Enabling can be defined as handling tasks or activities for an individual that is addicted to a drug or substance in a way that makes life easier for the addict to continue with his or her destructive lifestyle. The addicted individual is fully capable of handling these tasks by himself and when someone else takes over, the addict finds a leeway to indulge more in their addiction.
Some of the things that are considered as enabling include:
- Handling chores for an addicted person such as laundry, running their errands, or taking care of their children on their behalf.
- Giving money to an addict which he or she uses to buy drugs.
- Making excuses for them in the workplace by using white lies to cover up for their absenteeism.
- Bailing the addict out when he or she lands in trouble with the law.
Doing such things will just help the person sink more into the addiction because he or she knows that you’re always there to clean up their mess. Unknowingly, you position the person in a space where he or she engages more in drug abuse without fear of impending consequences from you.
Enabling is a factor that fuels the strength of drug addiction. There is, therefore, a need for it to stop. Here are a few strategies that can be implemented to curb the enabling cycle:
- Raise Awareness To The Addict On The Need For Treatment
Most addicts hold the mindset that they are okay. They don’t consider their addiction as a disease but as a lifestyle that satisfies them. Some of the drugs they use alter with their way of thinking and they’re left with a frame of mind that isolates them from the reality of things.
It’s therefore important to shift from enabling to drilling into their minds the need for treatment. It won’t be an easy process and they won’t embrace the idea of treatment instantly. You may have to talk about it over and over and they’re more likely to resist the idea.
It will, however, go a long way in helping them as opposed to enabling that will only serve to strengthen their addiction. The more you talk about treatment, the more they will begin to see the need for it and take the step to actually pursue it.
- Let The Addict Suffer The Consequence
Enabling serves to cover up for the mistake that the addict makes. If, say, you bail the addict out of jail when he or she is arrested for an addiction-related crime, you free the person from the consequence. The person then holds the mindset that you will always walk behind him to clean up his mess so there is no consequence for him.
This should be reversed. Rather than enabling, let the addict suffer the consequence. If he is arrested, let him serve the jail term. If he fails to do his chores, let him stay in a dirty environment. If he misses work, let him be the one to deal with his boss as opposed to you covering up for him.
- Get Professional Help
Addiction is a monster that needs to be slain. As you lay aside everything that served as an enabling factor, you need to consider enrolling the addict into a rehab where he or she can get professional treatment.
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