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6 Ways to Stop Enabling an Addict in your life

a pertson comforts another in front of a therapist after learning ways to stop enabling an addict

If you know someone struggling with addiction, you likely know how difficult it can be to talk with them about their habits. It can also be hard to discuss with those around you what is happening with your loved one. You may feel you need to keep all of their business private to shield them from criticism. Bills, responsibilities, and routines may also fall on your plate to handle since they are gripped by addiction. Finding ways to stop enabling addiction can help you find relief from these burdens and help your loved one find the addiction treatment they need.

Northpoint Seattle has addiction resources to help you and your loved ones. If you are still unsure how to approach the person you care about regarding their struggles with drugs or alcohol, give our team a call at 425.414.3530. We can help you understand what is happening and how you can help. Keep reading to learn ways to stop enabling addiction.

What Is Enabling?

Many people don’t realize they are enabling someone with an addiction because they believe they are helping. However, enabling actually perpetuates the addiction by taking away the negative consequences that should come as a result of using drugs or alcohol.

Enabling can look like many different things. Some examples include:

  • Ignoring the problem – You may pretend everything is okay and that they don’t have a problem. This might be because you are in denial or because you are worried about what will happen if you acknowledge their addiction.
  • Making excuses – You may make excuses for their absences, tardiness, or poor performance at work or school. You might say they are going through a tough time or a phase.
  • Hiding their addiction – You may try to keep their addiction a secret by hiding their drugs or alcohol, lying for them, or making excuses. This might be because you are embarrassed or don’t want them to get in trouble.
  • Doing things for them – You may do things they should be doing for themselves, such as calling in sick, making excuses for them, or cleaning up after them. This might be because you feel sorry for them or don’t want to see them suffer.

How to Stop Enabling an Addict

Below are six ways you can stop enabling an addict in your life:

1. Set Boundaries with Them

One way to stop enabling an addict is to set boundaries with them. This means you must be clear about what you will and will not do for them. It also means you need to stick to your boundaries even when it’s difficult.

2. Don’t Make Excuses for Them

Another way to stop enabling an addict is not to make excuses for them. This means you need to hold them accountable for their actions.

3. Don’t Hide their Addiction

Another way to stop enabling an addict is to not hide their addiction. This means you need to be honest about their problem. It also means you need to stop making excuses for their behavior.

4. Don’t Do Things for Them

Another way to stop enabling an addict is to not do things for them. This means you need to let them take responsibility for their own life. It also means you need to stop doing things that they should be doing for themselves.

5. Help Them Get Treatment

Another way to stop enabling an addict is to help them get treatment. This means you need to encourage them to seek help. It also means you need to be there for them when they are ready to get help.

6. Take Care of Yourself

Another way to stop enabling an addict is to take care of yourself. This means you need to put your own needs first. It also means you need to find a support system to help you through this difficult time.

Find Addiction Help at Northpoint Seattle

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, we can help. At Northpoint Seattle, we offer a variety of addiction resources, including outpatient treatment programs. We also provide several support groups and services to help you through this difficult time. To learn more about our addiction resources, call us at 425.414.3530 today.