Alcohol Detox: Supporting Addicts and Alcoholics without Enabling

10 Tips to Help Family Members of Addicts Cope | The Recovery Village

Addiction is very tough. Families do what they can to fix this problem, but it can be pretty hard to know where to draw the line between supporting the person through it and enabling their vice. Detox facilities know the issues that alcoholism and drug addiction can cause for both patients and their loved ones. This article puts together a shortlist of effective and healthy ways to show people support and love most constructively, at the same time maintaining their own personal well-being.


It happens when family members, friends, and co-workers unintentionally support users’ drug use and drinking habits. It is usually linked to feelings of guilt that usually happen when saying “no.” In some enabling cases, there is also emotional blackmail or manipulation on the part of the patient. Some examples of enabling include:

Giving the individual money when they say they are short on cash for rent despite the fact that they will use the funds to purchase more drugs.

To know more about the difference between enabling and empowering, click here for details.

Ignoring any unusual action or behaviors in the hope that it will stop eventually.

They are not reporting harmful or dangerous acts like stealing from friends or family members because of possible implications.

These actions may be well-intentioned and come from a setting full of love, but people around the patient shield the user from experiencing the consequence of their actions. Well-intentioned efforts can usually be twisted into free passes to continue the patient’s active addiction. 

Cases like these can prevent or delay a person from getting the treatment that they sorely needed. People around the patient need to avoid enabling them in their lives with some simple tips. These actions can make a huge difference and encourage loved ones to get help from a rehabilitation facility.

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People need to realize that while saying no to patients can be pretty hard, and they feel as though friends and family members are being mean. Actually, they are doing the right thing and what is best for the patient.

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Go to meetings for twelve-step programs

One way to start understanding enabling practices and address them is to go to meetings for twelve-step programs. Being able to understand what type of behaviors can enable users or alcoholics is the first step to remove them from people’s lifestyles. 

Not only that, family members or friends will meet other individuals in the same situation – with people in their lives who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse; sharing common interests and experiences with other individuals is very important. There are tons of support groups for individuals living with addicts and alcoholics, and people around them find these pretty useful for their own peace of mind.

Participate in therapies with the patient

Family therapies can be a very powerful tool to address the way drugs or alcohol abuse can affect the whole family. It helps address the root cause of the problem in the family dynamic, as well as help the patient to discuss their feelings being in centers like Houston alcohol detox or other rehab facilities. It can also be an excellent way to help them separate the illness and the actions it can cause from their personality and sense of self.

Stop indulging the patient’s behaviors, as well as their detrimental behaviors

Usually, people close to the addict do what can hide their loved one’s drug and alcohol addiction. They usually provide alibis for why their loved ones missed work or provide money to the individual who is using alcohol and drugs to ensure they can pay their car insurance or mortgage. 

Some friends or family members even go so far as to allow the dependency to dictate when they can or can’t do something. People close to the addict must be firm with their loved ones and refuse them the type of support that enables their alcohol or illegal substance use. When patients behave improperly, families or friends need to pull them up on it instead of turning a blind eye. They need to speak in a firm but loving and kind voice. 

When it comes to money, always remember that although addicts are asking them for cash to pay bills or buy groceries, had the patient not been drinking alcohol or using illegal substances, there is a good chance that they would not ask for money. By paying for their essentials, you are also unintentionally freeing up any income they have to purchase more substances.