How to Know You’re Enabling Addiction

How to Know You're Enabling Addiction


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    It’s easy to fall into a belief system that unknowingly supports addiction. If you care about someone battling addiction, it is possible to have difficulty knowing what to do and how to support them in a healthy way.

    Trusting your intuition may not always be what’s best for someone. You can be blinded by love, commitment, and fear to further push an unhealthy habit or behavior. This is hardly ever intentional and, most of the time, fueled by the thought that you are helping one with their problems. It is possible you may be enabling someone, encouraging them to continue their addiction.

    How to Determine if You Are Enabling

    You may be enabling and preventing recovery for someone if you are doing the following:

    • Housing a person during their addiction rather than sending them to treatment
    • Giving a person money when you know it is possible for them to spend it on harmful substances
    • Not holding a person accountable when they engage in destructive behavior
    • Being cautious of how you address difficult situations in fear the person won’t like your response
    • Justifying the person’s actions and making excuses for their behavior

    Becoming aware of these actions is the beginning of redirecting how you treat your loved one who is battling addiction. If you want to help someone in their journey, it is best to be conscious of the way you treat them and how they react to your behavior.

    Setting Boundaries

    Recognizing your own experience with setting boundaries and how you set them is essential. It can be challenging to accept enabling behavior if you struggle with setting boundaries and creating room for yourself.

    If you love someone, setting them free or even letting go of control can feel impossible and hurtful. However, setting boundaries with those around you is necessary for them to succeed in seeking help.

    If you have trouble setting boundaries with those in your life struggling with addiction, you may be doing them more harm than providing help. It may seem as though you’re doing what is in their best interests, but emotions can shield you from the best solution. When you set a boundary, this can reveal to others an example of what a healthy relationship in recovery could look like.

    Co-dependency and Addiction

    A person may take advantage of you if they know how to speak to you in order to get their way. The result of this is the person knows how to get what they want because they have an emotional attachment to you. When this happens, it may feel like it is your responsibility to obtain and try to fix them, but they can only improve themselves.

    Co-dependency is the desire to care for someone no matter what it costs you emotionally. It can be an addiction itself. A co-dependent person usually does not know when to stop behaving in a way that harms themselves or others. This can be unconscious behavior that will likely become toxic in a relationship because there are no boundaries.

    The Positive Effects of Redirecting Your Actions

    In the case you are enabling, the one you care for may not appreciate the good you bring to their life. However, by stopping enabling behavior, you can provide safe and helpful support, help you grow in your life, and learn more about yourself.

    When you stop enabling addiction, your loved one will be able to appreciate your presence and not take advantage of what you give them. This can reveal growth that you may have needed in your own journey and help you provide means of support without co-dependency.

    You may find out more than you expected about living a life without debilitating attachments. Discovering this will benefit you and the person you are enabling. They will see your growth and respect you more. Then, they can find healing for themselves.

    Discovering What Works Best for You and Others

    Enabling can delay the course of treatment that is necessary to provide a better life for everyone involved in an individual’s addiction. It can be intimidating to release control over a situation if you have had charge over it for a certain amount of time. You can trust that someone with a different perspective may be more knowledgeable if they are more experienced in addiction than you.

    Caring does not mean turning a blind eye and intentionally avoiding proper treatment for someone. It has been proven that treatment helps free people from addiction. Once you seek the appropriate care that molds best in your situation, you can halt enabling and start acting on what can really heal you and others.

    If you are experiencing hardship with understanding how to best support someone through their addiction, asking for guidance can shine a light on what you should do. Many resources are available to you to comprehend better what can help the one you care for.

    This can likely relieve you of obligation and responsibility you don’t know how to approach. It can be a strenuous cycle of finding what works best for you and the one addicted. This is why there are trained professionals that know how to take charge of a situation when all hope seems lost.

    At Villa Oasis San Diego, we can guide your loved one to a life free from addiction and mental stress. We provide mindful, caring support to those living in addiction and their loved ones. We specialize in addiction treatment and can help you and your loved ones find healing. Call (323) 739-8673.

    Your rise begins.