Tips To Help Your Loved One Recover
If your loved one decides to accept help, there are ways you can support their recovery without taking it fully upon yourself.
You can tell them about the information youve gathered and say that youre willing to go through it with them or offer to go with them to the doctor or a therapist. If your loved one responds well, you can even suggest exploring treatment options as a team, so theyre not tackling it alone.
Moving into recovery can be a difficult process. Make sure you focus on specific motivating factors that will spur your loved one onward, especially since SUDs are chronic, relapsing illnesses. Dont set them up to fail, but remind them that a slip along the road to recovery isnt the end. Emphasize the fact that addiction is manageable, give them positive feedback, and support their progress.
Remember also that denial is the first step in the stages of grief. When grieving people are in denial, they cannot accept that a loss has taken place. Confronting the truth feels impossible. This is a defense mechanism that occurs to avoid pain. The same is true of someone dealing with addiction. Realizing that drug or alcohol use has become a clinical disorder is a harsh reality that may require grieving: for a lifestyle your loved one wants to keep up, for the problems they have caused in their life and in others, etc. Allow them that time to move past denial while keeping their focus on the good things to come. Soon youll both be in a healthier place.
What To Say To Someone In Denial
Its never easy to talk about something as personal and sensitive as drinking or drug use. Its important not to try and approach your loved one while they are drunk or high to have this conversation.
They might not be able to devote their attention to you, and they may become angry if they are under the influence. When the right time comes, try not to worry about saying the exact right thing.
The most important aspect of the conversation will be expressing concern for your loved one in a caring and honest way.
Anytime you can talk to your friend or family member when they have a clear head is ideal. It might be more productive if you can talk to them when the consequence of their substance use is fresh on their mind and they feel remorseful.
You may want to consider taking someone with you who shares the same concern you have for this person, or, leveraging someone who understands sobriety, like a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, or similar recovery group.
How Can I Help An Addicted Family Member In Denial
Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be frustrating, heartbreaking and scary. But dealing with an addicted loved one can be even more upsetting when they are in denial about their substance use. When your loved one refuses to admit that they have a problem, they prevent themselves from getting the help they need. Luckily, theres hope. Understanding denial, the role it plays in addiction, and how to combat it in a healthy way can help your loved one see the truth about their addiction and get the treatment they need.
Read Also: Addiction Solutions Mt Pleasant Mi
How Can I Help: Through Rehab Programs
Now that we have already answered how to help addicts in denial let us discuss the best ways to help them through rehabilitation programs.
Rehabilitative programs are key to overcoming addiction. Different programs are the best fit for every addiction. Considering rehab centers is the best way to overcome addiction. However, the decision will always be in the hands of the prospective addict. Your role now is to be their support system, that you are there to guide and help them in the process.
Aside from that, your behavior towards the inflicted addict should be kept in mind. Here are a few words that help open the conversation to an in denial addict.
- As your colleague, I am concerned for you, and I want the best for you.
- I am here to help you and to tell you to please consider getting treatment for your addiction.
- I am concerned with your safety, and you might get harmed if you wont get help.
- Your job, health, and relationships are at stake. Please let me help you.
- It is not too late to get help. I am here to help you along the way.
- Please give me the chance to help you with what you are going through.
When Does Problematic Use Become A Substance Use Disorder
When someone regularly uses drugs or alcohol despite continued negative consequences, they may have substance use disorder.
It is a medical condition that requires treatment from health care providers. Substance use disorders can involve both psychological and physical dependence.
If someone you know has one or more of the following behaviors, they may be experiencing a substance use disorder:
- constant cravings for the drug
- compulsive drug seeking
- continuous use despite the harms that the drug is causing, such as:
- negative health effects
- lower grades or marks at school
- isolation from friends and family members
- extreme changes in behaviours and mood
Don’t Miss: Addiction Medicine Board Exam Dates
The Familys Impact On Their Loved Ones Addiction
As professionals, we have found that talking to them alone can be ineffective if there is no change in their environment and family. Substance users often make decisions based on their maladaptive coping strategies and comfort level. In other words, the addict or alcoholic usually chooses the path of least resistance to solve their problems. If the family provides more comfort than discomfort, the substance user will see less need to do something about their situation.
Families are often able to change their behaviors of enabling and codependency. Doing so can help the addict become accountable for their actions. What usually occurs as a result of this strategy is the addict often makes changes much more quickly and more effectively.
Your loved one is more likely to see the problem and attempt to change when it is their problem and not yours. Consequences and accountability help people look at things differently.
How To Confront An Addict In Denial
Trying to initiate a conversation about addiction is not straightforward. It requires delicacy, finesse, and patience.
Never under any circumstances attempt to start this dialogue when your loved one is drunk or high. All youre likely to achieve is creating a hostile and unproductive atmosphere with a strong chance of being confronted with outright denial.
You shouldnt try to overanalyze what youre going to say. Your core goal should be to express your concern honestly and lovingly. There is no single right thing to say, you just need to get this message of concern and support across.
One tactic that can often yield dividends is to approach your loved one in the aftermath of an incident they deeply regret. Whether theyre feeling remorseful for shouting at you once again, or licking their wounds having lost their wallet yet again, take advantage of this. You shouldnt be worried about using tactics like this that you might consider underhand. The end result is all that counts.
It can sometimes help to involve a third party who understands addiction and recovery.
Do not attempt this if your loved one is liable to feel like theyre being ganged up on. You would only be confronted with more denial in this case.
You should explain how your loved ones drug use or drinking is impacting:
You May Like: How To Help Someone With An Addictive Personality
Ways To Approach Denial
How to help a drug addict in denial can be about choosing the right approach. During the addiction, the addict is not themselves. As such, approaching the issue in the right way can greatly help.
Make use of I phrases. Phrases such as I noticed or I was concerned when are helpful. Specifics can also help to pin-point the exact problems. Talk about a specific situation or incident where the addict broke promises or caused hurt.
Addicts often neglect other things of importance in their life as a result of their substance abuse. Talking to them about things such as their family, career, hobbies, or anything that they used to care about but are neglecting now can help to put their addiction into perspective.
Expect denial as it is one of the symptoms of addiction. If you expect it, it will be easier to continue to show your support for their future recovery. The things that you make them aware of may not cause them to seek help immediately, but it can ultimately help them come to the realization that they need help. As such, stay in contact with the person and continue to show your support for their recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at .
Legal Vs Illegal Opioid
Legal opioids are prescribed by a health care professional most often to treat pain from conditions such as injuries, surgery, dental procedures, or long-term chronic pain.
Illegal opioids are any opioids that are made, shared or sold illegally. Illegal opioids include:
- street drugs from a drug dealer
- opioids given to you by someone who is not your health care provider
- opioids that are not prescribed to you but are taken from someone else
Also Check: How To Fight Porn Addiction
How Does A Sud Cause Denial
The changes in your loved ones brain are, at some level, responsible for their denial. To be able to recognize a problem, they would need to have a certain level of self-awareness, which relates both to the ability to think in general and to understand their SUD specifically. Self-awareness rests in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that organizes life experiences into meaning. People with SUDs tend to have structural changes in this area, and their behavior changes as a result: they have problems connecting their substance use to potential or existing consequences to their health, family life, social interactions and daily routine. Essentially, drug and alcohol consumption rewire their brain to deny that anything is wrong with them or what theyre doing.
On another level, denial allows your loved one to continue using their substance of choice. Admitting they had a problem would require action, like starting treatment or getting sober. Since they are so committed to avoiding symptoms of withdrawal, continuing to believe that they have control over the situation and that there are no problems with their life allows them to rationalize their use.
Addiction Recovery How To Help A Drug Addict In Denial
The amount of substance abusers that realize their need for treatment is far lower than all of the people that need treatment. According to NIDAs collection of data from surveys conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2009, 2.6 million people or 11.2 percent of the 23.5 million that are substance abusers went to rehab for treatment. Denial is a major cause of the low number of admission for addiction. By discovering how to help a drug addict in denial, you can be the catalyst to breaking through to someone you care for by getting them professional help for their mental disease.
Also Check: The Matrix Model Of Addiction Treatment
What Is The Pre
A person in the pre-contemplation stage is often in denial because they genuinely believe they do not have any issues or concerns. The barometer in determining whether the substance user is in the pre-contemplation or contemplation stage is the response you receive when confronting them. A person in the true pre-contemplation stage will not react in anger when confronted.
A person in the pre-contemplation stage would have more of a puzzled or aloof response. Someone in the pre-contemplation would be caught off guard and would most likely not realize they have a problem, nor do they believe they have affected anyone.
A clinician can use specific evidence-based communication strategies to help someone move from pre-contemplation to the next stage, contemplation.
Signs Someone Is In Denial About Their Addiction
Signs a person is in denial about their drug or alcohol addiction include:
- Defense mechanisms like getting angry or crying when the topic is brought up
- Comparing their drinking or drug use to other people who also have an addiction
- Rationalizing it as a reward for a hard days work
- Saying they need it to get through a difficult day
- Downplaying their use
- Self-deception, convincing themselves things are not as bad as they actually are
- Blaming others for your substance abuse
- Using drugs or alcohol to get back at somebody
- Minimizing the negative consequences of their actions
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If Your Addicted To Cigarettes
When To Talk To Your Healthcare Provider
Initiating a conversation with your healthcare provider can be the first step to getting support for addiction. Signs that it may be time to reach out include:
- Worrying that you may be addicted to a substance or other behavior
- Symptoms of withdrawal after stopping use of a substance
- Negative consequences at home, work, or school
- Preoccupation with thoughts of using or planning to use
- Acting without regard for safety or consequences for yourself or others
- Excessive use of substances
- Risky behavior or dangerous consequences with use
- Emotions such as guilt or shame
How Can I Help Someone Whos In Denial About Their Addiction
Ultimately, the decision to change is up to the individual. You can help your loved one face their substance abuse and get the help they need, but in the end, its up to them to put in the hard work. Seeking drug rehab in Agoura Hills is only part of the battle recovery is an ongoing process.
With that said, there are certain approaches you can take to help an addict in denial. If they dont work, you may have to try again at a later date. But its important to follow through with consequences for refusing treatment, otherwise, you can fall into the trap of enabling. For example, if your loved one refuses rehab, you can ask them to leave your home or stop paying their bills.
Below are some of the ways you can help an addict in denial:
- Organize an intervention. Organized interventions can be extremely powerful in getting your loved one to accept help. But, they must be well-thought-out and include a professional interventionist for the best results.
- Pursue involuntary commitment. California is one of the states that allows a parent or loved one to involuntarily commit an addicted loved one to a drug and alcohol rehab program. You can learn more about this option here.
- Follow through with consequences and let go. This is probably the most difficult decision a parent or loved one can make. However, you cant force someone to change, so there comes a point when the addict has to accept the addiction on their own terms.
You May Like: How To Prevent Drug Abuse And Addiction
What Causes A Person To Be In Denial
Denial is a debilitating part of addiction because it often grows in conjunction with the addiction itself. Just as an addict didnt begin life as one, they likely werent always in denial.
When someone is in denial, they are:
- Ignoring RealityThis may be the starting point of substance use and its denial. Your loved ones personal life might be in poor shape before turning to substances, so they use them as a way to ignore the pain.
- Escaping FeelingsSelf-loathing about substance abuse and the things that play into its manifestation is very common. If someone can use drugs or alcohol to numb those, they may embrace denial to make it seem as though everything is okay.
- RationalizingEven if your loved one knows what they are doing is unacceptable and sees how it affects their life, they may think things like, Its not so bad, or, I have this under control. These thoughts might persist as the addiction gets worse, and someone will minimize the effect the drugs or alcohol are having on their life by rationalizing them at the same time.
There are many other reasons that someone may become an addict and then fall into denial. Whats important is that you communicate with them to help them get out of it, regardless of why theyre there.
Find a Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Arizona
How To Know When Someone Is In Denial With Their Addiction
How to help addicts in denial?
First, we must assess their behavior.
There are different indicators when someone is in denial of their addiction. The behavioral and emotional response is among the indicators of their denial behavior towards addiction. Take note of the following indicators:
- Manipulative behaviors pretends to be the victim, accusing and blaming others for their situation is the first indicator of addiction denial. Through their manipulative behaviors, they blamed others. They manipulate their family and friends to cover up their addictive behaviors.
- Harmful behaviors to justify their addictive behavior and become in denial, they show harmful behavior towards others. They become unmindful and responsible with their behavior to show that this is just part of their coping mechanism with their addictive behavior. Abuse and violence are few among the harmful behaviors they show when they are in denial of their addiction.
- Defense mechanisms in denial is their first defense mechanism in denying that they require help. They become defensive when a conversation is opened about their drug or alcohol use. They use their emotions and past experiences as defense mechanisms to justify that these factors cause their addiction, and it is reasonable.
These indicators must not be neglected and must be kept in mind for us to know when they are in denial of their addictive behavior. Read the ways on how you can show your concern towards an inflicted addict.
Also Check: Can You Be Addicted To Nyquil