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Signs You’re Enabling Your Loved One

Posted on April 23, 2022

If you have a loved one with a substance use disorder, it can be difficult to know when you are enabling them. Many people enable their loved ones without even realizing it. Enabling is anything that allows your loved one to continue using drugs or alcohol. It can be challenging to break the cycle of enabling, but it is important to do so if you want your loved one to get help. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs of enabling and what can be done to stop it.

A clear sign that you are enabling your loved one is if you’re trying to ignore the problem.

You might think that by ignoring the problem, it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Your loved one may need help from professionals to get better, and it may be too much to handle the situation on your own.

Additional signs you may be enabling someone with a substance use disorder:

  • They have been using drugs or alcohol for more than six months without any treatment, and you are still helping them financially by giving money or paying bills that should be their responsibility.
  • You have tried talking about treatment options with your loved one, but they refuse every time you bring it up, or they say things like, “I’ll think about getting help tomorrow.”
  • You make excuses for your loved one’s behavior, such as “he was just having a bad day” or “she didn’t mean to hurt me.” This type of thinking will only enable your loved one to continue their destructive behavior.
  • You try to take care of everything around the house so that your loved one can rest after using drugs and alcohol. This might seem like a good idea at first glance, but it actually gives them less incentive to get better since they know these things are taken care of already.
  • You may tell yourself that if you leave or stop helping them financially, they will end up homeless or on the streets. This is a common fear that people have, but it’s important to remember that you are not responsible for your loved one’s well-being.
  • You feel responsible for everything that happens in your loved one’s life. This is another sign that you are trying to take on too much responsibility and may be preventing them from taking control of their own lives.

If you are enabling your loved one, it’s important to seek help from professionals.

There are many resources available to help you break the cycle of enabling and get your loved one the help they need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if it’s what your loved one needs right now.

The best way is by going through a professional treatment program that will help your loved one learn healthy coping mechanisms and life skills so they can stay sober after leaving the facility. They will also be able to work through any underlying issues that might have contributed to their substance use in the first place.

There are also many self-help groups available like Al-Anon, which offer support for people who have gone through similar struggles in dealing with a loved one’s substance use disorder. Attending meetings regularly can help you and provide you with a network of peers who understand what you’re going through.

Recovery is possible when you have a support system behind your loved one that will help them stay accountable for their actions and having your own support system can help you provide the accountability your loved one needs. You don’t have to go through this process alone.




Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration.

We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.