Enablers are individuals who enable or support the substance use or behavioral addiction of a person with addiction, often unintentionally or unknowingly. While family members are often the primary enablers, it’s also possible for individuals outside the family to enable addiction, such as friends, coworkers, or healthcare professionals.
Here are some ways to recognize and deal with enablers outside the family:
- Look for signs of enabling behavior: Enabling behavior can take many forms, such as providing money, covering up for the person’s addiction, minimizing the consequences of their behavior, or ignoring their needs for treatment. If you suspect that someone is enabling a person with addiction, try to identify the specific behaviors that are contributing to the problem.
- Express your concerns: If you feel comfortable and safe doing so, talk to the enabler about your concerns and the impact of their behavior on the person with addiction and others. Be honest, respectful, and non-judgmental, and try to listen to their perspective as well. It’s possible that they are unaware of the harm they are causing and may be willing to change their behavior.
- Set boundaries: If the enabler is unwilling or unable to change their behavior, consider setting boundaries to protect yourself and the person with addiction. This could involve limiting contact with the enabler, refusing to participate in enabling behaviors, or seeking support from others who understand the situation.
- Seek professional help: If the person with addiction is in danger or their addiction is severe, it may be necessary to seek professional help from a healthcare provider, addiction specialist, or social worker. They can provide guidance and resources on how to address the enabling behavior and support the person with addiction in their recovery.
Remember that dealing with enablers can be challenging and complex, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s essential to prioritize your safety and well-being, as well as the well-being of the person with addiction, and seek help when needed.