Call our toll free hotline:Who Answers?
Recovery for the Enabler
When treatment is sought for addiction, it is usually for those who are addicted. However, addiction has an impact on more than just the person with the addiction. Their family members, friends, and their community are also often affected. However, many do not realize that those with addictions may have had an enabler who may also need treatment.
What Is An Enabler?
An enabler is a person who encourages the addiction. They may not be aware that what they are doing is causing negative consequences for others, as they might not register the addictive behavior as dangerous. An enabler may have good intentions for the person with an addiction, and it might not register that the person needs help.
Sometimes, they may see the addiction as a positive thing because it makes the person feel good and they are invested in the happiness of that person. Sometimes, the enabler is being used as a means by the person with the addiction and may not even be aware of their role as such.
Unfortunately, some enablers do not have good intentions. In some cases, the enabler may be someone who is fueling the addiction, even though they are aware of the damaging effect it has. In some cases, the enabler may be benefiting from the addiction and may want the person to continue the addiction in order to gain from it. The enabler may have an addiction or other mental condition themselves.
Why Would An Enabler Need Help?
Addiction that is occurring in tandem with an enabling relationship can have toxic results for all those involved. In some cases, the enabler may be in denial about the addiction and will actively stand in the way of treatment.
By providing treatment and helping them understand what is happening, the person with the addiction can be helped as well. The DEA states that, while many people may hear about addiction, the information may not always be accurate. Information on addictive substances, like drugs, may have changed or have been added to since the enabler originally learned about them.
For cases where the enabler is fully aware and is purposely fueling the addiction, providing recovery assistance can help them understand the severity of their actions. There may be legal consequences for toxic and intentional enablers. Depending on their reasons for why they sought to enable the person in the first place, they may need treatment for their own addictions or conditions.
Cutting the Ties
Sometimes, a person with addiction may want to cut the enabler out of their life entirely. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option and it can occasionally cause more harm than good. Often, the enabler is a part of the person’s family and may be a crucial component of the recovery process for their loved one.
According to NIDA, treatment for addiction may require counseling for all those involved. If an enabler is a part of a recovering addicts’ circle of support, they may need treatment in order to prevent any further negative impact from their actions.