Addiction and the Detriments of Enabling

Addiction and the Detriments of Enabling

Addiction and the Detriments of Enabling

In most cases when a family member has a drug or alcohol addiction, the whole family suffers from this to some degree or other. A disrupted family dinner or the wedding “crasher” or even the son or daughter who comes to grandma’s funeral high on drug is more than any parent can tolerate. These stories are a daily affair across Canada. And those using drugs or alcohol know that it’s tolerated, at least for the time being. So why do parents, husbands, and wives and other family members seem to let the drug addict continue in this manner?

There are many underlying reasons for the ongoing behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics within the family unit. But one of the principle reasons for this is “enabling,” which means “to allow someone to do something.” It can be as simple as kindly asking them to promise not to do drugs anymore, but can also go as far as giving the drug addict $20 to buy his next fix. There are so many examples of parents and other family members enabling the drug addict that it would take a book to cite them all.

The main point is if you have someone close to you who is doing drugs or alcohol to the point of being unable to stop, then this person has an addiction and the only real solution is to get professional help. Anything else is only letting the problem continue, allowing someone to do something. It frequently starts with a simple shoulder shrug, and then we ignore them, then it’s a slight demonstration of upset and annoyance about it and will eventually get down to anger with screaming and yelling and will end up with only grief and hopelessness about what to do.

To avoid all the pain and anguish that comes with being around someone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you can act the moment you notice that this person’s behavior has changed: more beer is being consumed than normal, or the bloodshot eyes are noticeable more and more often. Don’t wait until things get out of hand, don’t “tolerate” or “allow” this behavior to keep on going, act and they will thank you for it.

Don’t be the drug addict’s enabler; get informed about the various professional drug rehab treatment centers available near you. If you know someone with a substance abuse problem call us for assistance in resolving their addiction we have options available.