Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every successful addict requires at least one prime-enabler.
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Every successful addict requires at least one prime-enabler. Without at least one PE, the addict has no means to continue to abuse substances at high levels.  

When we send our teenagers away to expensive treatment programs, we probably aren't going to see the big changes we want to see until we change ourselves. We have to find a way to stop enabling and then pray that someone else doesn't continue to enable our loved one. Once the enabling stops, the addict usually can't afford to continue using at high levels. Drugs don't grow on trees and even the ones that do actually grow on trees are still expensive.

This is why it's so important that we parents change ourselves while our teenager is in placement or treatment. We must be strong. We must cease all aide if indeed our aide might go to support the enemy: our child's disease of addiction.

If we continue to enable, then chances are good that our son or daughter will return to drug abuse. Now most of us might agree with what I've said so far; however, the devil is in the details. What is enabling? What is just helping? For more on that point put enable or enabling in our search box on this blog.

Here's the rule of thumb on this. Ask yourself if the aide you give could possibly further the disease of addiction? If the answer is "Yes," then consider not giving that aide. Err on the side of caution. Remember that arguing and debating can also aide the disease of addiction by generating resentments and because we can loose debates and arguments and end up giving in to demands.

If your teenager is 18 or over and they continue to abuse drugs, let them go. They will either find another prime-enabler or they will hit their own bottom.

Treatment programs are great and they can be effective; however, if the addict returns to his PE, who may think they've changed a great deal, and he is given a roof over his head, food in the fridge, a cell phone, and maybe even a car to drive, then you have a recipe for disaster.

This is a family disease of denial. The addict is in denial. The family always must guard against denial too. We say to ourselves, "it'll be OK," or "it's not that bad" or "he's not nearly as bad as he used to be." Wake up. He's still using.

Sure, when we can, we work to buy one more clean day for the addict. When our options run out on that strategy, then we have one powerful tool left. Stop enabling. There's more power in that than you'd imagine.

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