Drug abuse can end up as an ongoing cycle if it is not stopped as soon as possible. There are a lot of people who have seen both friends and family members fall into the cycle of abuse. In some cases, an intervention may have been done and the individual in question may have taken the chance to go to rehabilitation. Being clean can be easy for some people, but relapses can end up being quite common. Unfortunately, it is also possible that a patient is being enabled by his or her friends or family. In a lot of cases this is not at all intentional.

What is Enabling?

Enabling is, essentially, giving the person suffering from addiction the green light to continue his or her abuse. This could involve giving that individual money in order to ‘get clean,’ but instead they may head off and spend the money on drugs once more. Enabling can also involve a friend occasionally doing drugs with the addicted person. The friend in question may not necessarily be a drug addict, but he or she is still an enabler as they are stating that it is okay for the individual to be doing those drugs.

How to Stop Enabling

This can be a difficult and tricky thing. Some people believe that detachment is the best thing to do when it comes to addiction. While this can work in some cases, there are better ways to succeed.

Drugfree.org states that:

  1. Active family involvement always works better than detachment. This is because the individual knows that there is someone there who will and wants to help them.
  2. When reaching out to a loved one, it is best to use a motivational style rather than a confrontational one.
  3. It is always best to encourage. Confrontation may end up creating a hostile environment and both parties may feel resentful of one another after the ordeal.
  4. Positive forms of reinforcement are effective.

This is only the beginning. Enabling can involve simply not talking about the problem in question and just letting the person get on with his or her drug addiction. If you are interested in doing something, then it is a good idea to keep motivating the person to give up. As stated before, it is important not to be confrontational about this. You need to show your loved ones that you are there to help them and not to hinder them in any way.

It is important to examine your own actions and see if you are unconsciously enabling someone. Drug addiction can be a difficult thing to get out of and therefore your friend or family member will need all the support they can get.

Published on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:57
By Addiction Recovery