How to Stop Enabling Addictive Behavior

46% of Americans have a family member or close friend who’s addicted to drugs. Watching your loved one fall victim to addiction can be extremely challenging. The last thing you want to do is see your loved one suffering. However, it’s essential if you know someone addicted to drugs that you stop enabling their addictive behavior. While enabling an addict’s behavior may not seem that harmful, it only fuels their addiction. Keep reading to learn tips on how to stop enabling addictive behavior.


At Rise in Malibu, we are a luxury drug rehab in Malibu that’s committed to helping as many patients as possible overcome addiction and lead a happier, healthier life. We offer a range of drug and alcohol treatment services to provide tailored treatment plans to best meet each patient’s recovery needs.


Ready to start your recovery journey? Contact us today!

Common Examples of Enabling Behavior

Before discussing how to stop enabling an addict, it’s important to recognize what enabling an addiction looks like. Enabling behavior is whenever you support in any way someone’s addiction. This can include a range of situations including:


  • Paying an addict’s rent.
  • Giving money to the addict to fuel their addiction.
  • Letting an addict live rent-free without working.
  • Covering up or ignoring an addict’s behavior.
  • And More


Although you may feel like you are protecting your loved one struggling with addiction, the above behaviors are enabling behaviors that fuel their addiction. It’s essential to set clear, healthy boundaries to show support for your loved one struggling with addiction while learning how to stop enabling addictive behavior. 

4 Tips to Stop Enabling Addictive Behavior 

  • Communicate Clear Boundaries

First, it’s essential to set clear and healthy boundaries immediately if your loved one is struggling with addiction. These boundaries can vary; however, it’s important that once you tell your loved one struggling with addiction you won’t continue enabling their behavior, you must keep the boundaries you set. For example, if you tell your loved one struggling with addiction that you will no longer loan them money, it’s critical to keep that boundary. 

  • Stop Doing Their Personal Responsibilities 

Whether it’s getting them groceries, doing their laundry, cleaning, cooking, or whatever personal responsibility, it’s important you stop doing chores and other personal responsibilities for an addict. Although you may feel like you are helping your loved one, you are only reinforcing their behavior that they don’t need to do those responsibilities because they can just count on you to do them for you.

  • Stop Giving Away Money

Another important tip on how to stop enabling addictive behavior is to stop loaning or giving away money to your loved one struggling with addiction. Not only will they be more likely to be impulsive with your money and may use it to fuel their addiction, but this will again reinforce to them that they don’t necessarily need a job, especially if you keep giving them money.

  • Stop Covering Up Or Ignoring Their Behavior

Last but not least, it’s critical that you stop ignoring, making up excuses, or covering up an addict’s behavior. Although you may feel like you are doing them a favor or being polite, this will only enable an addict’s behavior to think their addiction isn’t “as bad” as it truly is. An example of this is if your loved one forgot to pay rent because they used their rent money on drugs to fuel their addiction, it’s important to acknowledge they used their money on drugs rather than making up excuses for why they were unable to pay rent. 

Start Your Recovery Journey 

Creating healthy boundaries is key on how to stop enabling addictive behavior. While you may think you are helping your loved one struggling with addiction by giving them money or helping them with chores or other responsibilities, you are only reinforcing their addictive behavior and fueling their addiction. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. At Rise in Malibu, we are a premier drug rehab that offers a range of clinical, traditional, and holistic treatment methods to ensure patients receive the right care for their unique recovery needs. Gone are the days of struggling in silence with your addiction. Contact us today to learn more about how you can start your road to recovery.

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