How to Stop Enabling an Addict

Addiction is a difficult disease to deal with, both for the individual who is addicted and for their loved ones, who may feel helpless in the face of the addict’s destructive behaviour.
While substance misuse only has direct physiological impacts on the user, it has far-reaching social consequences for everyone else involved. South Africa is home to a burgeoning population of recovering addicts, counsellors, and specialists, making it an excellent setting for alcohol rehabilitation centresGet in touch with us for more information on our long term rehab centre.
Even if they don’t see themselves as enablers, people who witness a loved one spiral further into the abyss of addiction might experience a range of negative emotions, including anger, tension, and worry. As a result, they might find themselves taking up the role of enable without even meaning to. Putting an end to the cycle of addiction: In this article, we take a look at how to prevent an addict from becoming a victim.

Understanding the role of the enabler

An enabler cleans up after the addict, reinforcing the their behaviour and preventing the user from facing the consequences of their actions. Because they are taking care of someone they love very much and who is ill, enablers may feel compelled to use enabling behaviour out of love.
The relationship between an enabler and their loved one who is addicted is often one of co-dependency. Some people need to feel useful, and others have an irrational need to solve problems that aren’t theirs. When one person in the relationship is enabling the other’s substance abuse, the connection quickly deteriorates for both parties involved.

Breaking the Cycle: How to Stop Enabling an Addict
Breaking the Cycle: How to Stop Enabling an Addict
Breaking the Cycle: How to Stop Enabling an Addict

Another prevalent form of enabling is when a loved one covers up for an addict out of fear for the family’s reputation. Finally, an addict’s social circle might be enabled by, for example, turning a blind eye to, or even encouraging, destructive behaviours. Many people who develop an addiction to substances first experiment with them during a social gathering, and then their use escalates as they develop a tolerance to and eventual dependency on the substance. Here, we’ll give you the tools you need to finally help your loved one and to stop the vicious cycle of enabling.

Start by setting boundaries

Set reasonable and clear boundaries. Make it clear to your loved one that you will no longer provide any form of support while they are abusing drugs or alcohol, but that you will be there for them if they are serious about finding treatment. Spell out the conditions. Maintain sincerity while remaining tough but kind.

Don’t fear the repercussions

Families of addicts often continue to provide support because they are terrified of the addict’s behaviour if they are suddenly cut off. There’s a common misconception that an addict will react negatively when confronted by a loved one about their habit. They could feel like their loved ones are attacking them and respond violently as a result.
On the other hand, some families continue to enable out of a desire to maintain a close relationship with their loved one. Even if the addict is still using, keeping them safe from danger might help soothe their minds.
They worry that if the substance abuser is alone, they will overdose, be attacked, or be arrested. Addiction is a scary and debilitating disease, with far-reaching consequences that affect everyone in some way. However, enabling must end immediately.
While we advise not fearing the repercussions of cutting off your enablement, we also caution that you still need to take some measures to ensure your safety. Addicts in the throes of their disease often display unpredictable behaviours. Some people going through withdrawals report feeling restless or ill at ease. If you are concerned for your safety, it is best not to meet with the addict alone.

Breaking the Cycle: How to Stop Enabling an Addict
Breaking the Cycle: How to Stop Enabling an Addict

Don’t wait for rock bottom

There’s no truth to the saying that says you have to hit bottom before you’ll ask for help. Regaining control of one’s life is much simpler if the addict is willing to enter treatment before things get out of control. Never wait for something terrible to happen before encouraging the addict to seek help. However, some addicts really do need things to become as terrible as possible before they’ll take the necessary measures towards positive transformation. To what extent addiction treatment is successful varies entirely on the individual.

Don’t make excuses for their behaviour

If you find yourself making calls on behalf of a loved one in order to cover for their behaviour because they are hung over and unable to get up for work or school, you need to stop.
It’s not always easy. Let’s pretend you’re covering for your partner since you’re worried about their job security. While this might seem like a valid reason to cover for their behaviour, the only way to break the pattern is to let them experience the full force of the consequences of their addiction.

Do not make drugs or alcohol available

You can no longer partake in any activities with the addicted individual that include using drugs or alcohol if you want to break the cycle of aiding their disease. Offer to get dinner or coffee with them instead of driving them to a party. If they show up drunk, change your plans and tell them you’ll talk to them once they sober up.

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