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Helping vs. Enabling: Understanding the Difference

When you have a loved one struggling with addiction, it’s crucial to know the difference between helping and enabling. At Buckeye Recovery Network in Orange County, CA, we can guide you in making this distinction to provide meaningful support. This blog will explain our treatment programs, the difference between helping and enabling, and give you practical tips and support options. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to support your loved one in a way that promotes recovery and independence.

Buckeye Recovery Network’s Treatment Programs

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Our Dual Diagnosis Treatment is for people dealing with both addiction and mental health issues. We create personalized treatment plans that include therapy, medication, and support groups to address all aspects of their well-being.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is for those who need strong support but still want to maintain their daily routines. This program includes individual therapy, group sessions, and family counseling, helping patients apply what they learn in real-life situations.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) offers more structure than IOP but doesn’t require staying at the facility overnight. Patients receive intensive therapy and medical monitoring, helping them stabilize and transition smoothly to less intensive care.

Aftercare Services

Recovery continues after the initial treatment. Our Aftercare Services provide ongoing support through therapy, support groups, and resources to help individuals stay sober and grow personally.

Understanding Helping vs. Enabling

Helping means supporting your loved one in a way that empowers them to take responsibility for their actions and make positive changes. This includes encouraging them to seek professional help and setting healthy boundaries.

Enabling means doing things that allow your loved one to continue their addictive behaviors without facing consequences. This might include giving them money, making excuses for their behavior, or covering up their problems.

Knowing the difference is key to fostering an environment that supports recovery instead of enabling addiction.

Tips for Helping Your Loved One

  1. Encourage Professional Help
    • Guide your loved one to professional resources like Buckeye Recovery Network.
    • Offer to go with them to appointments or help them find information on treatment options.
  2. Set Healthy Boundaries
    • Clearly communicate what behaviors are unacceptable and stick to these boundaries.
    • Avoid giving financial support that could be used to sustain addictive behaviors.
  3. Provide Emotional Support
    • Be a source of encouragement and understanding.
    • Listen to their struggles without judgment and offer hope.
  4. Educate Yourself
    • Learn about addiction and recovery to understand what your loved one is going through.
    • Use resources from reputable organizations and attend support groups for families.

Avoiding Enabling Behaviors

  1. Stop Covering for Them
    • Don’t lie or make excuses for your loved one’s behavior.
    • Let them face the natural consequences of their actions.
  2. Don’t Provide Financial Support
    • Money given out of love can sometimes be used to fund addiction.
    • Instead, offer to help with essentials like food or transportation to treatment.
  3. Refuse to Engage in Arguments
    • Avoid getting drawn into conflicts that can worsen stress and trigger addictive behaviors.
    • Stay calm and focus on constructive conversations about recovery.
  4. Seek Support for Yourself
    • Join a support group for families of individuals with addiction.
    • Consider counseling to process your emotions and develop effective coping strategies.

Contact Our Team For More Information

At Buckeye Recovery Network, we are dedicated to helping individuals and their families through the challenging journey of addiction recovery. Understanding the difference between helping and enabling is crucial. By setting healthy boundaries, providing emotional support, and encouraging professional treatment, you can support your loved one in a way that promotes lasting recovery. If you or someone you know needs help, don’t hesitate to contact our team. Share this blog with others who may benefit, and together, we can create a supportive community for those in need.


Helping means supporting positive change, while enabling allows addictive behaviors to continue without consequences.

Clearly communicate what behaviors are unacceptable and consistently enforce these boundaries. Avoid giving financial support that could be used to sustain addiction.

Buckeye Recovery Network offers family counseling, support groups, and educational resources to help families understand addiction and support their loved one’s recovery.

Continue to encourage professional help, provide emotional support, and set healthy boundaries. Seek advice from a professional or join a support group for guidance.

Stop covering for your loved one, refuse to provide financial support, avoid engaging in arguments, and seek support for yourself to develop effective coping strategies.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.