There are many people who suffer from addictions, and in some cases their loved ones actually enable the addiction because they want to help. Sure, you want to help the one you love to overcome addiction, but you definitely to not want to enable the addiction any further.
Take a minute to think about an addict. They intend to continue what they are doing no matter what. Why not go ahead and get someone to help him with the addiction? You see, without someone to enable him, an addict would need to start dealing with all the consequences that his actions cause, which could actually bring the addiction to an end. Unfortunately many well intentioned enablers actually help to protect the addict from the problems that are a result of the addiction.
In some cases family members actually help the addict get the drug in a safe manner to try to protect them. They are afraid that they will get hurt or that they will go with withdrawal and so they go on to help their loved one keep using, which does not fix the problem at all. Some of the actions that may signal you are acting as an enabler include making excuses, lying, and helping your loved one to get what they need. This means you are no longer helping them, you are enabling them to continue in their addiction.
Usually this type of behavior starts out quite slowly over time and in the beginning is just behavior that is used to help smooth things over. People want to keep their family problems a secret so they keep their mouth shut. Also, many times denial of the problem actually affects the enabler and they rationalize things away to try and avoid the problem that is occurring. Sadly, the problem will not just go away.
Once a person starts enabling and addict, it turns into a cycle. The person who is addicted never has to deal with consequences, and so they continue in their addictive behavior. Since their addiction becomes even worse, then the enabler gets drawn deeper and deeper into the problem. Soon this turns into more chaos in the home, which an addict will use for an excuse to continue using.
So, how can you get this cycle to end? Well, while the person who is enabling the situation may be fearful and full of shame, at some point this will probably turn into anger. While they may try to bottle it all up, at some point it is going to come out in an explosion. They will be sick of excuses and they will need to decide to lovingly detach themselves from the situation.
This means that now there are no more excuses being made by the enabler, and suddenly the addict has to deal with the consequences of their addiction. In some cases this may lead them to try and find treatment for their addiction. Usually people who go for treatment either get tired of the addiction or they end up experiencing a dramatic crisis that leads them to seek out treatment for the problem. It is important that you never protect a loved one from this type of crisis because you may be keeping them from finding the treatment that they need for their addiction problem.
Pick up your Free Addiction Recovery Help Guide, Over 97 pages of self help and recovery tips, resources and links to enhance your life in addiction recovery.The author, Bill Urell MA.CAAP-II, is an addictions therapist at a leading drug addiction treatment center. He teaches healthy life styles and life skills. Tell your story! Visit: http://www.AddictionRecoveryBasics.com/