Enabling Behavior


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An enabling behavior is an action by a loved one that allows a person with an addiction to alcohol or drugs to keep drinking or using drugs without facing the consequences.

Enabling might include making excuses, calling in sick, or paying legal fees for the person. These actions often can keep the person with an addiction from realizing or admitting that he or she has a problem.

Family members, partners, or friends who act this way are sometimes called "codependent."

Current as of: October 9, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health