How to Stop Enabling Your Son’s Drug Addiction in Poway, CA

Addiction can wreak havoc on a young man’s life, as well as the lives of their families. To make matters even more difficult, many parents enable their son without even realizing it. Enabling makes the process of recovery more difficult, and can lead to a host of negative side effects and consequences if allowed to go unchecked. By becoming aware of the attributes of enabling and its dangers, parents can better protect their son from the horrors that addiction brings. New Life House is proud to offer options to help stop enabling addiction in Poway, CA, as well as the surrounding areas.

What is Enabling?

By definition, to enable is to give someone the authority or means to do something. As it relates to addiction, enabling refers to habits, actions, and choices that effectively allow one’s son to continue their drug use unimpeded. This can take the form of many habits that some parents may not even realize are destructive to their son. For example, a parent may give their young adult son some money for food over the weekend. Before the weekend ends, their son is already out of money, asking for more, and appears to be under the influence of something. Not wanting to make a fuss, the parent gives their son more money. This continues the next week, and then again the next. This is an example of enabling addiction. 

Enabling vs. Helping

In many cases, parents are completely unaware of their enabling actions or habits. This can allow these behaviors to continue infinitely, eventually leading to dire, sometimes tragic consequences. When determining whether or not one is enabling or helping their son, there is one essential thing that sets enablers apart from those who are genuinely helping. Enablers protect their son’s from the consequences of their actions (whether knowingly or unknowingly) and thus hinder their son’s ability to get the help they need. 

By providing a barrier between your son and the consequences of their actions, you are doing them a tremendous disservice. This, of course, does not mean that you should not do everything in your power to help your addicted son. The difference is in the help you try to provide for them. Those who sweep issues under the rug or choose to ignore blatant signs of abuse only allow their son’s condition to worsen. 

Signs You Might Be Enabling

By understanding the signs of an enabler, a person can better understand their own personal situation in order to determine whether or not they are enabling their son. Enabling can come in many forms, including some that are seemingly harmless on the outside. This is why so many enablers do not even realize the extent that they are harming their son’s progress. Signs you might be enabling your son’s drug addiction may include but are not limited to:

  • Ignoring behaviors associated with drug use
  • Making excuses on their behalf
  • Lying to family, friends, or colleagues 
  • Tolerating mental, physical, or emotional abuse from one’s son
  • Allowing one’s son to be completely free from the consequences of their actions
  • Covering up or hiding addictive behaviors
  • Avoiding addressing the problem and communicating with one’s son

While this list is not exhaustive, these are many of the attributes that are directly linked to a parent enabling their son’s drug use.

How to Stop Enabling

Though enabling can be extremely destructive to one’s son’s life, there is hope. By addressing these issues head on, a parent can effectively get their son the help he needs, as well as an opportunity for a full and drug free life. Breaking the cycle of enabling can be difficult, especially in the case of someone you love so dearly. However, a parent must keep in mind that they are stopping these habits in the best interest of their son’s health.

The most effective way to stop enabling for good is to set healthy boundaries with your son. These boundaries serve as excellent barriers between your healthy relationship and the behaviors associated with enabling drug addiction. Examples of these boundaries may include:

  • Not allowing drug paraphernalia into one’s home 
  • Telling your son you will not assist him financially in his addiction
  • Making it clear to your son that you will not bail him out of jail if he is arrested for drug related incidents
  • Not allowing drug use of any kind on your property
  • Making it clear that you will not cover for their actions any longer
  • No longer tolerating abusive behaviors of any kind

Remember to take these actions to improve your son’s life. Directly threatening your son can lead to a volatile situation. For this reason, it is important to try to communicate with them calmly and effectively. Additionally, ensuring that they know this change is for their own good can help them to see why ending your enabling is so important. Having rehabilitation program options and resources available and at the ready when you have this conversation can be a huge benefit, as it further drives home the point that you want to help them, not hurt them.

Benefits of Not Enabling

The benefits of not enabling can be life changing for the better. When a person is no longer enabled, they can repair their wounds and begin living the drug free life they were intended to. 

Additionally, the physical, emotional, mental, and financial stress that parents carry with them during this time can be lessened greatly. As your son recovers and you also heal in your own way, the groundwork for a healthy relationship can be built. From here, both you and your son can continue to heal together, strengthening your relationship and ensuring a brighter future.

Seek Help for Drug Addiction in California 

If you fear that you may be enabling your son’s addiction, New Life House Recovery is here to help. A structured sober living community in Los Angeles, New Life House has helped thousands of young men recover from their addictions and begin living their lives in a healthy manner that is beneficial to their overall well-being. The facilities at our disposal can help to stop enabling addiction in Poway, CA, as well as others from around the country who are suffering. Our educational and family programs can also add an extra layer of support for your son during his time of need. There has never been a better time to stop enabling and start healing. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in the road to lasting recovery.

Last Updated on November 17, 2022


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