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What “Enabling” an Addict Looks Like

What Enabling an Addict Looks LikeWhen friends and family members of substance abusers or addicts act directly or indirectly to spare the person from the consequences of his or her addictive behavior, they are enabling his or her drug use. Often enabling begins out of a sense of compassion and sympathy. The enabler sincerely wants to help the addict and thinks he or she is helping by repeatedly coming to the rescue when the addict gets in trouble in Austin. Unfortunately by sparing the addict from the consequences of addictive behavior the enabler only serves to perpetuate the cycle of addiction. The enabler becomes a part of the cycle that allows the addict to continue using and to escape the real consequences of his or her behavior.

How Enablers in Austin Perpetuate Addiction Denial

One of the main features of addiction is denial. Addicts typically deny the severity or even the existence of their substance abuse problem. It is often the case that addicts will not recognize the existence or severity of a problem and the need to seek treatment until confronted with the consequences of their behavior. It is also usually the case that addicts will not respond to treatment until they see for themselves that they need it. By enabling addictive behavior the enabler may be postponing or even preventing this importance aspect of recovery from taking place. Denial is also common among enablers who often have a hard time facing the fact that someone close to them in Austin is struggling with addiction.

How Austin Residents Enable Drug Users

Enablers often help addicts cover up the signs of their addiction or escape from the consequences of drug abuse in Austin. Enabling behavior may include the following:

  • Loaning the addict money
  • Lying to others such as employers about where the addict has been and what he or she has been doing
  • Bailing the addict out of jail or paying fines or legal expenses
  • Denying or rationalizing the addict’s behavior and the extent of his or her problem

The relationship between addict and enabler typically becomes one of habit, as both participants become accustomed to their roles and play them out on cue. It can be difficult to stand aside and allow someone you care about to suffer the consequences of his or her behavior, but by enabling addictive behavior you are contributing to the problem.

How Austin Residents Can Stop Enabling Loved Ones

Ending enabling involves creating boundaries and sticking to them. Draw a line of when you will or won’t help. Do not provide money or help a loved one get out of legal trouble, but do help if a person’s physical health or life is at risk. Driving someone home when he or she has had too much to drink or calling 911 in an overdose situation is not enabling.

Addiction affects entire families, and family dynamics affect the addict. Family counseling will address addictive and enabling behaviors and can help families and friends deal with many issues related to addiction in Austin. An intervention may be the first step toward a loved one’s recovery and toward healing for the family as a whole. An interventionist will help the addict to see the effect his or her behavior is having on loved ones and will help family members recognize enabling behavior that is adding to the problem.

Ending Enabling and Offering Addiction Help

Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about what does and does not help an addict get better. We can help you identify enabling behaviors and can put you in touch with counselors, interventionists and professional recovery resources. We are a source of information and support, and we are here for you 24 hours a day. Please call now.