CNN covered the hardships of a mother who found out that two of her four sons were addicted to drugs, one of which she lost to drug overdose. She explained the horror of being a mother who had to watch her children go down the destructive path of addiction; she explained how she was, at one point, enabling her children and described the entire struggle as “the hardest thing in the world.” In an interview she stated,
“As far as enabling, I think you need to lay it on the table for them. This is what you can do. Here are your options but I’m not going to sit here and let you take advantage of me and lie to me.”
A common response of many people with a loved one who has an addiction is to help them in every way possible – provide them with money, housing, helping them get out of legal trouble – whatever they need to help them get back on their feet. While this may seem beneficial at the time – you’re showing them you love them, after all – these actions do not help your loved one get into treatment. The following are reasons why:
- Your loved one may never realize the seriousness of the situation, staying in denial about their addiction.
- They may learn to rely on you to solve all their addiction-related problems, seeing no need for treatment.
- They may become more and more comfortable taking advantage of you and/or lying to you because they know they can get away with it.
If you’ve been doing everything you can to support your loved one but are running out of time, energy, money, and hope, it’s important that you establish clear boundaries, rules, and consequences for your loved one’s actions. It won’t be easy, but it’s necessary for them to reach the decision of treatment. Remember that you cannot control your loved one, but you can control your actions and protect yourself. This may mean no longer providing money, housing, and help when your loved one gets into legal trouble – while painful, your loved one needs to be held responsible for their actions.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.