While many of us think of addiction as a bold-faced disease in which the addict loses their job and their home, the truth is that it is often much more insidious. Data shows that only 11% of those ever get treatment. While many individuals are forced to face the reality of their addictions, many more are not, and continue to use, damaging their health, relationships, and financial situation. Because data shows that as little as 5-40% of addicts who get clean remain clean without professional treatment, it is important to get addicts to recognise their situation and move towards acceptance, and get treatment.
Continued use of some form of counselling is highly recommended. However, many people maintain their addiction for long periods of time through a system of self-denial, in which they lie to themselves, or attempt to rationalise or excuse their behavior in some way. While it can be difficult, recognising the signs of denial and moving into acceptance of an addiction is one of the first steps to getting treatment and recovering from the addiction.
Anger – An addict who is in denial of their addiction might become angry or defensive when accused of overuse of a substance. This guilt and anger is often found in addicts who realise that they have a problem, but who try to deny that it is serious, or prefer to hide it. Anger is typically based around guilt and self-defence, and is usually used as a defence.
Why? In many cases, the addict either sees addiction as shameful, and therefore the accusation as offensive, or the person sees the accuser’s belief that they (who are not addicted) are addicted is offensive.
Excuses for Addiction – Excuses are almost always a sign of denial in an addict because they stem from the inability or the unwillingness of the addict to face their addiction and the possible shame, guilt, or other repercussions that may come with it. This type of denial is very hard to deal with because the person looks for an outside reason for their substance use and will not find an internal one until they cannot rely on excuses anymore.However, no one chooses to become addicted. Addictions are often created through small choices that build up on each other, often driven by stress, so that by the time the person realises they are addicted, it’s too late.
Rationalizing Problems – Rationalising problems because of an external factor, rationalising them as logical or normal, or excusing them as a normal result of a situation is a sign of denial in addiction.
Blame – If someone is actively blaming someone else for their addiction, they are in denial about their own guilt. Blame is the active transference of the responsibility for the addiction to someone else.
Avoidance – In some cases, addicts will simply avoid their addiction and the fact that they are addicted. This can result in avoiding issues, redirecting conversations, simply leaving a conversation they don’t like, and otherwise ignoring issues by not facing them.
Lying – Lying about substance use, staying clean, or where they’ve been are all very common signs of denial in addiction. In most cases, a person in denial will start lying out of a sense of guilt or shame, may hide bottles and pill-taking, and will typically use when alone or out of sight. This can develop into habitually hiding and lying about their substance use to the point where they can believe their own lies.
Refusing Help – An addict who refuses help is most often in denial about their addiction or their ability to get clean on their own. Unfortunately, you cannot make someone who doesn’t want help to get help, simply because recovery relies on a great deal of personal motivation.
At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery.
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