How to Support a User without Supporting?

How to Support a User without Supporting?

People may frequently be supporting a loved one’s addiction without even realizing it.

When someone battles with drug or alcohol addiction, their loved ones also deal with conflicting emotions of love, anguish, disappointment, and protectiveness. 

Family and friends may cover up for their loved ones, give them money for drugs, or bail them out of jail – all in an effort to keep them away from danger. Unfortunately, these actions can do more harm than good by enabling the person who has the addiction.

Finding the Symptoms: Are You Facilitating a Loved One?

The American Psychological Association describes a “enabler” as a person who supports another person’s maladaptive conduct, such as substance misuse. Most enablers don’t seek out to aid in their loved one’s addiction on purpose. More often than not, enablers just want to aid their loved ones and keep them safe.

According to research from the Pew Research Center, roughly 46% of Americans have a close family member or acquaintance with a drug addiction. Almost half of the population knows someone close to them with a drug addiction disease, therefore chances are high that you or someone you know is an enabler.  

1. Even if it’s not for alcohol or drugs, you’re still giving them money.

Most individuals won’t give their addicted loved one money to buy drugs or alcohol. However, they will give them cash for other things that are regarded as necessities, like food, clothing, housing, or paying off debts. 

Despite good intentions, sending money to someone who is addicted to drugs is never beneficial. Any source of income is a possible exchange for drugs or alcohol to someone who is struggling with an addiction.

It seems sense that this conduct is difficult for sober family members to comprehend or tolerate. However, those who are addicted to drugs will use the people they care about the most to further their addiction. 

They will use any available way to obtain drugs or alcohol, even if it means taking money intended for shelter or food.  If you donate money to someone who has a drug use issue, they’ll probably use it to support their habits. 

2. Putting their needs ahead of others’ (or your own) needs.

In order to fulfill the requirements of the addicted individual, enablers are prepared to sacrifice their own or other needs. They neglect their obligations in favor of giving the addict their undivided attention, if not their whole focus. When this happens, family members run the risk of alienating other significant individuals in their lives, compromising everyone’s safety. 

It’s only natural to want to support a loved one, but it’s not wise to put other people’s wellbeing at risk in the process.  The addict is merely fueled and propelled deeper into substance use by the attention from the one who is providing them with support. 

3. Deception to Protect the Addict by Lying to Others

Alcohol or substance abusers treatment will lie to and manipulate anyone to get their hands on alcohol or drugs. Addiction alters the brain and impairs the capacity to make wise decisions, claims a National Institutes of Health report. As a result, someone lies because their addiction compels them to do so, not because they’re a “bad person.” 

On the other hand, enablers might lie and claim to be guarding their loved ones. Enablers will lie and cover up for their loved ones rather than letting the natural consequences of their actions take place. 

4. Assigning blame to everyone and everything but the addict

Enablers may place the blame on others since it is difficult to hold a loved one accountable for something that appears to be beyond their control. An enabler will point the finger at friends, family, or coworkers rather than the actual addict. For instance, enablers may claim that people are lying about their loved one’s actions in an effort to shield them from the shame associated with addiction. 

Instead of blaming, friends and family members should seek accountability and responsibility – in themselves and the individual with the addiction. Pointing fingers at everyone else keeps the person with the addiction free from consequences or responsibility for their behaviors. 

How to Assist Without Facilitating?

There’s a stigma linked to the word “enabler,” since many incorrectly believe an enabler is deliberately contributing to an individual’s drug or alcohol addiction. In actuality, most enablers do so out of great love and affection for the addicted individual.  They are acting in accordance with their beliefs. 

The following actions can be taken to cease once a friend or family member learns that their actions are enabling their loved one. If a loved one needs assistance with an addiction, they can: 

Understand Addiction

Understanding what your loved one is going through can make it easier for them to receive the support they actually require. To participate in organizations like AI-anon or Narcotics Anonymous, one does not need to be an addict. 

Understanding the Science of Addiction | Patient Care

The gap between family and the addict can be closed and communication improved with the aid of a trained interventionist. 

Set Limits and Develop Your Communication Skills

Boundaries are a technique for you to show your love and disapproval of your addiction or present conduct. Setting boundaries is one method to show your family members that you care about them as your enabling and unhealthy actions have an impact on them. 

In the early stages of recovery, learning how to communicate with your loved one effectively can be helpful. It could be time to try something different if your current method of communication isn’t working.  

Stay True to Your Word

As hard as it might be following through with consequences is important for addicts to learn from their mistakes. Without consequences, an addicted individual is less likely to seek sobriety. 

Getting Clean from Addiction

No Matter What Recovery can assist if you or someone you know is addicted. In a supportive and compassionate atmosphere, we provide addiction treatment and aftercare for the mind, body, and spirit. 

Ellen Hollington

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