A person who supports the harmful behavior of another person.
A person who consciously or unconsciously provides support for continued drinking or drug use by someone who is addicted. Obvious examples of enabling include or drinking with an alcoholic; making excuses or providing funds. Less obvious examples include begging, pleading and fighting with an addict about her use of alcohol or other drugs. Such behavior tends to shift the focus away from an addict's primary responsibility to come to terms with her own drug use and onto the conflict between addict and enabler. Those concerned about the addict often find it difficult to let go of trying to control an addict's behavior while still caring about her. The answer to the problem is often found as enabler's learn to take better care of themselves (see codependence).
Family member or significant person in an alcoholic's or drug addict's life that contributes to the afflicted person's continued use and abuse of the substance. Examples of enabling include making excuses for the afflicted person and/or supplying the person with the alcohol or drug.