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3 Signs You May Be Enabling A Drug Addict

Addiction , Drug Rehab Alexa Iocco | July 7, 2021

3 Signs You May Be Enabling A Drug Addict Resurgence Behavioral Health

Signs You May be Enabling an Addict

Are you helping your loved one to continue abusing drugs, without realizing it? You could be doing just that, even if you have told the addict in your life that you want them to stop using and get help. Unfortunately, certain behaviors that are meant to protect the addict and those around them can actually make it easier for them to drink or use drugs. This is called enabling, and you should examine your thoughts and actions to be sure you’re not engaging in it.

An enabler is someone who helps a loved one to act self-destructively. Enabling is usually unintentional, but its damaging effects are real. When you think you are protecting the addict, you’re really just preventing them from seeing the consequences of their bad behavior and giving them no reason to stop.

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Let’s look at how enabling and three of the signs that you are helping a drug addict to continue using drugs and hurting others – including yourself.

What is Enabling?

Enabling is simply a situation that helps an addict to continue using drugs because they have no reason to stop. The enabler has removed all consequences by covering for the addict, making excuses for them, or just ignoring the entire situation. 

Ignoring their Negative or Risky Behavior

You know a loved one is using illegal drugs or misusing prescription painkillers, but you don’t want to confront them. It’s an uncomfortable subject, and if there are underlying problems like depression, it can be even harder to bring up. So you ignore this risky behavior, telling yourself, “They’re only hurting themselves.” You may even tell yourself that the addict is just looking for attention, and talking about it will just “reward” them.

But the addict may think this means you accept their behavior and have given them unspoken permission to keep using. 

Making Excuses for Them

Is your loved one too sick to go to work because of their addiction? Are they neglecting schoolwork or skipping social obligations? It’s tempting to do things like calling their boss and saying they have the flu. After all, if they get fired for frequent absences, their innocent children or loved ones will suffer.

But it’s not your job to cover up their bad behavior. You must realize that if they get fired, fail a class, or lose a romantic partner, it won’t be because you didn’t lie for them. It will be because they ignored their responsibilities to feed their addiction. You are not helping them keep their job or stay in school; you are helping them continue their habit without paying any price. 

Not Following Through With Consequences

Have you told your partner that you’ll leave them if they don’t stop misusing drugs? Do you say you’ll stop paying their rent if they lose their job again because of their addiction? Threatening the addict with consequences for their bad behavior is a sensible way to deal with their addiction, but only if you actually follow through and make good on your promises. If you don’t make good on your statements, they’re just empty threats, and the addict will think there’s no reason to stop using. 

Resurgence Addiction Recovery

You may already be aware that you are enabling your loved one’s addiction; it’s just easier in the short term to cover for them or ignore the problem. Others in your life who don’t understand the situation may even accuse you of being cruel by making the addict start taking responsibility. But you don’t have to do this alone. Resurgence Behavioral Health’s addiction treatment programs mean you can turn the problem over to professionals who don’t have an emotional stake. Reach out to us at any time to get help for your loved ones and enable their recovery. Call us at (855) 458-0050.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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