5 Signs of Enabling an Addiction

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Quoted From: https://www.lifestaroregon.com/blog

"When a loved one struggles with an addiction, it can be difficult to see them suffer. Family and friends want to support and attempt to rescue the person they care about, but it can be very easy to enable them in their addiction instead. Often, people don"t realize that what they are doing is considered enabling, which makes it important to be aware of some of the signs.
1. Lying About Someone"s Addictive Behaviors: A loved one may feel sympathetic towards someone who battles with an addiction. This can lead to them feeling like they need to offer protection from consequences. This could include lying that their loved one has an addiction in the first place or downplaying any negative affects that stem from the addiction.
2. Placing Blame Where It Does Not Belong: A hallmark of someone with an addiction is blaming others for their addictive behaviors. A person who reinforces their blame is enabling an addiction. The reality is that everyone makes choices about how to behave. Letting someone learn how to deal with the consequences of their actions and make better choices holds more value then playing the blame game.
3. Engaging in Codependent Behaviors: One of the main characteristics of being independent is placing someone else"s needs or wants ahead of one"s own. When a person puts their life on hold or places the importance on their loved one"s life at the detriment to their own, they are enabling an addiction. It"s natural to want to help the ones you care about, but there is a line that shouldn"t be crossed. Not putting your life on hold when your loved one"s addiction is causing problems in their own life provides a good example of living responsibly.
4. Ignoring Negative and Damaging Behavior: A person whose life has spun out of control due to addiction does not suffer alone. Aggressive behavior impacts family members and friends, particularly children who have no options to leave the environment. Ignoring this behavior reinforces the idea that a person can get away with verbal, emotional, or physical abuse because family members are afraid to confront them. When loved ones band together to let a loved one know that their behavior and abuse will not be tolerated, they offer protection to themselves and motivation for the addict to change.
5. Not Enforcing a Cut-off Point: Addicts often become used to depending on the sympathies of friends and family in order to delay getting help. As hard as it is to watch someone suffer, people must set cut-off points and stick to them. They can tell their loved one that they will pay a bill or provide some other resource of support, but it will be for the last time. When they are forced to experience things like not having money or a place to go, it will force them to recognize how low their addiction has brought them.
While not every situation is the same, it is still important to be aware of these and any other signs that you or others are enabling your loved one while they are on the road to recovery."

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