The people who love and care for those with addictions are constantly placed in the difficult position of deciding how to act. Do you challenge the alcoholic or addict to get help? Do you refuse to help them until they decide to seek treatment? Do you withdraw assistance (money, housing, car, etc.) until they take the steps to get clean & sober.
“Enabling” occurs when a friend or family member takes a dysfunctional approach that is intended to help the addict but in fact perpetuates the problem. People often feel great pressure to enable because they fear the addict will hurt himself, lose his job, or become homeless.
As hard as it may be, family and friends must practice “tough love” and encourage the addict to get the help they desperately need. Enabling their behavior only allows the drug or alcohol addiction to continue, increasing the risk of serious or tragic consequences. People in this situation can greatly benefit from the support offered by Al-Anon. These meetings are open to the public and designed to help families of alcoholics or addicts who are struggling to find solutions.