Four Phrases That Might Indicate Addiction Denial
The biggest reason why people who suffer from addiction don’t get the help they need is denial. Addiction denial comes in two forms. The first is when a person knows they have a problem with addiction and completely deny the fact when confronted. The second is when an individual honestly believes they don’t have an addiction problem because they have convinced him or herself otherwise. Both forms of addiction denial can keep a person from seeking and accepting the treatment that they may need to rid addiction from their life.
Why do People Display Addiction Denial?
Denial can be a defense mechanism for those struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. A defense mechanism is a psychological response to a situation or environment to protect the self from danger. Those who display addiction denials do so to protect themselves. They do this to avoid hasty decisions, decisions that are difficult to adjust to or decisions that may lead to discontentment. Addiction denial may keep individuals from making decisions they are not sure of; but, it can keep them from making the decision to ultimately rid their suffering from addiction.
Common Addiction Denial Justifications
A person who exhibits addiction denial and believes they do not have a problem will find diverse justifications for drinking or using drugs. If you know an addict that has yet to seek help, you might hear them say:
“I can stop whenever I want.” Many people believe that they could quit using their drug of choice whenever they feel the need to, they just do not feel they need to when they are asked to.
“It’s my life and my choice. I’m not hurting anyone.” While the individual who drinks or uses drugs is only damaging their own physical body by using drugs, they do not realize the damage they wreak for those around them to deal with. Alcoholism can lead to misjudgment like driving while intoxicated, which puts everyone on the road at risk. Addiction is a family disease. Every loved one of an addicted individual feels the negative consequences of that addiction.
“My doctor prescribed it so it’s okay.” Although medication is useful for a multitude of medical applications, in many cases prescription misuse causes addition. Additionally, certain doctors lack the compassion to provide proper care to prevent addiction. Just because a person has a prescription, it does not mean they do not have an addiction.
“I only use on the weekends.” Many people believe that just because they use only on nights or weekend they do not have a problem. How much or how often does not prove addiction. Negative consequences and behaviors resulting from drugs or alcohol are a sign of addiction, even for high-functioning indidviuals.
How can Addiction Denial be Overcome?
In most cases, there is little you can say to convince a loved one that they need help. They need to know embrace the fact that they need help on their own. Only the person struggling with addiction can ultimately decide to get sober. Unfortunately, this means, it may take a horrible situation to occur for someone to realize their addiction denial and get the help they truly need. If your family member or loved one is struggling with addiction but utilizes addiction denial, you can certainly try to persuade them to get help. Although this may not be convincing enough in every situation, it may eventually help that individual realize they are hurting the ones they love.
Most importantly, you must focus on not enabling your loved one that practices addiction denial. Enabling means helping an individual continue their cycle of addiction by providing them with means to do so. This could range from providing car rides to giving them a couple bucks. You can also establish a zero tolerance drug policy. That way they will be more likely to consider getting the help they need without hitting rock bottom.
Treatment for those in Addiction Denial
First things first, the addicted individual has to realize that they have a problem with substance abuse. Forcing someone into treatment may not turn out to be effective. Those in treatment who still do not understand that they have an issue with abusing drugs or alcohol are less likely to gain the proper knowledge and skills to live a life of sobriety post treatment. If you recently came to the conclusion that you have an addiction, you must be open to change. Treatment is successful for those that understand and recognize the negative effects of their addiction, commit to treatment, and reform to a new life of sobriety and aim to be in long-term recovery.