All About Addiction

Helping another, especially a loved one, is human nature. However, understanding how to support someone with an addiction without enabling them is key.

Enabling Addiction Only Makes Matters Worse


  • Enabling your loved one can actually make their addiction worse. Here are some sure-fire tips to avoid doing just that. #TheCabinMelbourne #enablingaddiction
  • How do you know when you’re enabling someone with their addiction and what should you do to help rather than hinder? #TheCabinMelbourne #enablingaddiction

Helping another, especially a loved one, is human nature and the intention to support someone with an addiction often becomes greater when witnessing their struggles. However, understanding the right ways in which to help is essential and good intentions often become misconstrued by unknowingly becoming an enabler to the person you are trying to assist through recovery.

So, what exactly does it mean to enable addiction and what can you do to avoid becoming an enabler? There are several ways in which an enabler feeds the habit of the one they are trying to help. But how do you know when you’re enabling someone with their addiction and what should you do to help rather than hinder?

Learn About Their Habit and the Struggles Involved

First and foremost, educate yourself about your loved one’s dependence. Understanding the habit, behaviourisms and triggers that feed a craving will not only allow you to see their struggle more clearly but also teach you the tools necessary in order to assist in their rehabilitation.

Do Not Make Excuses on Their Behalf

Do not assist in covering up an addict’s behaviour. Whether it is making an excuse to get out of a work commitment or lying on their behalf in order to protect them; the longer you participate in assisting with their avoidance issues, the longer you will both take to gain the necessary help required to manage the addiction.

Allow Lawmakers to do Their Job

Many habits undertaken by an addicted individual are illegal, so getting into trouble by the law is often likely. Let lawmakers do their job in the professional manner they were trained to do. Offer support based upon their advice. Oftentimes, such drastic circumstances can result in an addict realising just how much help they actually need.

Do Not Provide Money to Feed or Encourage a Habit

Whether it is paying bills, rent or providing cash to an addict, such gestures only encourage continuation along a downward path. Addicts can be very convincing in order to feed their habit or cover up their financial strife. Learn to say no.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

If you have had a serious discussion with your loved one about their addiction and stated that certain consequences will be laid into place, such as having to leave the family home or not providing access to a car, stand by your statements. If you retract on what are intended to be lessons for the learning, you are enabling an addict to continue their behaviour.

Discuss the Situation Openly and Honestly

Don’t be afraid to talk. Avoidance is a key cause of continued issues. Addiction is still considered a blasé subject that is difficult to discuss. However, being open encourages someone with an addiction to share their difficulties and provides them with an outlet to voice their worries and concerns.

Don’t Be Afraid to Apply Tough Love

Tough love is never easy but sometimes it is the only way to truly help someone struggling with an addiction. Allowing an individual to understand the consequences of their actions, no matter how difficult it may be, is crucial.

Remember to remain patient when dealing with an addicted individual. When you suddenly stop enabling an addict, their reaction is most likely not going to be very positive. You may find it easier to give in to their demands and bad behaviour to avoid unsavoury situations. However, remember that enabling will never work, even if an addict tries to convince you otherwise.

Family members and friends of an addict can often be as greatly impacted by the negativity of an addiction as the addict themselves. It isn’t an easy path for anyone involved but there is help for addicts to make a full recovery and for families to rebuild the trust lost and repair the damage done. Remember to be patient, not only with the person you’re concerned for but also with yourself. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself too. In order to help them, you need to maintain your own mental and physical health.

Getting Help from The Cabin Melbourne

There are many forms of addiction, whether related to alcohol, drugs, gambling or food; addiction is a chronic illness that requires professional help. The Cabin Melbourne provides intensive outpatient programmes with counselling by professionals who have a wide and varied experience in the treatment of addiction. Everyone who enters The Cabin is assessed and receives a tailor-made programme for their individual needs. In addition, there are a variety of groups that can be frequented post-treatment that encourage ongoing success in rehabilitation and an avenue to continue discussion, gain further understanding and new knowledge.

If you’re worried about a loved one with an addiction or suspect that they may have one, help is a lot closer than what is often thought. The Cabin Melbourne not only provides a safe-haven for an addicted individual but also has a family programme that allows you to become involved in their treatment for your better understanding of their habit.

Our team of professionals are trained to deal with both the psychological and physical effects of addiction, preventing relapse and continued recovery. Don’t wait for addiction to disappear on its own; it won’t. Get the help needed for your loved one now. Contact us today to find out about our programmes.


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