The point to remember is that you help people by helping them, which sounds like the big "Duh", but it can be really hard to figure that one out.
What should be the easy part is understanding that you're not helping anybody if you kick 'em when they're down. (aka: First, do no harm)
Chances are, if you have been affected by drug addiction or just watched enough reality TV, you've heard something about the concept of "codependency." It's the idea that partners and relatives of addicted people basically have a disease just like their loved ones—leading them to "enable" the problem by preventing addicts from "hitting bottom." After gaining currency in the 1980s, the concept is now infiltrating America's latest national conversation about heroin addiction.
The only problem is that it is inaccurate, unscientific, and harmful.
Even so, the classic text on the subject—the 1986 self-help book Codependent No More—remains on the Amazon best seller list for addictions. A new reality show focused on intervening in so-called codependent relationships premiered this year. And this crazy election season has seen seemingly endless talk of how Hillary Clinton "enabled" her husband Bill's alleged sexual addiction. (Trump's wives somehow get a pass.)
The good news is that the addictions field is slowly coming around to the idea that treatment should be based on evidence, not anecdote. Even so, care for families and the rhetoric around it remains stubbornly trapped in the past.Evidence, not Anecdote.
Maybe somebody could propose it as a replacement for the national motto.