Addiction can be a destructive and isolating force, and it can be difficult to know how to support a friend or partner who is struggling with substance abuse or other types of addiction. However, it is important to recognize that enabling behaviours – actions that inadvertently support or reinforce an addicted individual’s ability to continue using – can actually harm rather than help the person in the long run. Here are five behaviours that may be enabling your addicted friend or partner:
- Making excuses for their behaviour: It can be tempting to try to protect your loved one by making excuses for their behaviour, such as saying they are under a lot of stress or that they are going through a tough time. While it is important to be understanding and supportive, it is also important to recognize that addiction is a disease and that your friend or partner is responsible for their own actions. Making excuses for their behaviour only serves to enable them to continue using without facing the consequences of their actions.
- Lending money or providing other forms of financial support: Financial struggles can be a common consequence of addiction, and it can be difficult to see someone you care about struggle financially. However, it is important to recognize that providing financial support, such as lending money or paying bills, can enable an addicted individual to continue using without facing the financial consequences of their behaviour. Instead of providing financial support, try to find other ways to help, such as by helping your loved one find resources for financial assistance or by offering emotional support.
- Ignoring or downplaying the problem: It can be easy to downplay the severity of your loved one’s addiction, especially if they are in denial about their problem. However, ignoring or downplaying the problem will not make it go away and can actually make it worse over time. It is important to be honest with your loved one about the impact their addiction is having on their life and the lives of those around them.
- Taking care of responsibilities for them: Addiction can interfere with a person’s ability to take care of their responsibilities, such as going to work or paying bills. While it may be tempting to take on these responsibilities in order to help your loved one, it is important to recognize that this can enable them to continue using without facing the consequences of their actions. Instead of taking on their responsibilities, try to offer support and encourage them to take on their own responsibilities as they work towards recovery.
- Participating in the behaviour with them: It can be easy to feel like you are helping your loved one by participating in their addictive behaviour with them, but this can actually reinforce their addiction and make it more difficult for them to seek help. It is important to recognize that you cannot help your loved one if you are enabling their behaviour. Instead, try to find ways to support them in their journey towards recovery, such as by attending meetings with them or by offering emotional support.
Addiction is a complex and difficult issue, and it can be challenging to know how to best support a friend or partner who is struggling. However, it is important to recognize that enabling behaviours can actually harm rather than help the person in the long run. By being honest, supportive, and encouraging your loved one to take responsibility for their own actions, you can help them on their journey towards recovery. Are you or someone you know in need of quality mental health treatment? If so, view our website at, https://rehabhelper.co.za/rehab-clinics-durban/ today for more information.