Enabling is a term we normally use in relation to an addict. It can be a substance or a gambling addiction, or a compulsive overeater. Enablers suffer the effects of the addict’s behaviour.

shoaib-2Enabling is to rectify the grave consequences of addict’s addiction, which adds more problems. According to Experts enabling is one of the biggest hurdles in changing an addictive behaviour. Co-dependents use to feel constrained to resolve other folks’snags. If they’re involved with addicts, mainly drug addicts, they commonly end up taking on the reckless addict’s responsibilities.

Most people might think that they should help their loved one who is addict. They   may be afraid that if they will not help him, he will end up in big trouble. Sometime there is temporary relief in enabling for the enabler. When we try to facilitate addicts by, fulfilling the addict’s commitments to others, giving them money, protecting them from addictive behavioural consequences on a regular basis then we are in fact adopting “let go” approach which is not helpful. This kind of unhealthy helping is “enabling.”

How to Stop the Enabling Behaviour

There are ways that you can stop enabling the addict, hopefully protect the addict from adversity.

  • Not giving money that lets an addict to gamble, to buy drugs, alcohol, or contribute in any other addictive behaviours. Giving money is as similar as giving an addict drugs.
  • You should not pay addict’s penalties, rent payment, dues, or food expenditures, need to learn how to say no assertively, which is your right and without feeling guilty, no true adversity is experienced and consequences are avoided.
  • Family or friends should not lie about an addict’s actions or behaviour to provide the cover. That means we can respond genuine enquires without sharing all the finer details.
  • Family should not apology for an addict’s appointments or commitments by cancelling them, which makes easier for them to side line their normal life and can carry on their addictive deeds.
  •  Trying to induce Guilt rather than Shame, because guilt is healthy emotion, where feeling regretful about doing something wrong which can help for good change, on the other hand shame is restraining and stands in the way of bringing things on track.
  • Family should not give gift or offer an addict stuffs that can easily trade in or pawn for cash. Because any item which can be trade in cash will be the source of buying drugs.
  • Adjust limits and keep a track. There is no need to use threatening as a tool. Keep in view the consequences and confront them. This process develops a greater motivation in the addict and hence creates more room for improvement.

Sometimes it takes a while to aware of the enabling behaviours, but we can remove the factors that causing harm, please don’t feel guilt for the thing you done which contribute to the cause. But keep the safety measures intact regarding enabling.

You can always seek help from a rehab facility and discuss your problems openly with a professional counsellor.