Enabling vs. Tough Love – Is There a Happy Medium?

concernedcallerFor every argument that can be made about approaching substance abuse with tough love, somebody comes up with one about having sympathy and support for someone abusing alcohol or other drugs. There is an unclear line between enabling and empathy sometimes, just as there can be for a lack of tolerance for destructive behavior vs. being sympathetic to someone’s situation in life.

Where is the line drawn? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

On one hand, there are countless examples of people who were too harsh on teens, who just wound up meeting more resources for drug use and continued to rebel with more frequent and varied drug use. On the other hand, you have the extreme of people writing it off and then losing a child to an overdose or some other drug-related tragedy.

Our best advice when dealing with a loved one who has fallen into the trap of substance abuse is to look at the whole picture and examine all your options. There are so many different types of services available to help that there is bound to be a plan that is right for your situation.

Examples of these include more education about substance abuse, various forms of interventions, outpatient counseling or therapy, detoxification, inpatient treatment, sober living environments, meetings or other support groups and more.

This is one of the things we specialize in – helping you to assess the problem and look for workable solutions. Deciding out of pure anger, frustration or on the other end with complete sympathy can cloud your vision. The goal should be to choose a plan of action that allows for the least harm done, not just for the individual, but for the family as a whole, which can often be difficult. As long as your decisions are made with the intent to help and support, your chances of making the right choice are increased exponentially.

Contact us today for more information and help with your intervention and addiction treatment options.