How to Stop Enabling Loved Ones Without Cutting Them Out of Your Life
By Stonewater Recovery · 1 minute read
When you have a loved one battling addiction, often all we want to do is help that person. Many times, however, helping someone turns into enabling the person to continue with their drug or alcohol use, even if we've asked them to stop using before. There comes a time when the things we feel that we must do because we're family is going to simply keep letting them spiral downward into their addiction. One of the first steps is often the hardest: you have to say no. Setting healthy boundaries that are realistic and manageable can be extremely hard, but it's just as necessary. By simply letting addiction happen, whether it's providing money, transportation or even housing that helps someone further their drug or alcohol habit, even if you're not giving them the bottle or needle yourself, you're enabling them. Learning to say no, unless they're willing to go to treatment or follow the rules under your roof, such as a no-drug home, is the key. You also can't ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Instead, take the opportunity to talk to your loved one and try to really get a feel for where they're coming from and what they're going through. Addiction can make people feel extremely isolated, and by reaching out to try and get on their level, you're breaking down the barriers that may have made you both uncomfortable with trying to get help for your loved one. With time and patience, it's possible to stop enabling your loved one without cutting them out of your life entirely. Set firm, realistic boundaries about what you will and will not do until they decide to get help or are willing to let you help them, and make an effort to understand their situation. By being firm, unwavering, and still caring, you'll help your loved one see that you really do want the best for them, and only want to help if they'll let you, but that you won't be helping them get their fix.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs for addiction recovery. Our programs involve the whole family for foundation building, life cleansing change.
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