Dealing With Enablers: Facilitating An Addict’s Addiction
Millions of individuals are suffering from some sort of addiction. Most addicts rely on those around them to provide them with the resources that they need to get their fix. Most enablers feel obligated to protect the addict from committing some sort of reckless behavior that will land them in jail or fighting for their lives. By giving them money, food, or clothing, you are enabling the addict to continue the addictive pattern and behavior. Below you will discover tips on how to deal with an enabler.
Enabler or Not?
The first step is to come to the realization that you are an enabler. Of course, this is not an easy task to face or conclude. If you have a family member that is an addict and you find yourself supporting their habit, you are an enabler. Do you honestly think that you are saving this person from harm? Most enablers have some sort of guilt that has built up over the years. This guilt can be linked to abandoning the individual, when they were young or having an addiction that prevented them from providing the proper care, as needed. You will have to learn the correct way to deal with the guilty feelings, before you can alter your behavior.
Hitting “Rock Bottom”
Most enablers continue contributing to the addict’s habit. It is vital that the addict hit “rock bottom”, in order for them to want to change their lifestyle. You are standing in their way of realizing that their behavior is unacceptable and endangering their life. Every time you give them money, they do not have to task risks to obtain the drugs. They need to be stuck-in-a-rut, with nowhere to turn, before they will be willing to drag themselves out of their addiction.
Get Psychotherapy Counseling
The first step is to get some counseling for the shame and guilt that you are experiencing. While these emotions are completely normal, in your situation, it is unhealthy. Your guilt has negative consequences on your loved ones, so it is time to re-examine your behavior and turn this around.
Counseling can be very beneficial, since it can help find the root causes and help you face it. Once you come to terms, with your past behavior, you will be able to move forward in your life, so that you can stop the enabling.
Get Drug Treatment
Are you suffering from drug addiction? If so, it is time to seek help. You will not be able to help others, if you are under the influence of drugs. By being able to admit that you have a drug problem will show others that you are willing to face them and get help. Once you achieve sobriety, you will be able to think clearly and realize your mistakes. You will be a stronger individual, so that you can halt the enabling in its tracks.
Calm Your Fears
No one wants any harm to come to their addicted family members, but you are allowing the fear to control your behavior and decisions. Find a hobby, support groups, and connect with others that are in the same situation, as you are right now. You will definitely benefit from these group therapy sessions and you will discover that you are not alone, in this fight.
Be assertive and let the addict know, where you stand and you are no longer going to contribute to their addiction. Be sure to remind them that you will not post bail, provide shelter, or give them money for drugs. Once they learn that they are on their own, they will be more willing to fight their addictions.
Prepare For The Inevitable
Once you make it clear that you are no longer an enabler, you will face some retaliation from the addict. You may receive threats or the individual may refuse to have anything to do with you, since you are not giving them money and support. Do not allow this to deter you from taking the action necessary to protect yourself from danger and continuing your mission. If necessary, you should consider getting a protective order against the addict, so that you will be fully protected, by the police officials.