FOR HELP COPING WITH A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE WITH AN ADDICTION:
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
“It’s natural for loved ones to enable the addicts in their life. They mean well, trying to provide comfort and what they consider support when what an addict really needs is professional intervention. Family and friends can and do play a big role in an addict’s life, for better or worse. Sometimes, a person might think they’re “helping” an addict when in reality they’re only helping to enable destructive behavior. For example, providing a free place to live, “lending” money (which will never be returned), and giving an addict other essentials frees up their own resources to continue addictive behaviors.
If you think or suspect one of your loved ones is an addict, one of the most difficult challenges is to stop enabling. Remember that addicts are often desperate and will resort to manipulation, emotional blackmail, and that addicts play the victim role to keep feeding their addiction. In many situations, it’s best for family and friends to step away from the situation and let a professional take charge.
Addicts can very rarely function on their own. Many times, it’s a slow downward spiral into the pit of addiction, and a person has plenty of help along the way. From having someone else supply groceries and pay the utilities to sharing a bank account for seemingly endless funds, addicts are creative when it comes to funding their habit but often don’t need to be. Enablers are quick to “help,” not realizing their efforts are backfiring. If you think you’re enabling an addict, it’s time to get help for everyone involved.” (Trevor McDonald, Heroes in Recovery)