If you feel as if you have been involved in playing too much of a role in an alcoholic's or addict's life, then it's time to consider changing your goals and your lifestyle. Although you may feel as if you're helping out or even working against the individual's focus on their addiction, it's not helping them at all because they still continue to be addicted. The only way that you can deal with this is to stop enabling them. You may not even realize that you are enabling them; this is fairly common for those who have taken that substantial role within the addicted individual's life.

Those who feel as if they are a caretaker or a rescuer are usually also enablers. They enable the individual by not allowing them to face the consequences of their own actions. The individual may not remember that they passed out in the front yard, that they had legal problems the night before and ended up in jail, and any other variation of consequences because they have always had that one individual in their life which was their caretaker. The caretaker doesn't realize it, but they are enabling the individual because they are making their circumstances more comfortable as they struggle with the addiction.

At this point, you may wonder what would be the correct reaction to the situation when an alcoholic is having problems. Although you may feel frustrated, you shouldn't react to the situation at all. It may be hard because you will want to work towards helping them out, but you can't. The only way that they can find help is if they join a program for treatment. They are not going to be able to get the guidance or the education they need regarding their addiction if they continue to rely on you for help and support. Therefore, if you don't give a reaction, eventually they will have to look for help and support from a group.

This doesn't mean that you have to be insensitive or try to pretend as if you don't care at all. You should still be kind and pleasant to the individual who is dealing with their addiction. However, you have to make sure that you don't allow your actions to enable them. If you have an alcoholic in your family and they are getting into questionable circumstances based on their behavior and then you always try to fix it based on your own concerns for them, it leads towards enabling and forces you to get involved in questionable circumstances based on someone else's behavior. Over a period of time, this can be stressful on anyone, if not the entire family. As a result, it's very important for individuals who are dealing with alcoholic loved ones to focus on proactive and healthy ways that they can encourage their loved one to seek help and treatment without working towards enabling them to continue with their destructive activities of alcoholism. The sooner you are able to acknowledge this, the more likely recovery is to start sooner as well.

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