When does supporting someone who has a drug addiction turn into enabling them?
Drug addiction can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s life and this is why it is important for addicts to have a strong support system. When addicts have friends, family members, and professional counselors and rehabilitation experts who will offer them unconditional love and support, they are much more likely to be on the path to a quick and permanent recovery. However, it is often the case that individuals who are seeking to support someone who has a drug addiction will consciously or unconsciously engage in enabling behaviors. To determine if you yourself may be enabling a drug addict to continue engaging in his or her problematic behavior, please review the information that appears below:
1. You Lie On Their Behalf.
If you have ever found yourself lying on the behalf of a friend or family member who is addicted to drugs, you are quite likely enabling them. In many cases, a drug addict might find themselves incapacitated after a weekend of extensive drug use. If you call in sick for them after learning that they are passed out or unable to come to work on Monday morning, you are lying on their behalf. This type of behavior constitutes enabling because it informs the drug addict that there is someone they can count on to “cover” for their bad behavior rather than forcing them to acknowledge how irresponsible and career-inhibiting it can be.
2. You Permit Drug Use In Your Home.
In many cases, people who are attempting to help a friend or family member who struggles with drug addiction permit the person to use the drugs in their home. They do so for several reasons, including the fact that they would prefer that the activity take place in the safety of their home as opposed to the streets, a crack house, or some other potentially dangerous place. While you may view allowing a drug addict to use illegal substances in your home as a good idea, it is actually an enabling behavior. Why? It informs the person with drug addiction that they will always have a place where they can engage in their unhealthy, life-zapping behavior.
3. You Give The Addict Money For Drugs.
Giving a person with drug addiction money to purchase illegal substances is another enabling behavior. In some cases, people who are attempting to support a drug user might opt to provide them with the funds to purchase drugs to prevent them from robbing other people for the money. Yet while you may think this activity is somewhat positive because it prevents theft, it is still a behavior that enables their drug addiction because it empowers the drug user to attain the illegal substances that are endangering his or her life.
Finding The Right Solutions
If you are sincere in your attempt to help an addict attain complete recovery from his or her drug addiction, you should know that engaging in any of the aforementioned behaviors can have the opposite effect. In recognizing this reality, it is important that you find and implement the right solutions for the problem. Instead of enabling your friend or family member to continue engaging in drug use, consider the value of scheduling an intervention or requesting that they enroll in detoxification services. These are both effective strategies that can help the addict get and remain on the recovery path.
If you are currently enabling a loved one to continue engaging in dangerous drug use, you should know that your behavior can endanger their life. Cease the behavior right now and call a medical professional on their behalf so that they can get the rehabilitative and counseling care they need and deserve.