Enabling vs. Helping an Addict

Home / Addiction / Enabling vs. Helping an Addict


Enabling vs. Helping an Addict

There is a very big difference between enabling and helping an addict, yet often these terms are confused. Enabling an addict is doing things for them that continues their addiction, while helping them is moving them towards recovering from their addiction. Many loved ones of addicts think doing certain things for the addict may help them recover but it is just enabling them to continue their addiction. For example, if an addict overslept and is going to be late for work because they spent the night awake doing drugs, waking them up so they are not late is enabling their addiction. Letting them oversleep and living the consequences of their actions would help them in the long run.

If you think you may be enabling your loved ones addiction, ask yourself a few questions. Do you make excuses for them? Do you endlessly lend them money for their fix? Do you clean up their messes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be an enabler. It does not have to continue forever. You can stop enabling and start helping now. You can stop lying for them, stop arguing with them and most importantly stop funding their habits. It might be hard, but it will be worth it.