Enabling Drug Addiction

What’s the difference between enabling someone and helping them? It’s confusing to know when you are helping your loved one live or when you may be enabling a horrible disease. There IS a difference between helping and enabling someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and knowing what this difference will be crucial to getting your loved one into treatment.

What is enabling a drug or alcohol addiction? 
Giving him money when he asks. He will beg, plead, or even threaten violence. She will tell you that she’s starving, needs medical attention, ran out of gas, is about to have her water turned off.  We see this every day at Adult & Teen Challenge.  We guarantee you that he is using that money to support his habit. Paying for a car, car insurance, and gas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if she says she needs the car to get back and forth to work or school. She is also using that vehicle to get back and forth to her supplier, or worse transporting drugs to other people.  If she’s working then she should be able to pay for her car, car insurance and gas.  Remember that. Paying for a cell phone. We know you want to stay connected to your loved one – especially now that they are gone for days at a time and you don’t know where they are.  But you need to know that their cell phone also contains the phone numbers to their dealers and using buddies. By providing the means to call them, you’re helping them get high.

Providing her with money for rent, utilities, or a hotel room.
By doing this, you’re giving them a place to use. This will not be easy. But to provide this money is enabling.  Not helping.

Bailing her out of jail and bringing her home.
She needs to realize the consequences of her actions.  Help her by not bailing her out.

Allowing him to continue to stay in your home.
It is hard to think of your loved one out on the street.  But keeping him rent free in your home is not helping him it’s enabling him. By providing your home to him – you’re giving him a place to use.  Imagine to come home one day and find your son dead in his bedroom. This will happen because he is bringing drugs into your home and getting high there. He is doing that every day. He is doing that right now.  Help him by telling him he cannot live in your home until he gets treatment.  And mean it.

Call And Get The Facts About Enabling: 423-756-5558

What Is Helping?

Giving them food. They are hungry.  You can feed them. Go ahead and meet your daughter at McDonalds and buy her a cheeseburger.  Staying connected and making sure your little girl has a little food in her belly is ok. It provides you the opportunity to ask if she’s had enough of his addiction.  But only food and nothing else.  No money. No gas. No cell phone.

Seek professional help by contacting an interventionist.
A professional intervention dramatically increases your chances of getting your loved one into treatment.   We cannot stress this enough.

Finding the right treatment for him.  And if he relapses, find it for him again. If he had cancer, you would do anything to get his cancer into remission. Treatment is what puts the disease of addiction into remission. Don’t give up just yet – if it’s his third time – what if it works? Paying for treatment and paying for deductibles is just like providing medication. And is far better than paying for a funeral.

Answer the phone.  She is likely calling to see if you will give her more money.  Don’t give her more money.  On these calls do your best to stay strong, tell her how much you love and miss her and never miss an opportunity to say, “Are you ready to go to treatment?” If she isn’t, it’s ok.  If you stick to helping rather than enabling – she will be some day.

The disease of addiction is more than just the individual suffering.  Because we let addiction fester in a person hoping they will just “stop” it – a person often stays sick much longer than necessary and the family tends to unwittingly enable them during this time.  If we treat addiction like the disease it is, arm ourselves with the signs and symptoms of addiction, we can get a person into a great treatment program that will treat this disease effectively the first time.

Enabling your loved one can put them in their grave.  Trust in what you’ve read here and change your behaviors. Helping your loved one will save their life.

A goal is a desired result that a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve: a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.

It is roughly similar to purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides reaction, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value.

Goals can be long-term, intermediate, or short-term. The primary difference is the time required to achieve them.

Click to download this Enabling PDF for your resources.