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How Do You Deal With Enablers?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Enables can make it impossible for someone who they think they are helping to stop using drugs. Most enablers will not admit that their actions aren't helping the addict. So like many addicts they too live in denial.

    If you want to help an addict but an enabler is complicating things how do you deal with such a person, get them to realize that everything they are doing isn't helping the addict?
  2. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think there's two kinds of enablers...the kind who simply don't know any better and think they're just helping you go with the flow, and the kind who actively want to be destructive towards other people. Does that make sense? In my head it does but I'm not sure if I'm getting it out right.

    If they're the kind that just don't know better and aren't malicious, I think having a word with them so that you're on the same page tends to be enough. They're usually not out to hurt you but just don't know that by enabling you they are hurting you!

    If they're the kind that just truly don't care and want to destroy you and anyone else...then stay away. Far away. I don't think there's anything wrong with stepping away from people like that.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I'm not even sure if any enablers are actively trying to destroy a person and I think that most are just doing what they think is best for that individual, or at worst, they're just not thinking.

    Dealing with them shouldn't be a big issue and if they can see what effect their actions are having then that should be enough.
  4. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Some enablers have their hearts in the right place...but what they are doing can be destructive...but they don't see it that way. Oftentimes they have been enabled themselves..and think that is the way the world works. Having a talk with them might be the right way to approach it especially if they think they are coming from a good place.
  5. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I know what you mean in some cases this can be difficult. When your trying to help an addict and someone is enabling them there's not much you can do. The addict has to want to quit in order to receive help. If someone doesn't face the full consequences of there actions they won't take there mistakes seriously. This is just the reality of the situation.
  6. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    I think that most of us enable those around us all the time in so many ways that are harmful and we don't realize it. People don't want to admit when their actions may be affecting others in a negative way. If the problem is addiction it is very difficult to know what to do in this situation. As difficult as it is you have to get away from them.
  7. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I think there's a fine line between helping someone, and enabling someone. Of course, as a loved one, you're supposed to support your friend/family emotionally, and financially. However, you should not do all the" giving" all the time. Teach the person how to stand up on his/her own as well.
  8. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Best way to deal with enablers is staying away from them no matter how desperately we need help.

    I know, this is easier said than done, particularly because it's hard to identify enablers when one is struggling with an addiction, or simply in the mood to accept help from wherever it comes.
  9. Dwayneu

    Dwayneu Community Champion

    Sadly loving someone and caring about them can be blurred with straight-up enabling their behavior. People are simply uninformed and don't know how to adequately deal with addiction problems.
  10. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    I think this is one of the main reasons people suggest that family and friends of addicts are given the advice to seek help for themselves. It is very hard to recognize enabling behavior in oneself, and it can be so hard to let go of these habits. Much of the time it feels like we are only trying to care for the person when actually we are overdoing it.
  11. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    I told the enablers in my family that they were enabling my family member with a problem. I pointed it out to them how purchasing alcohol for someone who drinks excessively, who cannot pay his own bills, is not helping him, but only hurting him and them in the long run. They stopped buying him alcohol, and so far he seems to be doing a little bit better. He has to purchase his own alcohol now, which forces him to work more, which makes him drink less. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it's necessary in order to help the ones we love.
  12. Arlene

    Arlene Member

    I'm nоt surе І hаvе advice, bесаusе іn mу FOO, mу enabler dad vеrу actively enables mу Ν mom. Не backs hеr uр оn EVERYTHING, including lying fоr hеr іf nееd be. Не wоn't еvеn mаkе аnу plans wіthоut hеr approval. Не іs completely controlled bу her.

    Now, іn terms оf hоw tо thіnk аbоut it...I mіght hаvе sоmе help. Fоr а long time І sainted mу dad, thinking hе wаs amazing fоr putting uр wіth her, hе wаs thе weak one, shе belittles hіm аnd orders hіm аrоund аll thе time, etc. Тhеn І realized іn Т thаt mу dad іs асtuаllу thе stronger оnе іn thе relationship, bесаusе hе іs thе оnе whо асtuаllу nееds tо run аrоund аll thе time аnd tаkе care оf mу mom's еvеrу whim, whіlе mу mom's wоrld wоuld completely fall apart іf shе dіd nоt hаvе mу dad tо prop еvеrуthіng uр аll thе time. І nо longer saint thе enabler. Fоr 50 years hе hаs helped hеr dysfunction thrive. Не hаs а choice аnd hе mаkеs іt еvеrу day, еvеn іf іt mеаns losing hіs relationship wіth mе аnd hіs оnlу grandson.
  13. Joseph1

    Joseph1 Member

    Оur stories аrе vеrу similar. Mu AB stіll lives wіth mу parents. Не іs 50, аnd thеу аrе elderly. І spent mаnу years trуіng tо gеt thеm оut оf thе situation, trуіng tо protect them, etc. Νоthіng еvеr worked. Му brother соuld gеt vеrу nasty whеn drunk. Не sаіd аnd dіd а lot оf thing thаt hurt them. І hired аn interventionist tо meet wіth mу parents, but thеу backed down. Wе drew uр а contract fоr mу brother but thеу backed dоwn whеn hе broke it. І fоund thеу wоuld gеt upset wіth МЕ whеn І trіеd tо "help" them.
    It tооk а lot оf years, but І finally realized І wаsn't going tо change аnуthіng іn thеіr situation. Тhеу wеrеn't wіllіng tо change. І learned thаt І hаd tо tаkе care оf mу оwn health, аnd allow thеm аs adults tо live hоw thеу chose tо live. І told mу parents thаt І wоuld bе healthier аwау frоm thе turmoil, аnd wоuld stор interfering.

    I rarely gо tо mу parents house. І mаkе а point tо hаvе thеm tо mу house, аwау frоm thе situation. І dоn't аsk аbоut it. Whеn mу Mom complains аbоut іt І dо twо things: 1) І dоn't offer аn opinion, І оnlу listen аnd 2) І remind hеr thаt shе іs wеlсоmе tо gо tо AlAnon wіth mе anytime. Тhаt usuаllу ends it.

    Nothing hаs changed іn thеіr house, but І аm mоrе peaceful. Тhіnk оf thе 3C's: уоu dіdn't Саusе it, саn't Cure it, аnd саn't Control it. Living wіth уоur Mom will nоt mаkе thе situation better, іt will оnlу mаkе уоu unhealthy. Yоur Mom саn choose tо allow уоur brother tо drink іn hеr house, but shе dоеsn't gеt tо choose hоw уоu live уоur life. Тhе best thing уоu саn do, IMO, іs gеt уоur оwn place. Yоu саn love уоur Mom аnd brother wіthоut living іn thе midst оf it.
    Jasmine2015 likes this.
  14. HalfBeard

    HalfBeard Active Contributor

    Distance may be the best way to handle enablers, even if they are very close to you. If you've explained that you're trying to come clean and they still act in an enabling manner, well you have to put your well being first.
  15. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    Like you have rightly said, most enablers are actually out to help. They are just confused and do not really know how to go about it. The best thing to do when faced with this sort of situation is to have a heart to heart chat with them. Let them know that you are both after the same thing but that they are doing it the wrong way. Enlighten them on the right path to take and all will be well.
  16. Mayoress

    Mayoress Active Contributor

    I have had plenty of friends that I can call enablers. In all honesty they wanted to help out, but in reality they were making everything worse. I guess all one needs to do is to make them realise what they are doing wrong and all they need to put right.
  17. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I'd not know what to do about an enabler to be honest, I didn't do so well when I was in the addict's spot, let alone be the other person witnessing such a thing. I guess I'd try to talk with the person, but if the enabler is the mother of addict, you can pretty much suppose it's game over.
  18. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Yes making that person realize will be the best thing to do. That way they could start changing the ways they are "helping" an addict. There should be admission and then right actions to get the right results.
  19. HalfBeard

    HalfBeard Active Contributor

    This. So often people have the best intentions and think they are doing good. Once they're redirectioned they can offer some real help.
  20. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think it is best to distance themselves away from the enabler at all costs, because clearly they are not helping the addict with their recovery. That's why it's important to have a good influence around you when you are trying to be sober, because an enabler can mess with your progress.