When someone close to you develops a substance use disorder, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be a challenge to help them. One of the difficulties may be enabling your friend, family member, or loved one as you attempt to normalize, downplay, or ignore what they are going through. Learning how to avoid enabling addicts is vital for the friends and family of those in recovery. By identifying enabling behavior, friends and family can do their part to help individuals in recovery maintain their sobriety and get further support when necessary. At Harmony Hills, we want to let you know that there are some ways to set boundaries and help your loved one move toward recovery instead of facilitating their actions.
Set Boundaries When Avoiding Enabling Addicts
Boundaries are personal limits you see for others to obey. They can be physical, emotional, or even actions. The purpose of setting boundaries is that they make clear to others how you want to be treated, laying the foundation for mutual respect and care. For example, one type of boundary you might set is not allowing your boss to call you when you’re off the clock.
Likewise, you must set boundaries in your life with those who struggle through addiction. These boundaries protect you from taking on responsibilities that you should not have to do. For instance, you cannot control how long a person takes to complete a substance abuse treatment program. Or when a person leaves a treatment program, it can be counterproductive to consistently do too much for them, like grocery shopping or home cleaning, rather than developing the habit themselves.
Do Not Take on Shame or Blame
Your loved one may say things that they don’t mean. Substance abuse causes changes in the brain, which can increase impulsiveness in some people. Thus, they may blame you for their drug use or make you feel ashamed for their actions.
However, just as you set boundaries for what you will do to help them, you must also establish what words you will and won’t accept from them. For instance, you should not accept any blame for your loved one’s actions. You did not force them to use drugs or alcohol. They made the initial decision. However, once addiction set in, they eventually lost control over their actions. This is why finding the appropriate addiction treatment program is so important. At Harmony Hills, we offer the complete continuum of care:
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Aftercare program
Likewise, you should not feel shame for your loved one. Addiction hits families at all levels of society. Even “good” families can have people who suffer from substance use disorders. Having a loved one struggling does not lessen you or your family in any way. You should attend family therapy sessions with your loved one, though, if you want to help strengthen your family unit throughout treatment.
Do Not Attempt to Protect the Person with an Addiction
One major mistake that some people make is trying to protect their loved ones from their actions. For instance, some people may lie to the police if their loved one gets into legal trouble from their substance abuse. Avoid enabling addicts this way because you put yourself at risk of getting arrested, too, through these types of actions.
Instead, let your loved ones know that they must take responsibility for their actions, whatever the consequences. However, you can provide support in getting them treatment if they ask. Whether you help to pay for the treatment, though, depends on several personal factors, such as:
- Your relationship with the person with an addiction
- Whether they are under 18
- If they have a job
- Whether they live with you
- Their income and insurance coverage
- Your finances
By carefully examining these aspects of your situation, you can make a better decision on how to pay for the addiction treatment program.
Seek Treatment for Your Loved Ones at Harmony Hills
If you have a loved one who has problems with substance use, don’t let the issue control their life or hurt you. By recommending that they get help, you are avoiding enabling addicts and their behavior. You will accomplish the opposite by encouraging them to get treatment.
You want the best for your loved one, which is why you should consider recommending a facility for them that offers various amenities to make the recovery process easier. At Harmony Hills, our 67-acre campus features the following benefits:
- Workout gym
- Volleyball and basketball courts
- Walking trails
- Full-sized swimming pool
Find out more about Harmony Hills, our amenities, and our treatment programs for addiction by phoning us at 855.494.0357. The first step to avoiding enabling addicts is to get them the help they need. At Harmony Hills, we can provide that help to get your loved one closer toward a substance-free life.