Whenever approaching someone about their addiction issues or attempting to get them to rehab, it is important to contact a therapist of licensed professional for help. The article below should only be used for educating oneself on the subject and to encourage you to seek further help.
Codependency is a psychological condition that many families have whenever a member has an addiction. While there are different symptoms that it entails, the most common of them all is referred to as enabling behavior. What this essentially means is that people can unknowingly contribute to and encourage their loved one’s addiction in some way.
Unfortunately, this makes the son’s addiction worsen over time. It also causes a whole host of emotional, physical, financial, and legal problems for everyone who is involved. Because of this, it is important to find a way out of the stressful cycle by trying the following five ways to stop enabling your son’s addiction.
Stop Covering His Problem Up
Since the actions of an addict are often embarrassing, parents frequently try to cover their son’s drug or alcohol problem up. This might be done by calling his school or job to report him as being sick when he has a hangover or keeping his friends or other relatives away during his drug binges. But the more people who know about the addiction, the more people that there will be to offer help.
Stop Interfering With His Consequences
Because parents want the best for their children, they often go out of their way to protect them from anything that could cause them discomfort. But if this is done too often, it ends up having the opposite effect because they never truly learn from their mistakes. So while it may be difficult at first, it is crucial to stop interfering with any consequences that your son may experience that are a direct result of his addiction. For example, if he is arrested for purchasing or selling illegal drugs, don’t bail him out of jail or attempt to pay his legal fees for him. More often than not, it takes extreme situations like time spent behind bars to get through to an addict. Also, he may be more willing to listen to the warnings of police officers who can advise him on what can happen if he refuses to seek help for his addiction.
Stop Falling for His Guilt Trips
Addicts are masterminds at manipulation. One of the ways that they accomplish this so successfully is by making others feel bad for not helping them. What makes this problem worse is the fact that the parents of children who are addicts already feel guilty because they often blame themselves for the addiction that their son has. So when they see him struggling with withdrawal symptoms, they may be tempted to give him money to go buy more drugs or alcohol. But what he really needs is to be taken to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
Stop Cleaning Up After Him
Although it is commonly known that addicts experience physical side effects from frequently using drugs and alcohol, few people discuss the mess that is often made during an addict’s binge. Instead, they quietly clean up the vomit and diarrhea that is all over the floor and their son’s clothing because they think that they should do this to help take care of him. It won’t help though. And neither will picking up all of his liquor bottles, dirty needles, and other garbage. It is important that he handles tasks like these in order for him to more clearly see what is happening to his body and life because of his substance abuse problem.
Stop Rescuing Him
If your son chooses to purchase drugs or alcohol instead of paying his rent or buying his lunch at school, then he shouldn’t be given extra cash because he has to learn to act responsibly. It is also important not to rescue him in other ways, such as buying him a new car because he crashed his other one when he was drunk or doing his homework project for him after he stayed high on drugs for three days.
In conclusion, these are just five of the ways that you can stop enabling your son’s addiction. There are many others that are also helpful. The best way to find out about them is by contacting a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center or a counselor who specializes in helping parents who have children with addictions.