Enabler, the Alcoholic and Drug Addicts Crutch

Enabler, the Alcoholic and Drug Addicts Crutch
Could you be enabling the addict in your life?

Love can be a very complicated emotion in many ways. Many times because of this deep heart-felt emotion we look past what we know to be right in our gut and react with our heart.

Whether you are living with an alcoholic or drug addict or have one in your life, it’s so easy to get caught up in the enabler role. Life has become so chaotic, traumatic, depressing, stressful and devastating that you don’t even realize you’re enabling the alcoholic or drug addict and their addiction.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I pretend sometimes that everything is alright; it’s just my imagination that he or she has a problem with drug or alcohol addiction?
  2. Do I make excuses for their behavior to yourself and others?
  3. Do I choose to believe their excuses even though my gut tells me otherwise?
  4. Do I financially support their drug or alcohol addiction convincing yourself that’s not what you’re really doing? Enablers not only make excuses for the addict but make excuses for their own behaviors.
  5. Do I cover for them when it concerns work, school or legal drug or alcohol related issues?
  6. Do you avoid the addict and stir away from confronting them most of the time concerning their substance abuse and addiction?

Drug addiction and alcohol dependency not only destroys the addict, but tears down anything and anyone that gets in the way. When an abuser is living day to day going through the motions there is only one thing on their mind, their next fix, high or drink and many times both. It doesn’t matter what drug of choice the substance addiction is to, the end result is the same. The drug addict not only stops living for themselves, but the people in their lives that once meant the most to them have now become second or third in their lives. Loved ones and friends are not what are important anymore due to the psychological and physical extreme need for the substance.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the role of an addiction enabler, we innocently believe that we need to take care of the addict and protect them not only from others but from themselves. Because this is done out of love, we don’t see that we are just making matters worse while feeding into the addiction. Not only does the alcoholic or drug abuser need professional help, so does the enabler. This cycle can be stopped but most of the time, we can’t do it alone.

You have to understand and except the fact that until the addict is ready and wants help; their negative behaviors will continue and get worse as time goes on. You have no control over that, only he or she does. What you don’t realize is that you are contributing to their addictions and negative behaviors. Not causing them, contributing to them. Many times the alcoholic or drug addict blames the ones they love for their addictive behavior and dependency, because of denial and it’s easy. Until they’re ready for help, they have to blame someone or something and loved ones are safe to them.

You have stayed with them until now knowing full well they are a long road away from helping themselves so they’re pretty sure they can place blame on you and other loved ones and friends and you will not only cover for them, but you’re not going anywhere. Love is blind though, it’s easy to get caught up in this role because we truly love and care about that person. It’s hard enough for you to see them destroy themselves let along let the world around them see it so we cover for them and try to cushion the behavior making excuses to ourselves as well as everyone else.

If you want to truly help them, then you have to help yourself first. That’s next to impossible most of the time without counseling, therapy and support from family, friends and a support group. No more excuses, say this to yourself over and over again and out loud if you have to. This habit can be broken but takes a conscious effort daily on your part to free yourself of guilt and make them responsible for their addiction and behavior. It’s important to remember that you can’t fix something that’s not in your control, you can only fix yourself. Seeing you help yourself many times eventually leads to the alcoholic or drug addict helping themselves.

Post Discussion

  1. Addict

    I would personally recommend looking into Unity Rehab if you feel or know someone with an alcohol issue. They are highly recommended nationwide and have such a great reputation. They offer holistic and spiritual treatment, along with a successful 12 step program that helps to reach a healthy positive recovery. Unity Rehab has very knowledgeable staff who have the ability to cater to anyone's needs. Their primary focus is to make sure that you're able to receive the help you need to reach a healthy recovery.

  2. Addict

    My boyfriend has a problem with prescription pain meds. At 3am I caught him rummaging through my car looking for any prescriptions that I may have left from my root canal 2 weeks ago. This is not the first time he has stolen my meds.
    I have had 3 back surgeries in the last 2.5 years. He has taken my meds from me so many times. Once when I needed them directly after surgery, they were completely gone. I was in so much pain, but if I told on him, then my doctor would surely file charges against him.
    He has stolen them from me when I picked them up from the pharmacist and then denied he did this. I called to file a complaint with the pharmacy because he blamed a worker at the pharmacy. I love him and am so sad that words cannot explain my pain, but I do not want to be with this ever-changing/worsening person he is today. I do not want to be his enabler. He tells me he can not afford rehab, but would go if he could. Can you help us?

    • Addict

      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. You're not alone though, having someone in your life that you love and care about that is addicted to pain medication is heart-wrenching.

      I know it's easier said than done but you can't lie for him, cover for him or blame yourself. Enabling the person not only destroys you inside but makes them worse and strengthens their addiction.

      Your boyfriend needs serious help and until he's ready, there is nothing you can do but take care of yourself. If he is serious and wants help there are 12 step programs like narcotics anonymous in most states. Some states also offer free programs for people battling drug addiction and seeking help. For more advice you can call 1-800-559-9503 any time day or night and talk with a counselor. They will give you good professional advice as far as what steps to take next.

      No matter what, you have to take care of yourself and hopefully your boyfriend is serious and ready for help. Make that call Kate I know they can help. Good Luck!

  3. Addict

    my boyfriend of 8 years doesnt want to believe he has an issue. I know that he purchases dope on a regular basis and will find a so called friend when I am not babysitting him to go out and get drunk with. He has 4 prior dwi's over the years and I do believe some personality issues other than drug related. I really dont know because he hides the drug use, he believes it makes his mental issues better. I am looking for a group to get into ( hopefully with him ) to show him how damaging and disfunctional this has been. We are no further along in our relationship and truthfully I have started lashing out at his selfishness. What do you think ..My friends say just run but I do love him or am I just caught up in his issues and dont want to be alone? He doesnt ever admit he has any problems except afterward he is always sorry and blames me for his actions because I left him alone. If he gets caught drinking and driving again he is facing 3-5 years jail time and since I took care of his life through the last one..I cannot go through it again..He goes to work everyday and doesn tdrink through the week I believe he is a binge drinker. His two friend drink everyday and he refuses to admit that he should rid himself of them. I have never used drugs of any sort and do not drink so this is very hard for me. I atleast thought that if he lost he he would change but he just cries with no actions.

  4. Addict

    What do u do when your 22 yr. old daughter, who has been through 33 days of rehab and has a 1 1/2 yr old daughter, my ONLY grandchild, goes back to her old ways? She is living w/us...do we kick her out? I'm so sad because I know we will not have any part of custody of my granddaughter....the father wants full custody and we are a state away.

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