Matt: What’s up everybody, this is Matt and Greg with Project Unbroken. Hit that subscribe button and please share this video. Greg and I are trying to get some of our experiences with drug addiction out there in an effort to help others who might be struggling with the same thing. Today we wanted to talk about the differences between tough love, enabling, if you’re kind of doing one or the other or if you’re just confused about how you should be helping possibly a loved one who’s dealing with addiction. I think a lot people struggle with the two opposite ends of the spectrum here where tough love essentially some people think you got to kinds kick them to the curb and let them figure it out on their own. And on the other side of the spectrum is enabling and allowing that person to continue on in their addiction in a way that’s easy for them to kind of stay in it.
What do you think is best Greg? Tough love, enabling, where does that, how do you figure that out?
Greg: Well, I’ve always like to kind of go back to my own addiction, what worked for me and I know that any time … When my addiction was easy, I didn’t want to quit. When I first started using I had a good amount of money and I had a good connect and all that and I could get it easily. Nothing was hard about it but then as things started getting harder I started enjoying the addiction less. I started running out of money, started withdrawing more, started losing friends, maybe dealers got caught and it was harder to get it, which means I withdraw more, it gets harder. So as I went along on my addiction and things got harder I started not liking being an addict as much and I think that a lot of people when they enable an addict and they are helping them with money or giving them a place to live, whatever the case is, they’re making it easy on them.
So the addict is going to associate easy with addiction. Why would they want to quit if its easy? If its easy, they have no reason to quit so I think when it comes to enabling you have to think how easy am I making it on the addict and I’m not saying to just go make it like extremely difficult right away but I think you should start cutting things or start doing things that’s going to make the addiction harder for them. You need to start taking things away that starts gradually making the addiction harder and harder.
Matt: Yeah, I think when I comes to … I’m framing this in my mind around maybe a parent or a sibling, somebody that is close to you that you know is struggling with addiction and how to handle that best because I know personally I wouldn’t be able to just tell the person to get the hell out of my house because that might not be the best idea either. I mean, obviously, their well being is important to me or to whoever’s dealing with the situation so if they’re just out on the street, you really have no idea if they’re getting any better or if they’re getting worse or how that’s going but to Greg’s point, if you’re allowing them to comfortable continue on in their addiction, you’re just dragging the thing out slowly. So I like to try to put the two together in a certain way. So I would suggest that if you have somebody maybe living with you that you feel is …
That they’re struggling with their addiction and you’re not sure how to handle it you need to kind of basically cut off any chance of them a, using you to fuel their addiction. So what I mean by that is you have to make sure you’re not kind of giving them money for lunch or food or whatever because it’s not going to anything but drugs. You have to be aware of that. You also have to make sure that if they’re living with you, your house isn’t just becoming a place for them to retreat to, to use or to even withdrawal or whatever. They can’t have that comfortable space to deal with that. And I would also, if that person is living with you or you are helping them out financially or whatever it is, I would set some really strict parameters in place. For instance, I would have any agreement for that person that if they’re going to be living at your place or if you’re helping them out financially at all they have to be open to just random drug tests.
Say that you feel their behaviors a little bit off and you think they might be using, bam, no questions asked you’ve got to take this drug test. Something like that to make sure that you’re not making it easy for that person to kind of again comfortably continue in their addiction.
Greg: And there really is opposite ends of the spectrum. There’s people who completely enable and then there’s people that just kick them to the curb and really both of those are really dangerous because when you’re completely enabling, you’re making that comfortable in their addiction, they’re not going out but also you’re giving them more access to get more drugs, which means they have a higher chance of hurting themselves right? But if you just kick them to the street, the same thing can happen, they can go and get involved with the people who are even deeper in addiction and sharing needles and gettin’ diseases. So, either way, opposite ends of the spectrum are really dangerous so that’s why I would personally start cutting out things slowly, making it harder and harder and harder and harder and God forbid if I’m ever in that situation I think it might get to a point where you got to kick them out.
But I don’t think you should go right to that, I think you need to slowly work towards that and just keep making things more difficult and then when you get to the end if that has to be done, it’s something that has to be done especially if you have a lot of other kids in the house and other people around that you’re concerned about, you got to consider that as well.
Matt: That’s a huge point. There is always a point in time where you have to take your own personal well being into account. Again, if you’re married or you have other children in the house or anybody else, you have to be very aware the person who is dealing with addiction, while it’s not their intention by any means, they are causing lots of stress on you and on other people in the house. And we’ve seen it ourselves do a lot of damage to families very, very quickly. So you also have to put that into the equation. You’re trying to help one family member or one loved one but at what cost? You have to make sure that everything can kind of balance out and you don’t take the ship down with you.
Greg: Yes. So I think the biggest question you can ask yourself if you’re worried about am I enabling an addict? Am I making this worse or harder? Know that from experience the easier an addiction is, the more likely you are to stay in it, okay? So you got to ask yourself, am I making their addiction easier on them in any way? Okay, well, I am, how do I start making it harder? How do I stop doing that? And I think that will really help you start getting that person on a path to where they want to quit.
Matt: Well, I think that about covers it. Guys, if you have any questions or comments about this topic, tough love, enabling, kickin’ them to the curb, how would you best deal with it? Leave us a comment, hit us up on the contact section at our website, projectunbroken.com and we look forward to seeing you guys soon.
Greg: See ya everyone.