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We all want what is best for our loved ones, especially when they are struggling with something such as an addiction. However at times it may be hard to tell whether we are actually helping them or enabling their behavior leading to continued use. An enabler is a loved one who would do anything and everything in their power to help their loved one by handling any problems that may have been caused by them.

Some examples that you may be enabling an addict are:

Offering Transportation

By offering your loved one transportation as they need it, you are giving them reliance on you to be there and to take them wherever they need to go. This would include their going to use and/or get their drug of choice. Yes, there are always other means of transportation and ways for them to get there but by removing yourself as an option, their choices are even more limited than before.

Lending Money

When you lend money to an addict the odds of them using it for what they say are often slim, sadly. Depending on how frequently you cover them on things, that may become all they begin to see you as is someone who can give them money when they are low. The same will go with paying for things such as their bills and other expenses.

Lies and Excuses

As much as you want to help and protect your loved one, lying and making up excuses for them won’t help. If anything it just shows them that any problems they face you will handle for them or back them up if need be. If your loved one puts you in the position of lying for them make it clear that it is not something you can do for them. Overall, it is time for them to take responsibility for their actions.

It can be very hard not to enable your loved one. You may feel guilty as though if you don’t offer them rides or don’t help them that something bad may happen. In reality it could help them realize the wrong in their actions of having these expectations. However, just because you do not help them clean up their messes this does not mean that you cannot offer them your full support. You, as the loved one, may also find it helpful to visit Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings to talk with others who have been in similar situations.

If you have a loved one that is struggling with drugs or alcohol, call Serenity Acres to speak to an addictions professional today, at 1-800-203-2024.