the full consequences of his behaviour.
What is Enabling?
Enabling is unwittingly encouraging someone to continue his addictive behaviour by rescuing and shielding them from taking responsibility for his own behaviour. Enabling behaviours encourage addicts to continue their self-destructive patterns.
Here are some common enabling behaviours.
Starting to use helping behaviours can break the cycle of enabling. Helping can feel uncomfortable, but it will save your child. It is not what people call “tough love” but can feel harsh. The reality of it is you are being assertive and no longer taking responsibility for your child’s addiction. Helping forces the addict to take responsibility for his actions and deal with the consequences of his drug abuse.
Helping is being there to support your child in the solution. Helping encourages your child to become responsible for his own behaviour and see the consequences of his addiction. You become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
Here are helping behaviours that could save your child’s life.
Enabling helps keep the peace and makes everything look and feel better. You feel like you have more control. The reality of it is, it is an illusion. Enabling prolongs the agony of addiction. By helping your addicted child, you are forcing him to see the consequences of his addiction. It can seem more painful, but it will be short lived. Be prepared to help your child get the help he needs to get into recovery. If you need support, please reach out and join a support group or get some counselling.
is a Vancouver-based Addictions Specialist and Family Therapist with training and experience in numerous areas related to healing and recovery from the devastation of addiction & alcoholism.