It’s a difficult fine line for parents of a child suffering with a (SUD) substance use disorder. Defining clear healthy boundaries is necessary for parents and other family members of a loved one with a SUD. Not all whose minds are high-jacked/ impaired by chronic substance use embrace families “being involved” in their care and HIPPA laws make this very difficult. I am seeing an alarming shift in dealing with a person who has a SUD. I was told once by a treatment counselor you can “love an addict to death”. I didn’t understand it at the time but now I get it. You can get pulled into the vortex of another’s addiction and think you are “helping them” but you are enabling them. It’s a trial and error method of figuring out what’s helping and whats enabling. The line gets blurry when a person is a master at getting what they want, lying or manipulating people (even family).
HELPING is doing something for someone that he/she is not capable of doing himself.
ENABLING is doing for someone things that he/she could and should be doing himself.
–The Jennifer Act