You find out that your son or daughter is abusing drugs. What do you do next? Who do you turn to? How do you properly handle the situation? Then you start questioning yourself. Is this my fault? Are they addicted because of the way that I’ve raised him/her? What can I do to stop this? When you begin to think that your son or daughter has become addicted to drugs as a result of yourself, you are on the path to becoming an enabler, and it only makes matters worse. Enabling comes from trying to “fix” your child’s addiction, but you will actually hurt them more than helping them when you do this.
So, what is an enabler to an addict? An enabler is someone who choses to take on the responsibility and consequences of their loved one’s addiction. An enabler may do this in order to “help” their addicted loved one by taking the burden off of their shoulders and placing it on their own.
Am I an Enabler?
You may be an enabler if:
- You take the responsibility for your child’s addiction by saying that it was “your fault” for not raising them correctly
- You feel superior by taking care of them and want to do so for as long as possible
- You avoid confrontation with your child about their drug problem in order to preserve peace
- You are in denial that your child has a drug problem
- You keep pushing the problem to the side in hopes that it will get better later
- You believe that your child’s addiction is a result of your own actions
- You don’t encourage your addicted to child to seek treatment for fear of embarrassment
- You blame other influences or society for your child’s addiction
- You constantly bail them out of their situations — whether it be financially or out of jail?
How Not to be an Enabler
It is just important to learn how not to enable an addict as it is to learn what makes an enabler. Not being an enabler consists of doing what is best for your addicted child and not what makes the situation seem to be “easier.”
Don’t be in denial — You need to realize that your child’s drug problem is real and determine whether or not you are an enabler to your addicted child.
Make them take responsibility — Maybe you have been placing the blame on yourself for far too long. It’s time to make your child take responsibility for their own actions.
Don’t make excuses — Different hardships in life, such as a break-up or the loss of a loved one, can make individuals turn to drugs to cope. Although, don’t make excuses for your child to justify their drug use.
Keep an open channel of communication — Sitting down and talking with your child is the first step to get them on the road to recovery. Let them know that you are not mad at them, but that they need to get help.
Let law enforcement do its job — If you are constantly bailing your child out of jail or getting them out of wrongdoing by helping them financially, just let law enforcement do its job. Your child will realize that they can’t rely on other people to get out of situations.
Explore the different treatment options with them — Whether it be inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, there are different options for everybody. Research the best options for your child together.
If you are concerned about your child’s drug addiction, do not wait any longer to seek help. For more information on addiction treatment and prevention, call SAFE Prevention at 1-877-503-2608 as soon as possible to get your child started on their road to recovery. SAFE Prevention will provide you and your family with the resources you need to help your child make the transition to a healthy lifestyle. Call us today!