Are You Enabling Someone With An Addiction: Check the Signs

Apr 8, 2022 | General TRC Information

The emotional support of the family plays an important role in our lives. Especially during testing times, we all crave the support of our loved ones. Be it a spouse, a sibling or parents, we all want to stand behind our loved ones in the time of need. However, when a person in your family is struggling with addiction, your love and care might do the person more harm than good. 

In this article, we are going to discuss the parameters of enabling someone. People throw the word around loosely, but the roots of enabling someone are deep. 

What is Enabling?

People tend to believe that enabling someone only extends to giving them money or a place to stay. If your behaviour towards an addict is stopping them from confronting their own reality, you are in the process of enabling the addict. 

Let us look at some of the common signs that you are enabling someone:

  • Providing them with money to enable their habit
  • Providing them with appropriate shelter
  • Downplaying their addiction or ignoring the reality
  • Providing them with emotional support
  • Lying on their behalf to protect them from repercussions
  • Providing sound reasons for their behaviour

Patterns of Enabling Relationships

  • Guilt based pattern: There are people who are not close to their families or are not good at communication. Nevertheless, they care for their family and want nothing but the best. In these situations, the addict has a way of saying that you are responsible for their situation. This is of course, not true. The guilt of being responsible prevents them from confronting the situations. 
  • Hope based pattern: When you talk to an addict about their situation, they may say that they are trying to leave their addiction. This creates a hope in the mind of a family member. The person tends to think that if they stop providing the necessary support, the progress of the addict is going to fall apart. 
  • Victim based pattern: Addicts try to play the victim card. They may say things like, “If you were in my position, you would also be drinking”.
  • Fear based pattern: Addicts also create a fear in the mind of their loved ones. They might threaten self-harm or cut ties with their family. It prevents the loved ones from pointing out the problem or taking action. 

At Taylor Recovery, we help in eradicating these signs while providing professional and expert solution through various programs. Call us now to learn more!