Should Families of a Drug Addict Cut Them Off Financially?

A man with an empty wallet

Throughout the country, families are struggling with a loved one who has a drug addiction. Millions of families every year suffer from the problems that accompany drug addiction. The physical, mental, emotional, and financial damage that is caused can be devastating. Several families suffer from scars that never truly heal. Getting a drug addict help can be more difficult than it sounds. Some families go through years of chaos because a family member is abusing drugs. There are several treatment options, programs, and centers that can help addicts and their families, but getting an addict there is easier said than done. Many people conduct interventions to discuss getting an addict the proper treatment, while it is effective it is not guaranteed.


The first step to take when families want to get an addict help is to become educated. A crucial part of that education will be to detect enabling and enablers. Enabling is the indirect actions of those around the addict which allow or encourage the addict to continue abusing drugs. Many families enable their loved ones addictions without even knowing what they are doing. Therefore, it is essential for them to understand what behavior is healthy and unhealthy.

Financially Cutting Them Off

One of the most popular ways that families enable drug abuse is by providing for their loved ones in a financial way. Families that provide drug addicts with money are encouraging them to use drugs more. Addicts will use every penny that they are given on drugs. Their entire world is made of how to get drugs, getting them, and doing them. Giving money to addicts for food, clothing, rent, or utilities will certainly be spent elsewhere. Many families thus completely cut their children off financially to stunt the drug abuse. Financially cutting off a loved one is one of the best ways to help them overcome drug abuse, many experts believe. Addicts without income will not be able to purchase more drugs or maintain their living situations. This strategy aims at pushing the addict closer to their rock bottom. Every person has a different rock bottom, some situations might not seem that bad or that low. Pushing them to their breaking point by cutting them off financially can help them see the damages they are causing. For example, some families use a very strict system to ensure that their children are not using their money for drugs. Their boundary systems offer the addict x-amount of dollars a week, whose purchases must be verified by receipts.

Making Things Worse

Families often have a hard time cutting their loved ones off financially because they think it will make matters worse. While this can be true, the goal is for the addict to want to get help; not to prolong their drug abuse. The longer the family supports the addict’s habits, by giving them money, the longer the addiction with last and the more dangerous it becomes. Drug abuse is a very dangerous situation to be in paying for their habits only make the situation more severe.

Not Treatment

It is important to understand that cutting a loved one off financially is not treatment. Cutting them off financially is a very effective step in getting them to seek treatment. Treatment is a uniquely detailed program in which the addict stops using drugs, participates in therapy, and successfully completes various activities that increase in difficultly. These activities teach the addict how to live their lives healthier and happier. Cutting a loved one off financially is a great first step in getting them the proper help they need. Families should continue to seek treatment for their loved one after cutting them off. Calling an addiction specialist/advisor can inform the family of the options that are available for them and their addict loved one.



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