5- Enabling Test
Enabling test is designed to help family members see whether their behavior towards their addicted loved one is helping him face his disease, or making it easier for him to continue using drugs. If you answer yes to a few of the questions in this enabling test , you may be helping with the progression of his disease by preventing him to experience its consequences.
Note: the word addiction on this page refers to drug addiction, but it can apply equally to other addictive substances or behaviors. As regards to family members’ enabling an addict, the principles for taking this test is the same.
1. Have you ever made excuses for your addicted loved one to cover for him? For instance, have you ever telephoned his workplace to say he was sick when his drug use incapacitated him?
2. Have you gotten in the habit of minimizing the severity of his bad behavior or rationalizing it? For instance, do you tolerate angry outbursts or insults or abuse by the addict by telling yourself that it is not that bad or he is under stress?
3. Do you try to keep his addiction a secret? For example, have you lied to others regarding the extent of his addiction?
4. Do you assume responsibility for things he is responsible and capable of? For instance, working a second job because he refuses to work.
5. When his drug use has gotten him into legal trouble, have you tried to rescue him? Have you bailed him out of jail or hired a lawyer to defend him?
6. Are you letting misplaced guilt cloud your judgment? Do you fall into the common trap of blaming yourself for his addiction, and so you tolerate his destructive behavior?
7. Do you allow the addict to intimidate you and others in the household? Are you tolerating a situation where the addict gives free rein to his anger and hostility, thereby robbing family members of the dignity and security they deserve?
8. Do you support him financially when he should be working and paying his own way – but cannot or will not because of his addiction?
9. Do you shower him with affection in the vain hope that your love will convince him to stop using drugs?
10. Do you resolve to draw a line with the addict’s behavior but then fail to hold firm? For instance have you threatened to leave or throw him out of the house but then give up because of his promises and manipulations?
11. Do you go on believing his promises to straighten out and stop his drug use – and so you give him chance after chance, and you get nothing but disappointment?
12. Are you in denial by refusing to face the reality that you have an addicted family member?