Enabling in Addiction


Enabling in Addiction

As a parent, choosing not to enable your child is a hard choice. As parents, we want was is best for our children.

I know, what does this picture have to do with enabling? I came across this article. It was a very interesting read. E News published the article here.

I was initially drawn to the article, well because it was about Hugh Hefner and I was interested in a follow up story from his recent passing. As I began to read the article, my perspective of this man changed.

Growing up, Hugh Hefner was known for his publications. I remember my friends and I talking about this crazy lifestyle he lived. Then I began to read the article. The section below, is what struck me:

“Most notably, the businessman outlined a substance abuse clause prohibiting any beneficiaries—his widow and four adult children—from receiving any distributions from the trust if they are using illegal drugs or dependent on alcohol. If so, they are suspended from the trust until they have been substance-free for 12 months. If the trustees suspect a beneficiary has been using illegal substances, they can request testing and, if the results indicate use, that beneficiary can consent to treatment paid for by their suspended trust distribution. ”

I was struck by this. My perception of this individual, was driven by his parties and performances. Then I read this and thought it was completely opposite to the contrary.

I begin to think about the difference between the alcoholic and the social or hard drinker. Where that line starts and ends. For some of us, the time spent on this line is quicker than others. For me, this line ends when I use drugs and alcohol to change the way I feel about life. For me, this is the difference between hard drinker and alcoholic.

Then this whole notion of removing the person from his trust, blew my mind. In my opinion, this is a huge step, that most parents do not take with their children. He is saying that he will not support this behavior and ruin other’s future because of this. I believe this to be a huge step in not enabling addiction.

What I like the most about this article, is the ground rules set. In order to be apart of the trust again, the individual must be sober for 12 months. I really like this part. I have seen numerous times, an individual gets sober and the parents are happy. They immediately get the car, etc. Then the individual goes right back to the addiction life.

I’m not saying that cars take individuals back to addiction,  but this type of behavior creates the instant gratification, we seek in addiction. Drug and alcohol consumption increases because we want to change the way we feel about life, quickly.

It is ok to help you loved one in recovery, but set the guidelines. It is ok to set the boundary that A, B and C need to happen before D. Hugh Hefner set this path, on how to get back into the trust.

Setting health boundaries, is way different then enabling. Setting structure is perfectly fine and in my experience, welcomed.

If you feel like your are enabling a loved one, please contact us. We are happy to speak with you on different ways to end enabling.

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