Refuse to Provide MoneyGiving money to a loved one who is abusing drugs or alcohol is giving the funds to maintain the behavior. Even if a loved one pleads, suggests that the money will be used for necessities or threatens you, do not give in. Providing money to an individual who is using drugs or alcohol will only make it easier to obtain the substance.
Never Clean Up After Your Loved OneEnabling does not only refer to the process of giving money to a loved one. An individual who is enabling a loved one to abuse drugs or alcohol is taking on responsibilities so that the individual using the substance is not held responsible for his or her actions.Cleaning up messes that a loved one makes while he or she is intoxicated will only excuse the behavior. The individual using the drugs may not realize that he or she is making a mess because of the changes to perception that may occur after using a substance.
Focus on Long-Term GoalsThe ultimate long-term goal is encouraging your loved one to enter a treatment program and seek professional help. Focus on that goal when a loved one starts asking for money or even the substance that is being abused.
Make a List of Advantages and DisadvantagesList out the short and long-term advantages and disadvantages of your behavior. Point out the reasons that you want to stop enabling a loved one, particularly when it comes to the short-term disadvantages of enabling. If you keep the consequences and disadvantages in your mind, then it is easier to say “no” when a loved one wants you to enable his or her substance abuse.
Create a Coping PlanIt is challenging to stop enabling a loved one, so it is important to set aside time for your needs. Identify coping strategies that can help you relax after you have refused to enable a loved one. Strategies like reading a good book, taking a long bath or even just watching a movie can help you maintain a healthy emotional state of mind.
You Are Not AloneSubstance abuse is challenging for everyone involved, not just the individual using the drugs or alcohol. Even though it may seem difficult to avoid enabling behavior, it is important. By avoiding the enabling behavior, you are ensuring that natural consequences occur and it can help your loved one seek treatment for the addiction. Contact us today if you need help setting ground rules with your loved on to stop enabling their addiction.
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