My Loved One Is Struggling With An Addiction.
I Just Want to Help?
It can be hard to understand, but addiction is a disease that takes away everything a person once had and maybe even everything that person once was. However, with the right support from their loved ones, the recovery process can be a rewarding journey for anyone trying to get sober.
If you are worried that your loved one might be caught in a losing battle against addiction, be sure to look for red flags. Everyone may handle addiction differently, but some of the most common signs of substance abuse include:
- Deteriorating relationships with family members
- Unusual sleep patterns
- Unexplained absences
- Changes in behavior
- Unexplained debt
- Lying and stealing
If your loved one is showing any of the signs listed above, contact us today at (866) 295-6003.
Am I Enabling My Loved One’s Addiction?
Since addiction is a disease, anyone would want their loved one to recover. In fact, most friends and family members try their hardest to help stop substance abuse. Unfortunately, these same people might actually be making it harder for their addicted loved ones to get and stay sober. While most friends and family mean well, they could be encouraging unhealthy patterns without even realizing it. This is called enabling.
Enabling is defined as giving someone or something the authority or means to do something. As it pertains to addiction, enabling is any action that allows the addicted individual’s poor behavior to continue. Usually, enabling involves giving addicted loved ones a free pass for their actions. So, the lack of consequences encourages them to continue using.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, your instincts might tell you to:
- Keep secrets for your loved one
- Accept excuses from your loved one
- Make excuses on behalf of your loved one
- Protect your loved one from getting into trouble
- Ignore your loved one’s poor behavior or decision-making
- Blame yourself or someone else for your loved one’s addiction
- Handle your loved one’s finances (i.e., pay his/her bills, give money, etc.)
These and other caretaking actions are all common coping mechanisms for people who have friends or family that abuse drugs or alcohol. However, failing to address the addiction properly will only prolong it, putting your loved one’s long-term health in danger.
How Can I Stop Enabling?
The best way to stop enabling is to allow your loved one to face the consequences of the addiction. So, if you are not the only enabler, gather the others in your loved one’s social circle and discuss ways to actually help. A group effort is necessary to stop enabling behavior and help spark the recovery process. Even if one person continues to enable, then the addicted loved one will not want to make a change, and all your progress will be lost.
The best ways to avoid enabling addictive behavior include:
- Rejecting excuses
- Cutting off financial help
- Refusing to buy drugs or alcohol
- Throwing out any drugs or alcohol in the house
- Withholding transportation (i.e., refusing to give car rides)
Once your loved one faces the consequences of addiction, he or she will be more likely to accept or seek treatment.