Financial Support vs Enabling
The general rule one hears at the NAR ANON meetings is to help however you feel appropriate in your best judgement while the addict is in recovery. This subject is a difficult one to put into simple terms. The cost of treatment for addiction can be staggering. Insurance may prove helpful but more than likely not help with the basic needs of the addict to survive while recovering.
Additionally, statistics indicate a great percentage of addicts will relapse and the idea of continually pouring money or life savings into a losing venture makes no sense. As your pockets start to empty you start to reconsider the word “enabling”. In the true sense of the word to enabling is to supply money or whatever with the intention to make something feasible or possible. Because we want to help someone we love, the meaning seems positive. In the case of addiction and the behaviors problems associated with it providing financial support can have a reverse effect.
We have helped our son financially and many times I myself questioned whether I was doing something beneficial or harmful. When you listen to the arguments brought up at the meetings, no doubt the general rule of not providing any financial assistance wins as the best step to follow. It is unfortunate but listening to all the cunning and deceitful things that addicts will do to continue their addiction puts a mental strain on helping the addict no matter how desperate the situation appears. This is something each of us has to deal with on a personnel basis. It has to be your belief and hope that your decision was the right one and your addict continues the journey to sobriety.
Many parents who have other children and live pay day to pay day experience extreme hardship with these circumstances and rightly so. A key point made at the beginning of each NAR ANON meetings because we “cross-talk” is that the comments from its members are only suggestions. The decision still remains with the person reaching out. You may immediately make some type of decision or it may take weeks or months. Groups such as NAR-ANON are there to help you get better. The ideas and suggestions are focused on helping those affected by the addict more than the addict. There is also a strong belief that the addicts themselves get better as those they’ve hurt become distant from the daily pain resulting from the actions of the addict?
From my own point of view, we felt that when our son finished his eighteen months of rehab and was asked to leave sober living along with his roommate in sixty days there was need for some type of financial assistance. They basically leave rehab with little more than what they came with stuffed in a duffle bag. Even with some savings, the cost to find a place to live, furnishings, food and utilities is no small cost. I helped by signing a lease with them. There was a risk but after almost two years in recovery we felt comfortable with the decision and to date no regrets. I must make an important point here. The time in recovery added weight to our decision. Both have been excellent about supporting themselves with little to no help from us. My son had some furnishings here at his home and the family had decided to provide basic items no longer needed as well. Our support and the family help seemed to help them through the adjustment to their new life outside addiction. They have been on their own for over two years and are fine. I am no longer on the lease and they manage all the costs associate with their continued recovery.