How to Help a Drug Addict Without Enabling

If your loved one calls and says they want to get better, you should help them find a treatment program and then get your loved one there as quickly as you can.

Sometimes, there are all kinds of other requests for help that leave many of us confused:

  • Can I borrow $200 for car insurance?
  • Can I stay at your place for a few nights?
  • Can you drive me to work?
  • Can you lend me $40?

Your natural instinct may well be to say yes. Your son or daughter is suffering and even if you can just alleviate that for a day, you want to help them to feel better and feel there is another way to find happiness than through addiction.

But in all of the above circumstances, that “help” is really just enabling. In fact, anything you do to make it easier for your son or daughter to drink or use drugs is enabling them and hurting them in the long run.

How to help someone with an addiction

The only real way to help someone battling addiction is to convince them to commit to recovery.

With that being said, there is a right way and a wrong to go about doing so. If you need to, spend a little time getting educated on how to approach your loved one. You’ll discover that once addiction takes place, your loved one is no longer in the driver’s seat but that their life is being run by drugs or alcohol.

It won’t help to ask why your friend doesn’t just stop. It won’t help to tell your child that she’s destroying her life. To truly help your friend or family member to find true recovery and treatment, you will need to stop enabling them and point them in the right direction.

How to help an addict without enabling

So then what will help your loved one that is battling addiction? Do your best to have a talk with them in a way that doesn’t guilt or shame them. It’s important to be supportive. Ask open-ended questions such as:

How do you think your life would be different if didn’t have to be using anymore?
How would you like your life to change?
How are you feeling right now?

It’s also a good idea to consider hiring an intervention specialist. Remember that you want your loved one to know that you will always love and support them, although you won’t help them destroy their lives.

Hope and healing at Any Length Retreat

Any Length Retreat is a residential treatment center located in Pflugerville, just north of Austin. We believe everyone deserves a chance to live a free, happy and peaceful life. We’ll assist you in getting sober but, more importantly, we’ll help you learn the skills and tools needed in order to live a good life.

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Any Length Retreat is a 5 acre ranch in Austin, TX where addicted men and their families find lifelong recovery through the application of the Twelve Steps. Contact us to tell us your story.

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