26 Oct 4 Signs You’re Enabling a Loved One’s Substance Abuse in Vancouver
No one wants to see a friend or family member addicted to drugs or alcohol, but often, we enable the addiction. We may think we are being supportive, helpful or kind, but even the best of intentions can have negative effects.
Enabling is a set of behaviours that family members or friends may engage in as part of the relationship. Families and friends are supposed to protect each other, but sometimes those protective instincts can lead to behaviour that is enabling.
If you have a loved one in the Lower Mainland who is drug dependent, your actions, and even your words, may be helping your loved one avoid the reality of their addiction.
Ask The Following Questions to Help Determine if you Enable Drug Abuse
Have you helped them buy drugs or alcohol?
You may have driven them to the store or to a ‘friends’ house to ensure they don’t drive while under the influence, but this not only helps them continue the abuse, it tacitly endorses their behaviour.
Have you lied for them?
Calling work for them or making excuses for their behaviour may help them keep their job, but it also helps them avoid the reality of their irresponsible actions.
Do you make empty threats?
Substance abuse in Vancouver is a huge problem with hundreds of people losing their lives to overdosing each year. Empty threats send a signal that there will be no consequences for actions, and that there is no need to take the addiction seriously.
Do you pay their bills or take care of their responsibilities?
This may feel like you are supporting them through this difficult time, but it this just makes it easier for them to continue living life as an addict.
When a family learns how to disengage from enabling behaviour and how to set limits, the consequences of addiction become a reality for the addict. At this point, reminding the substance abuser that Vancouver treatment programs work will help them to consider the possibility of working hard to end their addiction.
Tough love is needed to help the addict acknowledge their situation. But the family also needs to understand that they cannot ‘fix’ the addict. They need to admit to the reality of the situation, they must set firm boundaries, and not be afraid of the outcomes of setting those boundaries.
If family or counseling intervention does not help the addict decide to enter a treatment program, they may face more serious consequences. Substance abuse is often connected to crime in the Lower Mainland. This could be theft, driving inebriated, aggressive behaviour or buying illegal drugs. At this stage, legal intervention may force the addict to acknowledge the addiction.
Dealing with a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is emotionally painful and exhausting, and not many people have the life experience, stamina or professional training to deal with drug addiction successfully. If you want to help a loved one on the road to sobriety, interventionist counselling can help.
A Vancouver drug interventionist can identify the unhealthy patterns that enable drug abuse, and they can teach you how to help the addict in ways that are not enabling substance abuse. An interventionist can also help you develop long-term behaviour changes to help the addict stay sober after the treatment program.
Addiction is a disease with symptoms that affect each individual in different ways and to varying levels of severity. But you don’t have to go through this alone. Contact Andy Bhatti, Vancouver drug and alcohol interventionist for more information, and access the help you need to help your loved one overcome addiction.