- Given money to your partner thinking he/she might buy alcohol or drugs with it?
- Purchased alcohol or drugs for your partner?
- Taken over your partner’s typical chores and responsibilities neglected because of his/her drinking or drug use?
- Lied or made excuses to family or friends to hide your partner’s drinking or drug use?
- Drank or used drugs with your partner, or in your partner’s presence?
- Told your partner that it was okay to drink or use drugs on certain days or for special family or social gatherings?
- Borrowed money to pay bills caused by your partner’s drinking or drug use?
- Changed or cancelled family plans or social activities because your partner was drinking, using drugs, or hungover?
- Had sex with your partner when you really didn’t want to because he/she had been drinking/drugging?
- Asked for help from the police, a judge or lawyer, or other professional to get your partner out of trouble related to drinking or drug use?
- Threatened your partner with separation because of the drinking or drug use but later didn’t follow through with it?
- Helped nurse your partner through a hangover?
- Paid lawyer or court fees, or bailed your partner out of jail because of a drug or drinking-related offense?
- Cleaned up (vomit, urine, etc.) after your partner got sick?
- Asked or encouraged family members to ignore or be silent about your partner’s drinking or drug use?
- Helped conceal your partner’s drinking or drug use from employers or co-workers? (for example, called in sick for your partner; lied to supervisors or customers etc.)
- Coerced your partner up in the morning to go to work when he/she was hungover?
- Made excuses to others for your partner’s impaired behavior when he/she was drinking or high?
- Reassured your partner that his/her drinking or drug use wasn’t that bad?
- Lied or told a half-truth to a physician, counselor, probation officer, judge, police officer or other community workers about your partner’s alcohol or drug use, or about your partner’s participation (or non-participation) in treatment/recovery programs?
These are all common actions of people who love or are in relationships with alcoholics / addicts.
Enabling of substance abuse is a somewhat normal response in attempts to maintain a relationship and is common.
- Enabling is any action by another person or an institution that intentionally or unintentionally has the effect of facilitating the continuation of an individual’s addictive process.
- It is behavior that makes it easier for a problem drinker to continue drinking.
- It is a term used to describe overly compassionate behavior toward an alcoholic.
- Enabling works against a drinking alcoholic’s recovery because it keeps them from having to deal with the consequences of their behavior.
- Examples of enabling are making excuses for the alcoholic, or cleaning up after one of their ‘episodes’.
The alcoholic needs to face up to or take responsibility for all the unpleasant consequences of their drinking if they to recover.