a person talks to a loved one with addiction

Stop Enabling and Start Helping Your Loved One with Addiction

Being an enabler of someone struggling with addiction means supporting the addiction rather than the person. You might think you’re helping the person you love, but you’re just helping them remain an addict and avoid making positive changes. Chief enablers in families are the ones who do the most damage, even when they mean to be helpful and loving. Learn to recognize your enabling behaviors to stop doing more damage and start supporting the person who needs your help.

At Recovery Ranch Tennessee, we know admitting your loved one with addiction has a problem, and pushing them to get help is a challenge. However, addiction treatment can help them regain control of their life so they can move forward. Our beautiful center in Nunnelly, Tennessee is the perfect place for someone to get away from their everyday environment and focus on recovery. We provide a safe, supportive, and compassionate atmosphere that helps individuals heal physically and emotionally. Find addiction help for a loved one today by calling 1.844.876.7680.

What Is an Enabler?

By definition, a chief enabler is a person whose actions and words help a person make excuses to continue using and avoid changing. The primary way an enabler promotes addiction is by preventing the person struggling from experiencing consequences. When someone doesn’t experience the consequences of their substance abuse, they can’t feel the full effect of their actions. Without that, they will never find the motivation to change.

Characteristics of the Chief Enabler

How do you know if you are enabling someone in your life? Until you stop to consider what acts and words could be enabling, you probably think that you are helping your loved one with addiction. If you’re worried about them and you think they need to change, but they don’t listen and refuse to admit needing help, it may be time to consider your own actions. Here are some characteristics of the enabler:

  • Hides the negative consequences of the person’s behaviors
  • Makes excuses to other people for someone’s actions
  • Lies to the person struggling with addiction about how bad things are
  • Takes care of responsibilities for the person
  • Puts blame on other circumstances instead of the person 

Stop Enabling Now

Making the transition from enabling addiction to supporting positive change can be difficult. At first, it will feel like you’re being mean or unfair. Your loved one has always relied on you to support them in unproductive ways, so stepping back and refusing to lie, make excuses or pick up after them will be tough. When you stop doing these things, though, you’ll find that they make some pretty quick realizations.

To stop being the chief enabler, start with a serious conversation. Sit down with your loved one with addiction and explain to them that you will no longer be giving them money, taking care of their responsibilities, making excuses for them, or helping in any other ways that fuel their addiction. Make sure you include other family members in the conversation so that you have people to keep you accountable. If you slip up and go back to your old habits, you’ll have other people to remind you of the commitment you made.

The next thing you need to do is to be prepared to help your loved one get real help for addiction. Research options for professional addiction treatment so that when they finally realize that they need to make a change, you’ll have some choices for them. When you stop enabling and actually start helping your loved one, you will start to see positive changes happening.

Recovery for a Loved One at Recovery Ranch

At Recovery Ranch Tennessee, we believe that recovery is possible for everyone. Our programs use a comprehensive approach to treatment and focus on treating individuals as a whole—body, mind, spirit, and soul. We offer individualized treatment plans tailored to each person’s needs and goals, so you can be sure that your loved one will get the care they need to start their journey to recovery. Our qualified and experienced staff are here to provide the help and support your loved one needs every step of the way in achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Contact us online or by calling 1.844.876.7680 today for more information on our addiction treatment program and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey to lasting recovery.

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