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How to Help an Alcoholic Without Enabling

When loved ones are struggling with addiction, you may be wondering if you are helping them or making things worse. It is difficult to watch loved ones go through alcohol abuse disorder and you may feel like nothing you do makes a difference. Families and loved ones want to know how to help an addict without enabling them, but few know how to do this. Your good efforts may inadvertently be enabling them and the longer you enable your loved one, the longer it will take them to get addiction treatment. There are ways to help without enabling a substance abuser.

Opioid Addiction

What is Enabling?

Enabling is when friends or family of someone addicted to drugs unintentionally support their alcohol and drug abuse. Enabling an addict involves doing things for the substance abuser that they normally could and would do for themselves if sober. Examples of enabling include:

  • Ignoring their substance abuse behavior
  • Providing them with legal and financial help
  • Covering for them or making excuses for their behavior
  • Taking over their responsibilities

Enabling behaviors include doing anything that protects the substance abuser from the consequences of their actions and could delay their decision in getting addiction treatment help. Your addicted loved one may see this as a free pass to continue alcohol abuse. However, there are several ways you can help your loved one stop drug and alcohol abuse and get the addiction treatment they need.

Opioid Rehab Centers in Los Angeles - The Detox Center of Los Angeles

How to Avoid Enabling an Alcoholic

If you have realized you have been enabling your loved one, as well-intentioned as it was, and are wondering how you can change. Learning to stop enabling an addict is possible and you can be what they need to get help for their substance use disorders. It can be difficult to make these changes but remember that even if it seems painful for either one of you, you are helping them in the long run and it is important to stick to these changes. Here are some ways to stop enabling behaviors:

Set Boundaries and Stand Your Ground with Them. You no longer have to accept unacceptable behavior in your life. You cannot control the alcoholic or addict behaviors but you can control what you find acceptable.

Stop Making Excuses. Don’t make excuses to others about your loved one’s behavior, even if it means dire consequences like losing their job. That may be just what they need to get alcohol addiction treatment.

Do Not Try to Drink or Do Drugs with Them. You may feel abandoned by the addicted loved one and you may try to drink or do drugs with them to be a part of their world again.

Do Not Argue, Scold, or Plead. When all the person faces is a little verbal scolding, they feel they can continue with their behaviors without any significant consequences.

Don’t Help them from Legal Trouble. This just allows them to continue not feeling the consequences of their actions.

Do Not Loan or Give Them Money. Providing money to a substance use disorder is basically buying drugs or alcohol for them, which is enabling behavior.

Do Not Take Over their Responsibilities. Doing chores or taking on parenting roles is enabling. Remember, doing anything for them that they would otherwise be doing if they were sober is enabling their drug addiction.

Get Help for Alcoholism at The Detox Center LA

When your loved one is ready to go to drug and alcohol rehab, The Detox Center LA offers comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment programs to help any type of alcohol use disorder. We offer alcohol detox and inpatient treatment to help our clients gain a strong foundation in their addiction recovery. If you would like to learn more about our alcohol rehab programs, please call us today to talk to an admissions counselor.



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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.