When someone you love is an addict, it’s easy to start enabling drug addiction. Often, people start enabling drug addiction because they want to avoid the fact that their loved ones have drug problems. Others may start enabling drug addiction because they fear that if they hold their loved ones accountable for their addictive behaviors, they’ll anger them or get their loved ones into legal trouble.

The only way that your addicted loved one will recover from addiction is if you help an addict without enabling addiction. To stop enabling drug addiction, you must first recognize whenever you start doing so though.

Signs That You’re Enabling Drug Addiction 

There are numerous signs that a person is enabling drug addiction in another. Some of these signs are described below.

You Ignore Shifty Behavior

Many people that are enabling drug addiction notice that their struggling loved ones are acting shifty, but ignore it. Ignoring shifty behavior in an addict may be easy to do at first. As your loved one begins to face consequences for his or her shifty behavior though, ignoring such behavior becomes more and more difficult. how to help an addict without enabling

For example, you may initially choose to ignore the fact that your loved one is constantly sneaking out at night to use drugs. As these late-night excursions start causing your loved one to show up late for work, the individual may run into issues, including job loss. After drastic problems like this arise, it becomes harder for you to continue to ignore such shifty behavior. 

The longer you ignore the shifty behaviors of a person suffering from addiction, the more severe the addiction can become. The more drugs that a person abuses, the deeper his or her addiction will become. Then, the deeper the addiction becomes, the more shifty the addict will act.

This, in turn, will cause the addict to experience more severe consequences for his or her increasingly shifty behavior. Ignoring shifty behavior from a person suffering from addiction, even early on, is only enabling drug addiction.

You Start to Secretly Resent the Individual

When you’re enabling drug addiction in someone, you’ll likely start to resent that person. This is because you’re holding in all of your frustrations about the individual’s behaviors while still enabling him or her. Thus, you resent the individual for abusing substances and for taking advantage of your kindness and loyalty.

You Blame Others for the Person’s Actions

One easy way to enable an addict is to not hold the person accountable for his or her own actions. Instead, as an enabler, you’ll likely choose to blame others for the addict’s actions. 

Many enablers choose to blame others for the actions of addicts because they love the drug addicts. Blaming others for the negative actions of your loved one will prevent him or her from getting in trouble in the short-term. But in the long-run, it will only allow the addiction problems to get worse. This is because not feeling the consequences of their actions will incentivize addicts to continue abusing drugs. 

You Lie to Cover Up the Addict’s Actions

Even if you aren’t blaming others for the actions of addicts, lying to cover up for addicts is still enabling. Once again, enablers often lie for people because they love them and don’t want them to get in trouble. 

Just beware, as lying often doesn’t age well. Often, when individuals recover from addiction, they might resent their enablers for always lying for them instead of helping them get treatment. 

You’re Unable to Express Your True Thoughts and Emotions About the Individual

Because enabling drug addiction often requires some sort of dishonesty, enablers often cannot express what they truly feel about addiction. If you’re so caught up in protecting your loved one with an addiction that you can no longer express your truth, you’re an enabler. 

You Make Excuses for the Addict Out of Fear

Many people that enable drug addiction will make excuses for addicts. Often times, enablers will make excuses for addicts out of fear of losing them. While it’s understandable to feel fear of losing someone you love due to that person getting in trouble for his or her addiction, continuing to enable the addiction will heighten the chances that you’ll tragically lose your loved one to addiction one day in a more permanent manner. 

You Prioritize the Need of An Addict Before Yourself

Enablers often become co-dependent with their addicted loved ones. To avoid this from happening to you, you must not put the needs of an addict before yourself. Putting the needs of addicts before yourself only makes it easier for addicts to continue to live drug-abusing lifestyles. 

How to Help an Addict Without Enabling 

Now that you know the signs of enabling drug addiction, you must figure out ways to help an addict out without doing those things. To learn how to help an addict without enabling, continue reading.

Give the Addict an Intervention

One way to learn how to help an addict without enabling him or her is to give the addict an intervention. Interventions are when you and other close family members and friends of an addict gather together with a professional interventionist. The purpose of an intervention is to convince the addict that he or she needs to attend rehab. Towards the end of an intervention, you’ll even show the addict affordable rehab options that he or she can attend. Enabling drug addiction

With the guidance of a professional interventionist, interventions often work. Through interventions, you’re holding addicts accountable for their actions while also providing them with the guidance that they need to attend rehab

Attend Family Therapy

As a relative, another way to stop enabling drug addiction is to attend family therapy. By attending family therapy, you’re supporting the addict in a productive way that also furthers the addict’s recovery progress. Family therapy can also help you learn ways to actively not enable your addicted loved one.

Educate Yourself About Addiction

Educating yourself about addiction is an easy way to learn how to help an addict without enabling. This is because doing so allows you to understand the signs and symptoms of addiction. Then, you’ll know when a person is struggling and needs help. 

Learning about addiction will also help you have more empathy for the addict. It will even provide you with a better understanding of what the addict needs to recover from addiction. 

Set Healthy Boundaries

It’s important to be there for your friend or family member. But it’s just as important that you set healthy boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries between you and the individual helps prevent you from draining all of your energy and resources. You’ll be healthy and strong enough to assist the individual in the future. 

Also, setting healthy boundaries helps the individual to learn that there are consequences for his or her actions. By further learning this lesson, the individual will see the benefits of being sober. Essentially, setting healthy boundaries between you and the struggling individual will help keep you from enabling drug addiction.

Don’t Use Substances Around the Addict

An obvious way to not enable drug addiction is to not use substances around addicts. Using substances around the person will only increase his or her desire to want to use substances. This is especially true if you’re using substances recreationally during a fun event or party. Even if you personally enjoy drinking or using certain substances socially or recreationally, never do so in front of an addict. 

Keep an Open Line of Communication

An easy way to learn how to help an addict without enabling is to be someone that the addict can always talk to. By keeping an open line of communication, you’re supporting the addict without going overboard and enabling him or her. Also, keeping an open line of communication with an addict will help you feel comfortable enough to deny the addict of things when need be. 

Unity Behavioral Health Has Everything That You and Your Loved Ones Need to Overcome Addiction

At Unity Behavioral Health, we understand that the people that are closest to an addict often contribute to the way that the addict developed his or her addiction. To counteract this factor, we offer patients family therapy. Through family therapy, the loved ones of addicts can hopefully understand how to help an addict without enabling. 

Some of the other forms of addiction therapy that we offer here at Unity Behavioral Health include neurobehavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. We also offer dual diagnosis treatment. In fact, we here at Unity Behavioral Health specialize in holistic and dual diagnosis treatment. We also offer a wide variety of comprehensive addiction treatment programs for different substances. 

You can rest assured that you’re not enabling drug addiction by sending your loved one to receive treatment with us.  In fact, attending addiction treatment and therapy with Unity Behavioral Health will do the opposite of enabling drug addiction. It will enable sobriety.

At Unity Behavioral Health, our holistic therapies are cutting edge and our treatment modalities are evidence-based, successful, and proven. All of our addiction treatment programs and therapies are highly effective. To learn more about Unity Behavioral Health and the addiction treatment programs and forms of addiction therapy that we offer, contact us today! We loo forward to assisting you or your family member on the road to recovery from addiction.

Get Help Now

Speak to one of our experienced and caring representatives at Unity Behavioral Health to learn about how our rehab programs can help your loved one defeat addiction.


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