When your loved one is addicted, you can be consumed with fear, worry, and anxiety for his or her well-being. These overwhelming feelings can make you feel helpless and put you at high risk of physical and mental health problems. The anxiety and fear you experience for your loved one can disrupt your normal daily routines, and although you want to help, you might unknowingly become enabler. When you enable someone, you unintentionally encourage your loved one’s self-destructive behavior.

How do you know if you are enabling your loved one’s addiction? There is a difference between enabling and being supportive. To avoid enabling, you need to set boundaries to protect yourself. Although this can be hard to do, you need to take care of yourself first. When you stand firm in your boundaries, your loved one will know what is and is not acceptable.

To avoid becoming an enabler, learn more about the behavior of a person who has a drug and alcohol addiction. Go to group therapy, attend AA or NA meetings, or join a drug and addiction forum. Meet other people who have loved ones with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and listen to their experiences. Talk to families coping with their loved one’s addiction.

According to Dr. Eric D. Collins, physician-in-chief for Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut, “The modern view is that addiction is a brain disease.” He added that people suffering with addiction, “are driven by a part of the brain, the brain reward system, that strongly prioritizes immediate results and essentially miscalculates the likelihood of long-term consequences — later results.”

Do not shame or degrade your loved one. That lowers their self-esteem and leads them to use more drugs and alcohol to cope. Set boundaries, do not enable him or her, stay positive and encourage them to get treatment. This will show that you care about and love them.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, get help now. Make the life-saving decision to get help today. There is no cure for addiction, but it is treatable.

Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204