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Stop Enabling Over the Holidays: When It’s at An All-Time High

Woman wondering how to stop enabling over the holidays

During the holidays, families will often gather to celebrate. For many families struggling with active addiction, the holidays can mean a time of anguish and pain. Sometimes in an attempt to be supportive, you could actually be enabling someone with a substance use disorder. If you want to know how to stop enabling over the holidays, contact Vertava Health at 844.470.0410. We offer family therapy for addiction and can help you and your family.

What is Enabling?

Enabling is a term used to describe any behaviors or actions that support or facilitate someone in their active addiction. This can include:

  • Making excuses for them
  • Providing them with alcohol or drugs
  • Giving them money to spend on their addiction

Enablers often have good intentions and are trying to help their loved ones, but they do not realize that these good intentions may make substance use worse.

How to Stop Enabling Over the Holidays

It can be hard to know the line between support and enabling when it comes to addiction and the holidays. These tips on how to avoid enabling over the holidays could help your loved one:

Say No and Set Boundaries

While setting boundaries with a loved one can be difficult, this is one of the best ways to stop enabling over the holidays. Because addiction often includes secrecy and deception, your loved one is likely used to pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. They may even know how to manipulate you. If they continue to get away with this, they will never experience the negative consequences of their addiction. Set boundaries and follow through.

Don’t Wish it Away

Too many people continue to enable over the holidays and hope the problem will disappear. Because addiction is a disease, so your loved one needs professional help. Instead of ignoring it, the holidays may be a good time to talk to your loved one about their addiction and voice your concerns. A drug or alcohol intervention with a professional may also be worth considering for the greatest chance of getting them into treatment. It could be the best present for them in the long run.

Stop Covering it Up

Enabling over the holidays also includes hiding your loved one’s substance use from others. You may worry about your loved one’s image, but trying to hide their substance use is not in their best interest. Especially during the holidays when you may get together with extended family, it can be tempting to try to cover it up, but chances are other people have already noticed. Addiction is a disease, and your loved one needs addiction treatment. Treating it like a secret may only deter them from asking for help. Substance misuse is nothing to be ashamed of.

Remember, You Cannot Control Them

Just because they may be in your home over the holidays doesn’t mean their drug and alcohol use is within your control. If your family member is in active addiction, they will continue to use during the holiday, regardless of your presence. What you are in control of, however, is how you handle it. Just because it is the holiday season doesn’t mean your loved one should get a pass for their substance use. There is no time like the present to take action.

Learn How to Stop Enabling Over the Holidays with Vertava Health

When you stop enabling over the holidays, you could set your family up for years of happier and healthier holidays. If your loved one needs help with an addiction, contact us today. At Vertava Health, we want to help make your holidays brighter and healthier for the whole family.