enabling addictionAddiction is a dangerous disease that can ruin lives and tear families apart. In the United States, one in four adults are currently struggling with addiction. However, addiction impacts more than just the user. When friends and families engage in enabling behaviors, the addiction can cause codependent relationships and miserable lives for everyone involved. In order to be able to stop enabling the addict, you need to understand what enabling is and why people begin enabling.

Why We Enable Addicted Loved Ones

In most cases, people start enabling the addict because they love them. When you love someone, you tend to want to keep them from suffering and save them from any consequences their actions may cause. In fact, you are playing a major part in the addiction. You may just be trying to help but, by enabling, you are greatly hindering the addict’s recovery and realization of the reality of addiction.

Some of the simple signs of enabling are easier to see. Enablers find it difficult or impossible to leave the addict alone because of the need to control the situation. The enabler must make sure the addict is not making bad decisions, but they are effectively taking away any reason for the addict to want to make the right decisions. In addition, enablers may accept and/or believe the lies that the addict tells them. They are blind to the truth because of their love and need to care for the addict. On the other hand, enablers may also imagine the addict dying or becoming severely injured, all while feeling guilty because of those thoughts. Enablers feel like everything depends on them and can often be tired, restless, and worrisome. In short, enablers take on the responsibility the addict should be holding, whether the problems are financial, social, medical, or other.

Stop Enabling Now

The best way to avoid enabling is by treating the addict with dignity and respect. Although it may be difficult, this is one of the things they need in order to realize they have to change. You should learn more about the disease and encourage good behaviors, but you do not have to be constantly watching to make sure they make the right choices. Allow the addict to take responsibility because, even though you care about them, they have to face the consequences of their actions. If they start to feel the pain and seriousness of addiction, they may begin to try and seek help for their disease. Above all, be clear and kind. By yelling, chastising, blaming, or shaming them, you are not going to get the result you desire. Guilt and shame often plague addicts and can be triggers. Addicts can be harder on themselves than anyone around them.

You have to take care of yourself first and foremost. It is not selfish to put focus on your own physical and emotional needs. By taking care of your health, you are setting a positive example for everyone around you, including the addict. Support groups can be helpful, and they can guide you to make healthy changes to the family dynamic.

Hired Power can help you decide upon a recovery plan and guide you through the changes to make to your lifestyle. By providing healthy options and caring staff, Hired Power is leading the way in addiction recovery.

Call 800-910-9299 for more information on how you can begin recovery.


Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More


        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at