Enablers Do Us No Favors

Charlie Sheen in March 2009

Image via Wikipedia

One of the complicating factors when it comes to addicts and recovery is the role played by enablers.

In the context of any addiction, enablers can take various forms. A wife or a girlfriend could be an enabler. Certain friends could be enablers. Employers could even be enablers.

But, as a former addict — and as someone who works with addicts currently — i can say with certainty that as long as there are enablers in an addict’s life, nothing ever changes.

Regardless of promises made or rehabilitation programs entered and exited, an addict will not ever stop the addictive behavior while there are others who will enable it.

Rock Bottom is a real place all addicts must go. And really, once there, they should not leave too soon. Feeling the full impact of the destruction is an important step in the process.

In light of that, it was interesting to read this piece in today’s New York Times regarding Charlie Sheen. It would appear that a culture of greed exists among his handlers and the enabling behavior is well established.

It’s a true shame. Among the fallout from such greed are two wrecked marriages and children whose lives will be corrupted in very painful ways.

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