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Alcohol and drug addiction affects the entire family unit.
Family members are affected in many different ways. Those hurt most often are
the family members who love the addict and enable the addiction. This person is
called the enabler because they sweep things under the rug so to speak. They
pretend there isn.t a problem and hope it will just go away. Unfortunately, the
enabler usually gets the brunt of the abuse from the addict because the addict
expects so much from them. If the enabler doesn.t come through with the
addict.s neediness and constant requests for things, the enabler had better be
careful. The enabler has just as many problems mentally and emotionally as the
drug addict. The bottom line is they both need help.
The Actions of an Enabler May Include:
Cover up for a loved one . Provide alibis, make excuses, or complete
tasks for them rather than allowing them to suffer the consequences.
Rationalize. Develop reasons why the person.s continued use
is understandable or acceptable.
Withdrawal . Avoid contact with the person who has the
Blame . Get angry at the individual for not trying hard
enough to control his or her use.
Control . Try to take responsibility for the person.s use by
throwing out his or her drugs or cutting off the supply.
Threaten . Say that they will take action (e.g., turning the
person in) if he or she does not control his or her use, but not following
through when he or she continues to use.
Any time an individual assists/allows another person to
continue in their unproductive/unhealthy/addictive behavior, whether actively
or passively, they are an enabler! Keep in mind, silence condones others
actions. So even when an individual says nothing, aka .minding your own
business., they are enabling the unproductive/unhealthy/addictive behavior to
continue. Sometimes an individual will say nothing out of fear of reprisal,
fear of the other person hating/hurting/not liking them, or fear of butting in
where they don.t think they belong. Perhaps even fear of physical violence ...
The enabler is the rescuer for the addicted person. As long
as the problem is continually swept under the carpet by the enabler, the
addiction will continue to progress further because no one believes and is
willing to confront the fact that there is a problem! Denying the existence of
the addiction is a problem that runs rampant in homes where addiction is common
place. The longer the addict continues to use, the worse it will be for
Enablers can do something to help the addict, but they're
afraid that it will somehow change the addict or that the addict won't love
them anymore. In essence, the enabler needs to get help first, so they can then
help the addict.
1.) Fear = panic,
trepidation, apprehension, terror, afraid of the unknown, etc.
2.) Denial =
mentally refuse to believe, and emotionally refute, disclaimer
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