Enabling behavior

An enabling behavior is an action by a loved one that allows a person with an addiction to alcohol or drugs to keep drinking 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.”

Last Updated: January 26, 2010

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.