How to Help an Addict Without Enabling


The truth can be many things. When addiction is involved, it can be liberating, refreshing, and over all good for your mind and body. However, you need to understand that you cannot control whether or not people are cured, even when they are the ones you love. No amount of love or affection can cure addiction. Understanding this is the first step to healing.

You need to focus on your own issues and what you can actually accomplish and change. Instead of centering your focus on the problems of your addicted loved one, focus on what you can change about yourself that is contributing to their issues and is affecting your happiness. One of the biggest problems in addict’s families is worrying. All of the wondering and fear run through your mind when there’s a knock at the door or a call in the middle of the night. Although unhealthy and stressful, these fears are not uncalled for. The CDC stated that 11,502 people died from overdose in 2012, almost double since 1999. To put this in perspective, that is one person overdosing every 4 minutes, 15 an hour, and 360 a day. Your fear is not without evidence, but you need to rise above the frustration and anger to heal yourself.

These worries you feel may cause you to try and take responsibility for the addict’s destructive, unhealthy behavior. You may want to fix everything and solve every problem your loved one faces. However, by doing this, you enable them. You enable them because you want to shield them from hurt and pain. You want to keep them safe and guard them, but you don’t know what else to do. Most of all, you don’t want your love one to become another number in the overdose statistics.

What you need to understand is that your enabling does not help them, and it does not help you. You have to let your loved one accept responsibility. Instead of focusing on fixing their actions, focus on changing yourself and your habits that enable the drug use. Stop ignoring it when they steal money from you. Don’t bail them out of jail when they ask. Stop nagging, preaching, begging, or threatening them to stop because it doesn’t work. You have to cure yourself, not the addict because you are the only one with the ability to change.

You have to be willing to fix yourself and make recovery the top priority on your list. Not recovery for the addict, but recovery for yourself. The second step is to embrace humility. Allow yourself to admit your faults and fears. Stop enabling your loved one’s addiction. Remove yourself from the cold grip of addiction your loved one has fallen into and become free.

LEAD Recovery Center can help you and your addict discover a way to live life healthily, happily, and with hope. There is no need to wander blindly through recovery or to feel hopeless as you struggle through addiction. LEAD Recovery Center can help you create a treatment plan that will guide you through recovery and help you develop skills for life that can keep you away from relapse. Call (800) 380-0012 for more information, or to begin your recovery journey today.