An enabling behavior is an action by a loved one that allows a person with substance use disorder 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 substance use disorder 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: November 8, 2021
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
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.