How To Stop Enabling a Drug Addict?

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Contrary to the popular notion, enabling someone’s addiction might actually come from noble intentions. For many, it comes rather difficult to admit their loved one is struggling with addiction. As a result, they choose to ignore the severity of a problem. However, it’s not too late to do something about it. In order to stop enabling a drug addict, it’s necessary to understand that enabling isn’t helping. This guide is there to give you much-needed tips on how to draw healthy boundaries and seek help for your loved one’s addiction problem. If you look for addiction treatment Boynton Beach FL residents find trustworthy and professional, don’t hesitate to contact us. Here at Bright Futures Treatment Center, we provide medical addiction treatments in combination with specific psychotherapy in order to treat addiction from the root.

Recognize the ways you are enabling addiction

Supporting one’s addiction doesn’t equate to helping them in any way. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for people to discern between helping and enabling when it comes to someone close to them. There are many reasons why you might be enabling one’s addictive behavior, without being aware of it. Below are several possible reasons why you might be the one who enables your loved one’s addiction. Once you uncover them, you can proceed to seek help and thus handle the situation without fear.

couple arguing
It’s difficult for individuals with people-pleasing tendencies to draw clear boundaries between their and their loved one’s responsibilities.

You are taking on a role of a caretaker

If you are someone often taking on the role of an addict’s caretaker, rest assured you’ll only exacerbate their addictive tendencies. For instance, just because you pay for their expenses doesn’t mean they won’t use the rest of their money to buy drugs. Studies show that people with tendencies to cater to their loved one’s needs every time are easy to be taken advantage of. It’s enough for a loved one to throw sentences like “If you cared for me, you would help me.”.

So-called “caretakers” often find themselves feeling guilty if they don’t fulfill their loved one’s demands. That being said, they willingly ignore the fact that their loved one might already be in a deep problem due to prolonged drug abuse.

Enabling also comes from fear of abandonment

Individuals with people-pleasing tendencies often resort to a myriad of excuses to help their dear person cover up their addiction. Person A believes that by supporting person B will get the approval. That way, person B easily manipulates person A into believing that:

  • … it’s just an occasional drug usage, and therefore isn’t a “big deal”.
  • … person A is betraying person B by telling someone about the problem.

If the fear of abandonment is present during person B’s drug addiction, chances are they have been present for quite some time. In such codependent relationships, a person that takes on a passive role withholds their personal opinions and attitudes, is afraid of acting and speaking in a straightforward manner, and does all in their power to get approval from the other person. Codependency is one of the major factors that contribute to one’s addiction. 

Hoping that someone will change is also a form of enabling

Self-withdrawals are painful, sometimes even excruciating. Since many don’t know much about the physiological and mental impact of withdrawal, they easily believe their loved one when they say they got off the drug. It seems like they got control over their life and there’s no need to worry. The thing is that physical self-withdrawal isn’t enough for a complete recovery. A person with addiction problems still struggles with the psychological side of addiction. Subconscious patterns, triggers, and many other factors affect one’s psyche. Without therapy and a proper relapse prevention plan residential drug treatment Florida centers provide, it’s easy to relapse back into old destructive habits. Furthermore, in the case of severe addiction problems, it’s obvious that one can’t battle addiction without professional help.

syringe, pills, and unrecognizable person
Unless you stop enabling a drug addict, they will spiral deeper into an addiction which may lead to a fatal outcome.

Close people know us the best and therefore are aware of what set of words and arguments work on us. Addicts go a step further in their pursuit of the next “fix” and don’t hesitate from giving false hope to their loved ones.

Pretending that the problem doesn’t exist

Some family members rather choose to ignore the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist. As a result, they come up with a long list of excuses why the occasional “slip-ups” aren’t the reason to worry. In families where there is a lack of emotional intelligence and poor communication among members, talking about one’s addiction problems is a hard pill to swallow. Furthermore, they don’t want their child/sibling to be seen as a bad person in front of the rest of the family members.

Giving money out of fear that the loved one will be in debt to someone else

Those who abuse drugs on a regular basis look for ways to source more money for drugs. That’s why their close people would rather give them money to prevent them from getting into debt. This comes as rather counterproductive since an addict knows they can count on a regular source of income to fund their addiction.

Not seeing the usage of prescription drugs as a problem

In the past several years, Adderall addiction rehab Boynton Beach centers have seen a rise in addiction cases involving prescription stimulants. It turned out that close relatives and friends of an addict weren’t aware that so-called “study drugs” (Ritalin, Adderall, etc.) can cause physical dependency.

Let’s say that person A notices visible changes in mood and behavior in person B. Person B has been taking Adderall in order to pull an all night to study or stay longer in the office for quite some time. Since person A isn’t familiar with the fact that prescription stimulants are highly addictive, it doesn’t appear to them that person B might’ve become dependent on them.

How to stop enabling someone’s drug addiction

Once you decide to stop supporting destructive habits in all ways possible, you must make sure to remain firm about it. Furthermore, you’ll have to take important steps in order to show your loved one that you want to help them, not to watch them destroy their life.

You are not responsible for someone’s addiction and follow-up actions

As much as you feel sorry for your loved one and want to help, don’t act like you’re solely responsible for their well-being. Addiction stems from many crucial factors (unprocessed traumas, poor judgment, personal tragedy, depression, etc.) and is supported by an addict’s further choices. In order for them to get out of the addiction clutch, they must accept responsibility for their future decisions.

unrecognizable person refusing to do something
Draw clear boundaries between how much you’re able to help and your loved one’s responsibilities.

Stop lending money

If you had been giving money to your loved one until yesterday, today can be a day to stop doing it. Prepare that your loved one can be caught off guard and question you for your choices. So, firmly state that you’re done draining your finances and supporting their destructive tendencies.

Let your loved one struggling with addiction face consequences of their actions

The last thing you should do is try to save your loved one from the consequences of their decisions. Once you start making excuses for everything they do, they will take it as a sign that they can get away every time. When driven by the need for the next glass of alcohol or another line of cocaine, addicts (particularly those who’ve been abusing drugs for a very long time) will do their best to get the drug or bottle.

Does this mean your loved one is inherently a bad person? No, it doesn’t. However, the behaviors related to addiction affect not only them but also you and the rest of your family/close people. In order to break free from addiction, they must come to terms with their choices and outcomes. It’s something they will have to work through during their rehab. Fortunately, meth rehab Florida programs put a lot of emphasis on the psychological side of addiction and encourage patients to work on it for as long as possible. One of the goals of rehab is to reconnect struggling individuals with a sense of responsibility towards themselves and others.

Organize an intervention

The intervention is the most effective way to face your loved one with the fact their addiction went too far, and that it’s time to seek help. However, you must do it in a non-invasive way, in safe surroundings. Gather several close family members and friends, and talk about how to do an intervention. Use this opportunity to remind them that judging, yelling, and emotional blackmails are forbidden. The golden rule of an intervention is to give the struggling individual space and kindly let them know why rehab is the best option.

unrecognizable woman having a headache
Stop enabling a drug addict and do an intervention with close family members and friends.

Common excuses addicts use in order to avoid rehab

Some of the following excuses are likely to hear from an addict who refuses to get help:

  • Fear of abandonment is common among addicts. They believe that hospitalization means their loved ones cut ties with them.
  • If your loved one fears hospitals and doctors for some reason, they’ll use this notion as an excuse to avoid going to rehab.
  • Expect a severe addict to emotionally blackmail you, or guilt-trip you. They won’t hesitate to tell you things like “It will be your fault if something happens to me./You won’t see me anymore.” just so you can let your guard down.
  • Chances are that your loved one tried to withdraw by themselves dozens of times, and failed due to overwhelming and unbearable pain. Therefore, they believe it won’t be any different at a rehab facility.

Ask addiction experts for additional help

Interventions sometimes have more effect when done by an experienced team of addiction experts. So, don’t hesitate to contact your chosen rehab center and ask for guidance. You can also invite them to come and do the talking, but only if you don’t have other options.

Set the boundaries

Sit down with your loved one and have a conversation. Explain in a calm way that you believe they can overcome addiction and build a new life. Make sure to let them know that only they are responsible for themselves. Be clear about what you are willing and not willing to do for them. For example:

  • You might partially fund their rehab, but once they get discharged, your financial support ends.
  • You can help your loved one search through job offers after rehab.
  • They must commit to going to Aftercare therapy, instead of relying on you (or someone else) to remind them about it.

If you find yourself guilty of not being fully available to your loved one, pause for a moment. Remind yourself you’re as human as them, and if you’re the one responsible for your well-being, so are they.

Work on your boundaries with the help of a licensed therapist

If you’re going to therapy every now and then, use this opportunity to work on your boundary-setting. Be honest with your therapist about the ways you might have been unconsciously enabling your loved one’s addictive tendencies. Further, try to get to the root cause of why you find it hard to set boundaries when it comes to close people.

therapist explaining how to stop enabling a drug addict
Use therapy sessions to learn how to set boundaries and thus stop enabling a drug addict.

Keep yourself accountable

The guilt is likely to creep in, even though you know, in theory, you’re not obligated to save someone who doesn’t want to get help. The second you start rethinking your boundaries, refer to the notebook (tablet, etc.) where you wrote reminders, advice, and techniques suggested by your psychotherapist (or someone close to you). It will take time until you fully abandon the never-ending guilt-tripping loop.

What if you and your loved one become distant after they enter rehab?

Don’t blame yourself if your loved one decides to cut ties with you after the intervention. Their initial anger is nothing but a cry for help they refuse to admit they need. Addictions often impact an addict’s relationships with basically everyone. It takes time (and often therapy) to repair them and to re-establish trust. Also, remember that you’re not to blame for doing your best to actually help your loved one, instead of enabling their addiction.

young woman comforting her friend
A broken relationship with a loved one who struggles with addiction can be mended over time.

Make sure to contact a specialized rehab center

A modern approach to addiction treatment has shown positive results over the last few decades. Besides abstinence and medical detox, rehab facilities utilize special behavioral therapies, an array of addiction treatments, and optional aftercare. Relapse prevention plans have also been introduced in order to equip recovering individuals for the challenges that come once they complete their rehab program.

You can opt for inpatient residential rehab or outpatient rehab. Residential rehab is proven as more effective since patients have to live in a facility under supervision. That way, they receive round-the-clock care and focus on recovery only. Outpatient rehab is also effective, more flexible (patients visit the facility several times a week and stay up to 5-6 hours at the treatment center), and ideal for those who wish to keep working. However, if your loved one suffers from severe addiction, consider inpatient treatment.

Seek a specific addiction treatment

There isn’t such a thing as a universal drug addiction treatment. There are many factors behind addiction that require special attention. That being said, what works for someone with alcohol addiction isn’t applicable in oxycodone rehab, for instance. That’s why it’s important to check what kinds of treatments are on offer at any treatment center you’re considering. 

serious young woman working on her laptop
Look for treatment centers that provide effective pharmacotherapy and mental help.

Ways to fund a rehab program for your loved one

Keep in mind that rehab, no matter the severity, will cost. That, however, doesn’t mean you’ll have to get a loan and drain all your savings. Many people wonder is drug rehab covered under FMLA and other insurance plans. The answer is – yes, it is! You can pay for a rehab program thanks to the insurance plan your loved one qualifies for.

There are requirements for every insurance plan one must fulfill before applying for it. That’s why you mustn’t forget to ask “does Aetna cover drug rehab“, as well as if your loved one is an eligible applicant. Next, ask does your chosen insurance plan cover all required treatments or just some of them.

What if an insurance company rejects your application?

In case the response to your proposal/application is negative, contact an insurance company to check what went wrong. Don’t hesitate to ask whether you can re-apply. However, if this doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged. There are many other insurance options that are accepted at a rehab facility you choose. For instance, if your loved one doesn’t qualify for Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield might be a better option.  Just make sure to ask a question like “does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover rehab for my partner/friend/family member and to which extent?” before you begin another application process.

black man putting coins in a clear piggy bank
You don’t have to deplete all your savings in order to fund a rehab. Make sure to check insurance plans your loved one qualifies for.

Also, make a list of other potential insurance coverage options and ask about them too (e.g. does Cigna cover drug rehab). Make sure you’re prepared with questions before calling a rehab center.

Don’t forget to check acceptable insurance plans at a rehab center that interests you

Another question to have ready is  “does Tricare cover alcohol rehab at your facility” (or any other insurance coverage besides Tricare), since rehab centers have a specific list of insurance plans they accept. That being said, don’t rush to apply for insurance before you verify it’s accepted at a rehab center where your loved one is supposed to go to rehab.

Let’s say they don’t accept one of the insurance plans you asked about. Before you contact another rehab center, inquire does Humana cover drug rehab at their treatment center, for instance. The staff will let you know about the alternative insurance plans you didn’t have knowledge about.

In case your loved one struggles with mental health disorders, focus on rehab centers that provide Dual Diagnosis treatment

You’ll notice that many crack cocaine rehab centers in Florida use Dual Diagnosis to diagnose and treat mental health disorders alongside addiction. It’s a special treatment that involves custom pharmacotherapy and suitable psychotherapy, depending on the mental health illness:

  • severe anxiety
  • major depressive disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • eating disorders 
  • etc.

Rehab programs have come a long way thanks to the implementation of Dual Diagnosis, which resulted in recovered cases that maintained long-term sobriety.

psychotherapists giving advice on how to stop enabling a drug addict
Dual Diagnosis and behavioral therapies are important parts of drug addiction treatments.

Make sure the rehab center provides adequate psychotherapy for their patients  as well as Aftercare treatment

Whether it’s a heroin rehab Florida program, or alcohol addiction treatment, psychotherapy is necessary. That said, another thing to check is whether a rehab facility provides different kinds of therapies, among which are:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Rest assured that Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment also includes psychotherapy as an important tool in overcoming addiction. Patients are encouraged to continue with therapy even when they finish their rehab program. The role of Aftercare treatment is to help patients maintain sobriety through the application of techniques learned during rehab. 

Final thoughts

Once addiction enters one’s life, it becomes difficult for an addict to maintain stability in life, let alone sanity and healthy relationships. The lack of education on addiction and its roots can be some of the reasons why it’s difficult for many to stop enabling a drug addict who happens to be their close person. Hoping that addiction will go away will just deepen the existing problem. That’s why professional help is necessary in order for a drug addict to recover. If you want to help your loved one begin a recovery process in a serene environment, with a team of addiction experts at their disposal, feel free to contact us at Bright Future Treatment Center.

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