Part 2: How To LOVE An Addict Without Enabling

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Continued from: Part 1: How To HELP An Addict Without Enabling

In “Part 1: How to HELP an Addict without Enabling,” you learned strategies to help a loved one who is struggling with addiction without enabling them. In this final part of this two-part series, you’ll learn how you can love an addict in a healthy, productive way that does not involve enablement.

Anyone who has dealt with a spouse, family member, boyfriend or girlfriend who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, knows that it can be a heart-wrenching experience. It’s natural to have a wide range of emotions that range from profound sadness to extreme anger and disappointment. Of course, there’s almost always an intense desire to make the situation better. Unfortunately, when help turns into enabling, destructive behavior, the relationship can suffer tremendously while also extending and worsening the addiction. The good news is that there are strategies that are both healthy and beneficial in getting the individual the treatment they need.

Ways To Love Without Enabling

The following are important techniques to love someone who is struggling with addiction without enabling them. Discover also, how this can benefit you.

Believe Actions, Not Words

It’s an unfortunate reality that addicts lie when they feel that drugs or alcohol are essential to survival. In the throes of addiction, many will choose their substance of choice over a loved one. Don’t take it personally! Addicts will use deception and manipulation to sustain their habit. One of the ways to protect yourself is to realize that you will be lied to by your addicted loved one. Oftentimes, an addict will promise to quit, go to rehab, get help or go to meetings. Unless you see actual proof, don’t believe them.

One of the most effective ways to not enable an addict is to tune out the lies and insist on seeing solid proof of proactive steps toward recovery. Don’t engage in fights, but also, don’t be gullible and turn a blind eye to the problem. By being strong in these areas, it will prevent your loved one from taking advantage of you and can prevent stress and heartache.

Set Clear Boundaries

Your role is to hold your ground during this difficult time. An addict may engage in fights, withhold love, tell lies and manipulate situations to get what they want. Start by setting clear boundaries, just as you would with a child. And the most important boundary is that the individual needs to quit under any circumstance.

Help By Not Helping

Don’t be tempted to contribute money or resources. One of the most detrimental thing you can do is to encourage your loved one by giving anything other than support in getting them the treatment they need. This may be extremely tough, but in the long run not enabling, but positively supporting them will benefit both parties.

Are you an enabler? Click here to find out now.

Support Your Loved One In Getting Help

At Summit Behavioral Health, we believe there is hope in recovery for both the addict and his or her loved ones. Our family programs include family therapy, education and counseling. Call now to learn more about our individualized treatment programs.


You are not alone in this fight. Call our caring and supportive addiction treatment specialists now.

The Next Step To Helping An Addict Who Wants It