Enabling

What is the difference between helping someone and enabling them?

Helping is doing for someone what they cannot do for themselves. It might include caring for a sick person, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, or driving someone who has no transportation to an AA meeting. When we do something for someone that they could and should — or perhaps should not — be …

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Opioids are now the most-prescribed class of drugs in America

Two reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) show a huge shift in the pattern of prescribing by doctors.  They suggest that better training for prescribers and assessment of pain management programs are needed, among other steps to reduce opioid abuse. The JAMA Research Report shows that there has been a drastic increase …

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Painkillers Aren’t The Only Rx Drugs To Worry About

When we speak of prescription drug abuse, addiction and the complications (including deaths) that accompany their use, we usually talk about Percodan, Percocet, Oxycontin and similar opioid drugs.  There is no question that these are the biggies in terms of unintended consequences — severe dependency, addiction, overdose and death.   There are, however other drugs that …

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How Can I Help My Alcoholic Or Other Addict?

The short answer is, “You can’t.” Addicts of all kinds, including alcoholics, have to help themselves. They do not seek relief until they are so miserable that they see no alternative.  Therefore “helping” one is usually the worst possible thing that a friend or loved one can do. Making sure they have enough to eat, …

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When You Relapse, Do You Lose All Your Sobriety?

I get letters in another venue from people in early recovery, asking for information about the variety of symptoms and problems common to all of us when we were newcomers.  I was quite taken with the following letter, because it illustrates an extremely common issue — family members who don’t understand what we need, or …

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How do you separate yourself from friends and family who are using? They’re the only friends I have!

Imagine that we are sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, enjoying a cup of great coffee and a croissant.  Most of the folks around us are speaking French, and since we don’t, it’s not very interesting until we hear some folks speaking English a couple of tables away.  Immediately we’re like, “Where are you …

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Help or enable — what if the person is mentally ill?

A reader writes: My adult son plays me like a fiddle, but I am confused as to where do I draw the line because he is mentally ill. I am so stressed about this that I can barely function and I am going broke and he isn’t getting better. Can you provide any advice? Thanks. …

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