“Enabling” behaviors are things a person does (or refrains from doing) that allow someone they care about to continue a pattern of substance abuse. Although those behaviors may feel like the right thing to do, they are, in fact, making it harder for the person to come to terms with their problem and seek help at a benzo detox.
What Specifically is Enabling?
In order to avoid enabling behaviors it’s important to be able to identify them. Some examples include:
Pointing the finger at others. A person’s life circumstances may help explain why they felt they needed to turn to drugs for relief, but their significant other, family, coworkers, or the legal system are not to blame for the choices they made. Helping a person avoid responsibility by blaming others is not helpful.
Too much financial help. No, you don’t want to see your loved one lose their home or car because they can’t afford to make the payments. But, giving them large sums of money only makes it easier for them to continue getting the substance they are abusing.
Ignoring the problem. A person with an addiction does something highly embarrassing around family or in public, and instead of talking with them about the situation, you act as if it never happened. This “non-action” is an enabling behavior.
Confused priorities. It’s great to care for the needs of a loved one with an addiction. But when that caring continually takes precedence over doing what’s right and necessary for the other people in your life (or for yourself), you are creating an environment in which continuing the addiction equates to continuing to get your undivided attention.
No More Enabling
To put an end to your enabling behavior, do the following:
Acknowledge that the person has an addiction. Their drug use isn’t “a phase” or “a coping mechanism,” it’s a disease. And they’re going to need your help to beat it.
Prepare for tough times ahead. It’s in the person’s best interests that you stop enabling them. However, that’s going to mean that life gets harder for them and for you for a while.
Don’t waffle. When your decision to stop enabling brings on those hard times, it will be tempting to “give in.” But, it’s important that you stand firm.
Reach out. In order to be supportive without being enabling, you may need some support yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends.
It’s the Right Thing for Them… and You
The transition in your relationship will be difficult, but very soon you’ll see that your decision was the right one, for them and for you. Contact us today at (800) 205-6107 to find out about the services we offer at our Sacramento benzo detox.
Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on October 18th, 2017.
"headline": "Benzo Detox Explains How Not to Become an Enabler",
"name": "Diamond House Detox"
"name": "Diamond House Detox",