An enabler is a person who does not provide drugs or alcohol to a person with addiction but in some way supports them. That support allows the person to continue to engage in their negative behavior. For many people, be labeled this can seem like an insult because most people who engage in this behavior believe they are trying to support a loved one in need. Yet, that may lead to complex outcomes and a worsening of a person’s addiction. At Sierra Sage Recovery Services, we provide tools to help break these complications.
Who Is an Enabler?
An enabler is a person who is a person who is allowing self-destructive patterns or behaviors to occur. Most people who engage in this type of behavior do so without intention. They do not mean their loved one harm. Many times, they do not realize they are doing so. Specifically, an enabler is a person who has a close relationship with an individual who is engaging in some harmful or problematic behavior and is, in some way, making it possible for that person to engage in that behavior.
An enabler does not necessarily support the negative behavior of their loved one. Yet, they may believe if they do not help, they or another person will suffer as a result.
What Are Signs of an Enabler?
One of the best ways to determine if a person is an enabler is to consider their actions. Here are a few examples of signs of enabling behavior:
- Ignoring a person’s problematic behavior – often tolerating it even when they know it is bad
- Providing financial assistance to a person, such as giving them money to pay the bills because they spent their money on alcohol or drugs
- Making excuses or covering up for the behavior of a loved one even when they may not be telling the trouble
- Doing the work at home, often more of the responsibilities than should be because of a person’s negative behaviors
- Avoiding the problem even when others discuss it or point out what is happening
- Denying the problem, often to the point of stating that nothing is wrong
What Is Codependence?
Another enabling is called codependence. It is an excessive emotional reliance on another person. For example, this person takes care of an individual who may have a drug or alcohol addiction. They may provide support for that individual. They may experience intense abuse or work twice as hard to help them even when they do not fulfill promises. Codependence is another level of difficulty for families with loved ones with addiction.
How to Get Help as an Enabler?
One of the key components of addiction therapy is helping a person stop using drugs or alcohol. Yet, that is not the only important part. Family therapy is just as valuable. It is a key component of helping the family support each other healthily to achieve a life of sobriety. Without proper support, rather than codependence, a family unit can overcome this struggle in a meaningful manner.
At Sierra Sage Recovery Services, we offer comprehensive care that includes family therapy. Some of those services start with:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient treatment program
- Outpatient treatment program
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
Find the Treatment Your Family Needs at Sierra Sage Recovery Services
When you’re battling addiction in your family, the label of an enabler hurts. Many people may think they are doing the best they can. That may be true, but those with addiction need professional treatment and support. At Sierra Sage Recovery Services, we believe in family therapy to improve outcomes. Learn more when you give us a call at 833.922.2884 or connect with us online.