Are You Enabling Your Loved One?
While you can’t cause your loved one’s addiction, you can enable his behavior. Even the best intentions can delay someone you love from getting help. Here are some warning signs and behaviors to watch out for:
You’ve used with your loved one: Getting high or even having one drink (or gambling, if he’s a problem gambler) can send the message that you accept (and even encourage) his addiction.
You’ve made excuses or cleaned up a mess caused by his addiction: “Sorry we had to leave early, but he’s had a really stressful week at work.” “He’s not feeling well, so he can’t go to work today.” While you’re intentions are good, making excuses or cleaning up after your loved one’s messes prevents him from taking ownership of his misdoings.
You’ve “lent” him money: By providing financial help, you’re supporting his addiction – whether you’ve gone so far as to pay off a gambling debt or just given him a little gas money.
You’ve taken over his chores and obligations: Taking over household, family, job or school obligations – doing his laundry or completing a school assignment, for instance – is allowing your loved one to shirk his responsibilities in favor of pursing his addiction.
You’ve kept quiet to avoid conflict: Broaching your loved one about a possible addiction is tough – but not bringing it up over fear of an argument isn’t helping you or him to get the treatment he needs. If you’re not comfortable confronting a loved one, the best thing you can do is seek help from a healthcare professional or talk to an addiction expert about an intervention.
Family Treatment at Synergy
At Synergy Group Services, we help families better understand their role and relationships so they can help (not enable) a loved one suffering from addiction. We understand that addiction is a family disease and we’re here to help all participants gain education, experience, strength and hope. To learn more about our Substance Abuse Interventions and Family Care Program, call today: 888-267-8070.