Ask the Counselor – Spring Newsletter

I have a friend who has been using drugs and drinking for years. I don’t want to cut him out of my life, but how do I help him without enabling his addiction? What is the difference between enabling and helping someone with an addiction?

“ Thank you for your concern, I’m a person of long term recovery and know, anyone enabling me was an avenue for my continued behavior, and somewhat pointed to the possibility of them struggling with codependency. I recommend the support, but not the enabling, that being said, stepping back is totally necessary in this case, and I would like to add that the person struggling could be helped by some pointing them to treatment or outpatient counseling and the concerned party Alanon or Naranon so they understand what helping looks like. Addiction is a family disease and both sides need to be addressed. I’ve had several sessions with family members, one Mom said to me “ you don’t understand, I just love them to death” my reply to her was “that’s exactly what you’re doing by enabling, in fact you’re walking them to their grave”, hard fact but true! 

Robert Jordan, NCAC, CAC, CAMS II, MATS
Men’s Program Director at The Extension

Robert Jordan