When a chemically dependent person’s family, friends, and associates fortify that individual’s addictive patterns and drug use, it is known as Enabling. This is usually the result of protecting the addict from facing the dire consequences of using drugs.

Hasan TariqMr. Hasan Tariq is playing his part as a Counselor at Willing Ways Karachi for more than 2 years. He is a proven communicator, keen learner, and an avid reader, has been consistent in working with patients on drug addiction counseling, personal development, self-motivation, and bi-polar disorder. He has been assigned a Facebook page “Willing Ways Karachi”, on which he is active in posting informative material.

Editor: Wakeel Murad

Some of the enabling behaviors include:

  • Making excuses for problems caused by drinking/drug use.
  • Pretending to accept addict’s excuses to avoid conflict
  • Taking care of him physically
  • Bailing him/her out of legal/financial problems
  • Allowing him/her to enter the house when drinking/drug use has created crisis elsewhere
  • Hiding alcohol/drug involvement from employers, friends, or other key figures.
  • Seeking advice from counselors and then failing to follow through it
  • Providing financial or other support so that the addict doesn’t have to shoulder the normal responsibilities of adulthood


The list of enablers comprises of but not limited to parents, spouses, children, friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. for example, a father might protect the child from legal action after he ran into an accident as a result of driving under intoxication. A wife may wake her husband up to reach office on time, preventing him from bearing the consequences of late night drugging the previous night. Parents paying off their alcoholic son’s debt. These are some of the basic examples on enabling.

People who enable are not aware of the futility their enabling behavior causes to the addict’s treatment. The addict’s motivation, by any chance, to change is highly disparaged by these enabling behaviors.