Loving Them to Death- When Parents are Enablers.
There are millions of people worldwide who struggle with drugs and alcohol or some form of addictive behaviour. For most, substance use starts out innocently enough, trying something. Whether addiction stems from illicit substances or from prescription medication, no one intends to become an addict.
Unfortunately, for millions of us, it gets out of hand. And, as parents, no matter how old your child is, you want to help. Whether your children are 12 or 40 doesn’t matter, you still want to offer the support and love they need to live a good life, to have their best chances in life, and to move towards their goals.
Unfortunately, when they are an addict, that support can take a negative turn. Your support might be allowing them to maintain a substance use disorder – which eventually causes far more harm than allowing them to “Crash” and have to get clean and sober. There’s a fine line between offering support and enabling addiction. Yet, millions of us engage in it. If you’re caring for a child, in or out of your house, who is struggling with substance abuse, it may be important to step back and to assess whether your behaviour is enabling.
Are Your Behaviours Enabling Addiction?
Your child can’t afford groceries, so you cover them. Your kid in school is flagging, so you make up excuses for school and cover for them. Your child consistently can’t make rent because of car breakdowns or sudden fees levied by their dorm. Your child isn’t able to meet responsibilities to care for their children, so you take over – offering childcare and cooking or even chauffeuring kids too and from school. All of these situations sound like being a good parent. All of them also enable your child to continue using in a situation where they otherwise couldn’t.
Enabling behaviour looks like:
● Filling gaps and making a current lifestyle maintainable
● Taking up your child’s responsibilities so they don’t have to
● Offering money they can use to continue buying drugs or alcohol
● Lying or providing excuses to authorities or school figures who might be able to do something
How to stop enabling?
If your child is using a substance and can’t make it to work, people ask questions, your child goes in for a medical examination, and before you know it, they are mandated to a recovery program. That’s awkward and embarrassing, but they get help. Your kid can’t afford groceries or pay rent, so they could lose their house if they continue to spend money on drugs or alcohol instead of rent. That could be a massive setback, especially if they have a mortgage, but with less money – they are unable to actually buy drugs.
Your child is unable to fulfill responsibilities, so their home condition deteriorates and they are forced to either solve the issue or acknowledge they have an issue. This sort of approach can be painful. It can also be dangerous, especially if children or pets are involved. Taking steps to protect vulnerable parties (such as by offering that kids can stay with you until your child gets help) can be important. But, it’s important to assess that your behaviour of offering support is not allowing your child to continue destructive and potentially deadly habits.
At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery. Change your story, change your life.