4 Telltale Signs You’re Enabling an Addict


There’s a very fine line between supporting a loved one who is battling addiction and enabling them. Supporting them isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it doesn’t even look like support. However, if you enable someone, you’re actually sending the message that you will help them continue to use drugs and alcohol. You likely won’t actually say this out loud, but it’s what your actions say. The real way of supporting someone is to help them seek addiction treatment in Atlanta. It can often be hard to tell if you’re supporting a loved one or enabling them. Here are a few of the telltale signs that you’re enabling instead of supporting.

You Put the Addict’s Needs Above Your Own

Do you step in and pay your loved one’s rent, utilities, and other bills when they don’t have the money because they’ve spent it all on drugs? Do you take them food when they don’t have any? Do you do this even if it means you have to go without? If you do any of these things, you’re only enabling the addict. What you’re telling them is that it doesn’t matter if they spend all of their money on their addiction—you’re there to bail them out. There are no consequences for their behavior. It’s hard, but you have to stop catching them when they fall. They need to see exactly what their addiction is doing to their life. Maybe it’s time you encourage them to visit a drug rehab center.

Making Excuses for their Behavior

Addicts are going to prioritize their need to use drugs. They’re also going to start acting differently because the substance they’re abusing is changing their body. They may be rude, get angry, stop wanting to be around others, and act out in other ways. They’re likely to lose friendship and get fired from their job. If you find yourself making excuses for how they’re acting or what’s happened to them, you’re an enabler. Telling little lies to excuse how they’re acting is a form of enabling. “They’re not feeling well” and “it wasn’t their fault” are two of the things enablers say a lot. If you realize you’re saying these things, take a step back and look at how you’re handling the addict.

You Find it Hard to Say Anything Negative About the Addict

In addition to making excuses for an addict, enablers also find it hard to put their own emotions and feelings into words. That’s because they know, deep down, that their loved one has a problem. They just don’t want to admit it to themselves. If you find yourself hesitating or even trying to defend the addict’s behavior, it’s a sign of enabling. Another sign of this is when your opinion or feelings towards the addict are significantly different from the rest of your family’s thoughts.

Passing the Blame to Others

How many times have you blamed your loved one’s boss, spouse, or situation for their addiction? An enabler will help make the addict feel better about themselves by agreeing when they pass the blame for their addiction on to someone else. It’s not their fault—it was the stress of the job. Their boss hated them. Their spouse has problems. All of these excuses put the blame anywhere but where it should be: on the addict.

Even blaming the drugs can be a form of enabling because it makes the addict a passive agent in their own addiction. They’re making the choice, every day, to remain addicted. They’re making the choice not to get help. By enabling them, you’re letting them know that you’re okay with that choice.

Get Help at Good Landing

If you’re ready to stop enabling your loved one and start supporting them, we hope you’ll reach out to us. Get yourself equipped by knowing things about rehab centers. Good Landing is here to help your loved one leave addiction behind and achieve the sober life they deserve. Contact us today to help your loved one start down the path of sobriety.