In terms of addiction, the definition of an enabler is as follows: “one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (such as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.”

This practical infographic from Aspenridge Recovery depicts how a dysfunctional relationship where one person supports or enables another’s addiction or poor mental health is allowed to continue and offers advice about how to stop the harmful enabling that exists.

The enabler themselves may be a wife, a husband, another family member or a close friend, and one of the clearest signs of enabling is denial of the loved one’s drug or alcohol abuse. Enabling can also take the form of financial support and unspoken resentment for the situation the enabler feels trapped within.

Actually stopping the enabling behavior is not easy, but is vital if the addict is to seek treatment. The process begins with the following important measures:

– Don’t clean up their mess, stop financing them and seek professional help for yourself.
– Get professional help for them. Fact: No-one can end their addiction without medical intervention.