Enabling: Are you Enabling your Teen?

Are you an Enabler?

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What is enabling?

Enabling, put quite simply, is the actions someone takes or doesn’t take that allow or help an addict to continue drinking or using. Even with the best intentions through love and caring, we inadvertently strengthen the addiction of a loved one when what we really intended to do was “help them to stop”. This process usually begins slowly over time and almost always with the intention to help. The alcoholic is hungover and we call him off work because we don’t want him to lose his job, or we lend the drug user money because he is “just a little bit behind this week”. As untreated alcoholism and drug addiction progress, so too can our enabling behaviors progress. We find ourselves tolerating more and more outrageous behaviors that we never would’ve put up with years or even months ago. We begin to compromise our own sense of morals and dignity. Our focus becomes more and more on the addicted one and we, very often, begin to lose ourselves in the process. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially we end up drained. At later stages, the addict’s behavior can even begin to affect us physically after the anxiety and stress of a hundred sleepless nights begin to add up. In the end, it is usually only anger, frustration, and hopelessness that is left. Sometimes we become so frustrated we leave, but some of us hang on to the bitter end, always asking ourselves, “Just why won’t they get help?”

If you are really wanting to get your child help for addiction, stop enabling them and call us now. We can help you locate a treatment program that will work. Private, and non-co-ed facilities are available to your teen with addiction.

Call us now. 1-800-513-5423

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Why won’t they get help?

The answer is pretty simple. Because right now, this drug and alcohol use is more comfortable than seeking treatment. With all the negative consequences that we see, it may not appear so comfortable to us, but it’s the truth. And the reason that it is more comfortable for them is that we have helped to make it that way. It is common for us at Free My Addiction to find a loving family completely encircling an addict. When this person has no job because the family loans them money, they have no apartment because the family lets them come back home again, “just until he gets on his feet”. This person is not in jail because the family has bailed them out, or the addict will drive drunk because no one ever confronts them, grandparents do not know about this problem because the family keeps the addiction a secret, and the family has never prosecuted them because the family didn’t want to give them any more legal problems even though the addict has stolen from them time and time again.

Of course, these are extreme examples but enabling even occurs towards those who haven’t quite bottomed out and are still highly functional in society. For us to more greatly understand our role in the lives of an addicted one, it is best if we break down the basic types of enabling behaviors and look back into our past and see if we have exhibited any of these behaviors at the time. Do not worry if you have done or currently possess any of these enabling characteristics. As we like to say, the more enabling factors that are currently present, the better…because we are going to change them. As long as all the factors around an addict remain the same he will continue to behave as he always has. If we change our behaviors then so must he in response. We need the addict to feel the negative consequences of their lifestyle choice, perhaps for the first time in his life.

At Free My Addiction we cover over 17 enabling factors and exactly how each affects the addict. Although many of our interventionists and counselors have backgrounds in teaching and instruction, we do not wish to simply teach the material. What we are trying to do, through our own personal experiences, is guide the family so that each family member comes to their own realization as to how their past actions could possibly have affected their loved one. Identifying how we have enabled is just a part of the entire intervention process, but still an extremely important one.

For help in locating the best drug rehab center for your son or daughter, please call us today. this is a free, 24/7 service.


If you need help for an adult in your life Addiction No More is a locator service for treatment programs for adults.

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