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Drug addiction is bad enough and dangerous enough as it is but one other thing that makes it really worse and could lead to the further problem is when a family member, a friend or a loved one takes a role that enables the bad and destructive habits of the addict. A drug addict is already in a mess that needs a strong resolve and the positive support of his/her loved ones to overcome. To become an enabler to such a situation is to be a contributor to the destructiveness of drug addiction and put the addict, yourself and others in harm’s way.
The sad thing is that most times enablers think that what they are doing is the best way to help in a situation of drug abuse and addiction. To stop the habit of enabling a drug user or addict, the truth is that there is a need for the person identified as enabler to undergo a complete change in mind-set in order to desist from those destructive habits and take on habits that actually help the addict. In many instances, where an enabler is present, they prolong the trouble of addiction and many times, become a stumbling block to the recovery of the addict because they keep provide cushion and opportunity for the addict to continue in his/her destructive habits.
For many addicts, especially those who started at a young age, their involvement with drugs could have been prevented from proceeding into addiction but for the presence enablers in their lives. Many people who could not overcome the problem of drug addiction in their lives and eventually died of drug overdose or drug-related troubles had an enabler or many enablers in their lives.
Enabling is very dangerous for the drug addicts and those around him. It never allows the problems relating to be confronted or resolved. It often seems like help but usually leads to a destructive end.
If you have a friend, family member or loved one who is faced with challenge of drug addiction, make sure that you are not an enabler.
These signs will help you determine if you or anyone else around a drug addict is an enabler:
You ignore the negative behaviour –
This is often the first reaction of many family members and loved ones to drug-related excesses or drug addiction. It may involve deny the problem, overlooking it, or belittling it. This often delays intervention that could help the addict recover and cause serious damage.
You can’t talk about it –
One way drug addiction is allowed to thrive is when those close to the addicts find it hard to discuss and express their feelings especially when they feel there may be negative consequences for talking about what and the problems make them feel.
You give the addict top priority –
People enable addicts when in a bid to help or show them love, they begin to do everything make sure the addicts needs are met to their own detriment and/or that of others. This is rewarding bad behaviour and it will make it continue.
You give in to fear –
In many cases, drug addiction bring a lot of problems that may create fear and despair. When one gives in to the fear instead of resisting it, one begins to take actions in fear and this enables the addiction to continue because the addict can take advantage of that fear to make wrong demand or make threats.
Cover ups –
Helping to cover up the bad behaviours of a drug addict, whatever the reason, is helping him/her to further destroy him/herself. It never a good a idea to cover up a drug addict whether to keep the peace or save face or to help them escape the law.
Shifting blame –
It is wrong to divert the blame of what an addict as done to other people, events or circumstances. This is enabling the addict to avoid taking responsibility for his/her action and this will make it very hard to change.
Resentment and verbal abuse –
Drug addiction causes a lot of pain and hurt for the loved ones of the addict. This may lead to resentment especially when they take of the burden of trying to fix the situation by engaging in any of the above behaviours. Acting in resentment and verbal abuse often drives the addict further into the drugs and away from possible help. In order to avoid resentment, loved ones of an addict must learn to protect their own peace and integrity by understanding that they are not responsible for an addict’s behaviour and can only offer help and support. They must move on with their lives and other relationships while hoping on the addicts turn around.
If you find that any of these enabling behaviours apply to you, you must make a u-turn today so that you can truly help that loved one that is struggling with drug addiction. Try to seek professional help on how to handle a drug addict.