KCI The Anti_Meth Site

Home  |  Meth Topics  |  Letters & Stories  |  Message Board  |   Slang Names  |  Anti-Meth Sites  |  Cleaning up Labs  |  Physical Damage  |   Resources for Teachers  |  Research Articles  |  Recommend Reading  |  SEARCH

Enabling Methamphetamine Users


Enabling Methamphetamine Users

I have heard different opinions on this. Many talk about turning their backs on the addict so that they don't ruin the family and so that we allow them to hit bottom faster.
I am a mother of a 16 year old user and this debate comes up with my husband and I. Where is the line drawn? My son is not living at home and is not welcome back in the home until he is clean and committed to staying that way. I will meet him in town sometime and we will talk over lunch. This talk is generally about meth and what he is up to. It also includes talk about research and programs that I am seaking out that may be of use...when he is ready.
He came home for a shower and some clean clothes the other day. I let him. I also fed him.
I haven't bought him any new clothes in some time. Most of them are rags but I know that if I buy new stuff, it just disappears.
I am trying to have clear boundaries with him but I also hoping by still being there, when he is ready he will know he has people that love and care about him and are willing to help in his recovery.
Opinions please.

rheangio Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

I just got done reading your posting. And I want to start off by saying, that you are doing the right thing. I don't know what it's like having a child go through something like that, but I know what it's like to have a 19 year old cousin, who half the time, doesn't even know who I am because of this awful drug. I know what it's like to have a husband who was addicted to meth, and is now serving his time for it.
Hearing how strong you and your husband are, but yet still showing love and support, brings me hope. Tells me that, "hey there's someone out there who is fighting this thing too".

keep at what you are doing, because it's the right thing to do!


Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

This is a tough one because your son is still a minor.

I went through something similar with my 15 year old son. He was running away from home getting high with his then gf and I found out he was using acid and Nitros Oxide or NOZ.

At the time I was working for a large company and they had some pretty good insurance which covered rehab. I called up an in patient treatment center and had some people come over late at night and they took him by force and brought him to the facility. He was mad that's for sure!! This may be somewhat extreme to some people but I thought it was best at the time. He ended up in an outpatient treatment at 17yrs and when he turned 18 he still wanted to use and so he then moved out on his own. He still is trying to recover from his own demons at 23 yrs old. He was recently arrested for violation of probation and is serving time and will be out in September. He says he is ready to start living the clean and sober life so we'll see.

Good Luck with whatever your choices are. I have no regrets for forcing him to go to rehab and he tells me he would have been even far worse than he is if he had never gone.

Take care.

Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

I understand your struggle. I am facing the same issue with my step daughters' boyfriend. He has so much potential and "says" he wants to get clean for she and her baby. But having read some of what's been posted here I just don't know if he can. I want so badly to help this kid but don't want to cross the line into enabling him. I believe you're doing the right thing just don't let him take advantage of you (i.e. stopping by for showers and meals frequently, slipping him some cash when you meet somewhere to talk etc.). Also (you may have already done this), stipulate that if he wants to stop by for a meal and shower he absolutely cannot be high. Beyond those things give him all the love and support towards getting clean that you can.


Just Ol Ma
Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

Addiction is selfish. Recovery is actually even more selfish. The difference is that the selfishness of recovery actually leads to selflessness. We all know the down side of addiction, we also look to recovery as a magic cure all. Yet it is not.

For recovery to occur the addicted must accept that they are first and foremost in this endeavor. No one can get clean and stay clean for anyone or anything other than themself. They can try, they can even do it for a time, but the bottom line is that the recovery starts with the individual and ends there.

Enabling. We always question just when help, support and love becomes enabling. To do for someone that which they can do for themselves is enabling. To give when the giving is unappreciated and turned into something to trade away that is enabling. To offer food that is eaten, a chance to clean up, even a change of clothes can be considered support. Not an expensive meal, but sustenance. A quick shower and soap, shampoo and a chance to shave, that is support. A change of clothes. Not new off the shelf, but perhaps something that has been left behind or donated, that is offering an opportunity.

Better yet would be for the addict to ask, best would be to offer a trade...labor for food etc. To avoid the feeling of entitlement.

When it is minor children who are addicted, there are choices we too can make. We who are parents of minors who are addicted can choose to force the issue. There are resources.

Some people only loose a little before they have had enough, some loose contact with family and return seeking aid from those who love them best. Some people loose what others would consider everything and still go on in the grips of addiction, not realizing they have nothing left to loose other than the breath that sustains them.

For some enabling and the removal of it will make a difference large enough for the addicted to take action in what the non addict considers a postive direction. For others the enabling only made what they do easier, but the removal of the enabling will make no difference, the use will continue regardless.

If a kitten came to your door weak and starving, you would feed it. How can you not feed your child? If a person comes to your door with no coat and it is cold, you would give him a jacket, how can you not offer your child clothes?

In some ways your child is that kitten, an dis that person, a stranger to you and to him/herself. Your own humanity compells you to offer something.

If it is enabling to be human and compassionate then we all are enablers to a greater or lesser degree.

To hold open the door for hope of return is human and compassionate. It is not enabling.

christy 1

Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

i also struggle with drawing the line between enabling and not enabling. i know opinions vary depending on who you ask, so i say...depends on the addict. i dont think theres anything srong with letting them take a shower or eat at your place. i dont think we should do things that help them continue in addiction like giving money, paying bills, etc. but then again im one of the worst enablers, always trying to rescue. but i am getting better but still havent got the hang of yet so my opinion prolly doesnt count much i think youre doing the right thing.


Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

Just Ol Ma,

So well put. We as human beings are normally compassionate and when my son is out of jail in September he will have a place to live with me and my bf as long as he is clean.

If he decides to do otherwise I would always give him food, clothes if needed and a shower.

You are very wise.


Re: Enabling Methamphetamine Users

I have spent most of the day on the computer, in and out of tears. I am fearful of what is to come (I don't have a crystal ball but something tells me there isn't going to be a quick fix). I also know I am not able to control his choices. I am thankful that I have found this and another wonderful sounding board. There are so many knowledgeable and helpful people and that support is a valuable resource that I am already finding useful. Thank you all for your replies and words of wisdom. Thanks for being here!

See also:

What is Enabling?

Supporting vs. Enabling - need advice

Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice

THIS SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your health care professional if you have a specific health concern.


KCI The Anti_Meth SiteKCI The Anti_Meth Site

Copyright 1999-2018 by KCI The Anti-Meth Site
All Rights Reserved

Legal Disclaimers and Copyright Notices