If your loved one has a substance or alcohol use disorder, you may have heard that you may be a promoter. Al-Anon is an excellent organization that helps relatives of people with alcohol use disorders not only deal with their relatives’ alcohol abuse, but also addresses the relatives’ role in contributing to this behavior.
How do you know if you are a promoter or if what you are doing is normal help? If you find that you are a promoter, how can you stop? If you are not sure, you may find it helpful to take this quiz to find out if you are enabling.
It is important to understand the difference between enable and help. If you recognize that you are a promoter, you can explore some practical tips and examples to learn how to stop supporting individuals with alcohol problems.
Enable and help
Many times, when trying to help, friends and family actually let people who abuse alcohol (such as giving them the wrong type of gifts to make them addicted) make the situation worse.
What is activation?
Empowerment is defined as doing things for people with alcohol problems. If they are sober, they can and will usually do these things for themselves. In contrast, helping is doing things that alcoholics cannot or won’t do for themselves when they are sober. Help does not protect individuals from the consequences of their actions.
Anything you do Do Protecting an alcohol or drug addict from the consequences of his behavior may delay his decision to seek help with his problem. If you stop whatever you are doing to enable them, it is in their best interest. Enabling will not help.
How to stop drug or alcohol abuse
At this point you may realize that you have been making your loved one drink too much (although you may think you are helping others) and want to know how to change. To some extent, learning to stop making others abuse drugs or alcohol is very powerful.
Remember you can’t change other people but yourself were able Change your behavior and reaction to these people. Here are a few practical ways to stop you from being a promoter today.
Make excuses for alcoholics
Take personal responsibility
Exemption from legal consequences
Stop the operation that allows the behavior to continue
If alcoholics did not lose their jobs or missed working hours due to drinking, are you working and paying some of the bills they will pay? Or do you provide food and shelter for this person?
If so, you may be enabling it. You provide them with a “safety net” that allows them to lose or skip work without real consequences.
Don’t do what they can do
If someone with alcohol problems loses their license, it helps to send them to an AA meeting or job interview because they cannot do it themselves. These are things that patients cannot do on their own, so helping them can be a way to support their recovery efforts.
On the other hand, finding conference schedules in the area, researching the requirements for retrieving permits, or searching classified ads to find employment opportunities are all examples of enabling. These are things people should do for themselves.
Stop making excuses
Have you ever encountered a conversation like this: “I’m sorry, they can’t go to work today, they are infected with some kind of flu virus?” When are they too hangover to go to work? This kind of conversation is beneficial because it allows alcoholics to avoid the consequences of their actions.
You might say, “However, they might lose their job!” Losing a job might just happen when they decide to ask for help.
Are you doing some housework that people with alcohol problems used to do? Have you ever taken on the responsibility of raising children that you two shared in the past?
If you are doing anything that alcoholics would do when they are sober, then you are somehow able to escape their responsibilities.
Don’t borrow money
If you provide money to someone with an alcohol use disorder for any reason, you might as well go to a liquor store to buy alcohol for them. Yes, it is good to buy alcohol for people with drinking problems. If you give someone money, this is what you ultimately do, no matter what they say they plan to do with cash.
Don’t save them from legal problems
Anxious to rescue someone may satisfy certain personal desires that you must feel “needed”, but it doesn’t really help solve the problem. It can only enable alcoholics to avoid the consequences of their actions.
In Al-Anon, they call it “put a pillow under them” so that they never feel the pain of error.
Don’t scold, argue, or plead
You might think that when you scold or reprimand someone for their latest episode, it’s by no means encouraging, but it may actually be the case. If the only consequence they experience for their actions is a bit of “verbal spanking” from people who care about them, then they can slip away without facing any major consequences.
Avoid reacting to their recent unfortunate events. If you say or do something negative in response to the other person’s recent mistakes, then they can respond to your reaction. If you remain silent, or if you continue your life as if nothing happened, then they will have no response other than their actions.
If your reaction is negative, you are emotionalizing them. Stay calm and avoid being emotional or reacting emotionally to this situation.
Don’t try to drink with them
It is not uncommon for family members to feel abandoned by their loved ones due to alcohol abuse. One reaction of some people is to try to become part of their world again by drinking with someone who has alcohol problems. It rarely works. The personal relationship with alcohol is strong. “Ordinary drinkers” rarely keep up.
Set boundaries and stick to it
Saying: “If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave!” It’s an ultimatum and threat, but saying “I won’t drink at home” is setting a limit. You cannot control whether someone abstains from alcohol, but you can decide what kind of behavior you accept or not accept in your life.
Explain your boundaries
One thing Al-Anon members learned is that they no longer need to accept unacceptable behavior in life. You may not be able to control the behavior of other people, but when it comes to things that you think are unacceptable, you do have a choice.
Setting boundaries is to do things for your own benefit, not to try to control the behavior of others. In order to do this effectively, it helps to separate to some degree. To be detached is to let go of another person’s alcohol problem, allowing you to look at the situation more objectively.
When you are no longer a promoter
Many times, when the activation system is removed, fear will force people with alcohol use problems to seek help, but there is no guarantee. This can be very unacceptable.
Take some time to learn more about alcoholism and family illnesses, and attend the Al-Anon conference in your area. It may also be helpful to learn more about the resources and information available to families affected by alcoholism.
Participating in Al-Anon in person will help you feel more capable when you stop the activation, and not be so alone in the process. Unfortunately, none of us can control what the other person will do.
However, we do have the ability to set boundaries and respect our own lives. If you like alcoholics, consider stopping these 10 things, which can help you get back to your life, whether your alcoholics stop drinking or not.