Direct Strategies For Dealing With Denial
Denial is a powerful coping mechanism used by people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. They use denial to avoid understanding and addressing the feelings and thoughts that motivate using. The addict believes, subconsciously, that drinking and doing drugs does less damage than working to understand the pain and motivations that lie underneath. Those who question whether or not things are really fine are met with anger.
Although it can feel impossible to convince a loved one that substance abuse is a problem, there are many strategies you can use to help him recognize his addiction. Its also important to continuously stress the long term consequences of denial, which may include:
During your final attempts to reach your loved one, you must be prepared to hear some unpleasant truths about your own life. Your loved one may attempt to justify his behavior with your past actions. Be prepared to set limits strive for a rational discussion of the problem and avoid a shouting match at all costs.
Refute each excuse with a calm and rational response, and dont be afraid to acknowledge when your loved one is correct. You can try leaving your loved one with a book or website that talks about the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. Independent information given with no emotional attachment can sometimes convince a loved one to get help.
Addiction + Mental Health Problems
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , there are an estimated nine million adults that have mental health and substance abuse problems. Sadly, only about 7% are getting treatment for both conditions.;When substance abuse is combined with depression, these conditions tend to amplify each other, causing negative effects to multiply. And if one disorder is treated without the other, recovery becomes much less likely.
It is important to understand that emotions have several components to them.;According to Dr. Marsden, the way we feel due to an event or action comes down to how we interpret or label experiences. We can feel good or positive about something as simple as being greeted by our dog when we come home, Dr. Marsden said. It is pleasurable and therefore we want to repeat it. Negative experiences, however, are viewed as bad, and we come to believe that these should be avoided.;In fact, we are taught from a very young age to avoid negative emotions. How many times have we heard our parents insist there is nothing to cry about? Unfortunately, this drive to avoid bad emotions can lead to drug or alcohol abuse or other self-harming behavior.
Dont: Give In To Manipulation
When a person with an addiction is unwilling to seek treatment, they will resort to whatever they need to do to continue feeding their addiction. This may include lying or trying to guilt the people who care for them. Its important to establish boundaries and;learn how to say no. It may be very difficult to not react negatively or to stick to your established rules, but its necessary for everyone involved.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
The Right Treatment Program For Your Family
It is essential that the addiction treatment program you choose also works from a compassionate, medical understanding of addiction in order to foster motivational change rather than spark defensive reactions. With the right care, your loved one can gain the insight and skills necessary to remove the obstacles to recovery and find lasting sobriety. At the same time, dedicated family programming helps you recover both individually and as a family, providing a safe space for learning, connecting, and nourishing your relationships. Together, you can build a richer future for each member of your family and create lasting freedom from addiction.
Alta Mira offers a comprehensive suite of treatment programs for people struggling with addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. We work with a trusted network of professional interventionists who can help your family start the journey toward recovery. Contact usto learn more about our innovative programming and how we can help you or your loved one heal from the pain of addiction.
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Approaching A Loved One Who Is Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol
Choosing the right time to approach a loved one who is addicted and in denial is essential to convincing that person to seek treatment. Always pick a time when your loved one is sober never pick a fight during periods of obvious use. Take the diary you kept that details the denial, and remember to stay calm. Have a clear plan of what youre going to say and how youre prepared to help.
Also avoid blame statements. Instead, phrase concerns conscientiously with when youI feel statements. For example, When you drink at parties, I feel like you start arguing with me in front of other people and that embarrasses me. Or, when you got that DUI, I worried a lot about how we are going to pay for a lawyer and how that will affect our reputations.
When speaking to your struggling loved one, dont let other people intrude on your conversation. Being confronted over drug and alcohol use can be embarrassing, and when others overhear or pile on, it can cause your loved one to feel more shameful and defensive. Identify the specific words and actions of your loved one that upset you, and identify the differences in personality that occur when your loved one is sober and when your loved one is using. State your desire to help your loved one get into rehab, as well as your commitment to stay involved during the entire process and work together to achieve a successful outcome.
More Resources For An Addict In Denial
If youre having troubles dealing with an addict in denial you should try reaching out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or a local drug treatment center. Both SAMHSA and a local addiction center can arm you with new information and help you craft a plan for an addict in denial depending on their addiction and personality.;
Dealing with an addict in denial is frustrating, heartbreaking, and can drag you down to the addicts level. Speak with addiction experts about interventions, involuntary treatment if the situation has become uncontrollable, and let go if you have to. With these tips and more you can help get the addict in your life out of the shadows of denial and into a proper treatment program.;
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What Is Samhsas National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locators.
How To Confront An Addict In Denial
The truth is that it is possible your loved one has been thinking about seeking help and deep down they might be craving it. In addition, maybe they have just been waiting to see if anyone cares about them. So, you should really take the first step and figure out how to talk to someone on drugs. This will help you find the strength to reach out to your loved one.
You can also offer your loved one resources, including contact information and schedules for local support groups. You could also suggest that your loved one seek professional substance abuse counseling or addiction rehab. There are also;inpatient and outpatient programs available for people who have addictions. You could recommend one to your loved one as a solution to their addiction issues. If they are nervous about getting treatment, you could volunteer to go with them so they dont have to go alone.
Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, denial is part of the process. Overcoming denial is a step towards sobriety. Watching someone suffering from an addiction can be frustrating, stressful, and difficult. Knowing how to talk to drug addicts can help a person express themselves to a loved one who has an addiction. Although you should remember if you have a loved one who has a drug or alcohol addiction, it is a good idea to express your concerns to them when they are sober. Dont place blame on your loved one. Stay positive and speak with them regarding their addiction.
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How To Help An Addict In Denial
No one ever starts out drinking alcohol or using drugs with the idea that they want to get addicted. Addiction happens over time and often takes the user by surprise.
Naturally, a huge factor inside of addiction is denial. Most people who have developed a problem are living in denial in that they have it all under control and they can stop using when they want to.
Sadly, denial is a large component of why people stay addicted to substances for as long as they do. No one wants to admit they have lost control or that they have a drug problem.
Its important to understand the dynamics of denial, especially when you want nothing more than to learn how to help an addict in denial.
Seek Involuntary Commitment To Treatment
Some states have laws in place which allow a parent, guardian, or loved one to commit an addict into a substance addiction treatment program involuntarily. An example is Floridas Marchman Act, which gives the ability to enable families to petition the court for mandatory treatment of somebody with an addiction. Although each states law will vary, primarily a parent, guardian, or loved one must be able to prove that the subject has a substance addiction.;
There must also be a significant cause of concern that the individual could be harmful to themselves or others unless they are committed. Additionally, if the subject is entirely disabled due to their substance abuse and there isnt anybody available to provide essential needs like meals and shelter, they can legally be involuntarily committed to an addiction treatment center.;;
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How Does Denial Play Into Addiction
Addiction can be a never-ending cycle because addictive substances are both the comfort and the problem for the person who is addicted to them.
In most cases, someone who relies on alcohol and drugs will continue to be in denial about their addiction until their problems become impossible to ignore. This could happen in the form of an overdose or other major health event, legal trouble, or relationship strain or loss.
Overcoming Stage Three Denial
The third .stage of denial is dismantled by the constant recommitment to active participation in the recovery support fellowship of your choice.
Getting involved is the fastest way to overcome it with activities such as 12-Step meetings, sponsorship, being a secretary or chairperson, having a coffee commitment at a meeting, greeting newcomers, going on 12-Step calls. There are dozens of things one can do to establish a growing commitment to the Recovery Program.
The more activity the more you are overcoming the third stage of denial. The less activity the more you are sinking back into the third stage of denial.
Overcoming the third stage of denial completely is almost impossible. One should strive for progress in this area not perfection. The proper level of commitment to the program and the principles in it varies widely between different people. The important thing to understand is that each person needs to find his own healthy level of involvement based on his own particular needs.
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How To Approach Their Denial
No matter what the persons behavior has been like, its important to remember that your loved one is not a bad person; he or she has an addiction and is in deep denial.
Addiction can cause our loved ones to act in negative ways and cause hurt to those around them. It may be difficult, but its important not to blame or criticize them.
- Be specific when you talk. Bring up specific incidents that they know about and have participated in like canceled plans or broken promises.
- Use I phrases such as, I was worried, or, I noticed.
- Talk about the negative effects your loved ones using has on the things he or she cares about most, such as their career, family, sports, or other commitments.
- Dont be discouraged or surprised if your loved one continues to deny they have a problem. Unfortunately, denial is one of the symptoms of the disease of addiction. Dont take it personally and remain supportive of your loved one.
- Keep in touch with your loved one even if they arent open to help right now. You never know when you may have planted the seed of recovery.
Remain As Calm As Possible
The person you are confronting will most likely become emotional in some way. The best thing you can do is to remain calm and not get caught up in a yelling argument. If things escalate too quickly let the person know you would like to continue the conversation at another time once they have had some time to cool down.
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Show How Their Problem Hurts Them
Keep the focus on their behavior. Dont tell them how theyve hurt you, which can easily turn into a blame game or make them feel so guilty they want to forget with a drink or drugs.
- Im worried about you and afraid something bad might happen to you.
- I dont like to see you hurting yourself. I love you too much to not say anything or try to get you some help.
- Im worried that If you continue to drink/use, youll lose your job, your friends, and your family.
How To Help Them Recover
Its possible your loved one may have already been thinking about getting help, or deep down inside theyve been waiting for someone to show they care. And maybe youre not the only one who has expressed concern over their drinking and drug use.
Provide your loved one with contact information and schedules for local AA or NA meetings. If your loved one is in agreement, you may want to suggest a formal evaluation by a substance abuse counselor or medical professional.
You may also want to have the name of a treatment center handy in case your loved one shows interest in attending inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment as a solution to their addiction issue. If they want professional help at a treatment center, offer to be there for them during every step of the process.
Recovery is an ongoing process, and overcoming denial is just;one of many steps towards restoration.
Being there for your loved ones during their hardest times shows them that you not only care, but you also understand them. Several people close to me mentioned they were worried about my drinking, and although it didnt get me to stop immediately, it helped me to consider sobriety when I was ready.
Use your words for good, and tell your loved ones how you feel about them whenever you can.
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Addicted And In Denial
As a person on the outside, it may be difficult for you to understand how your loved one can deny their addiction and the problems it causes, especially when it is so obvious to everyone else around them.
First of all, the thoughts of an addicted individual will not align with those of their loved ones because it is clouded by the substance abuse. Trauma or mood disorders could also be inhibiting their ability to think clearly and practice sound judgment.
An addict may also hold certain attitudes and beliefs about his or her substance abuse that seem to be true, but are in fact, just lies. Some attitudes and beliefs your loved one may express are as follows:
- They just dont care. Some addicts get to the point where they just dont care about their lives or the damage they are inflicting upon themselves.
- They believe they are in complete control.Your loved one may believe that he or she can stop using drugs or alcohol whenever they want and its not an issue of control .
- They dont think their addiction is harming anyone else.Addicts may struggle to see how their behavior is affecting the people around them. Sometimes it takes an organized intervention to open their eyes to the damage they are causing.
- They view themselves as a victim. Addicts may think they face more stress than everyone else or that life is out to get them, therefore, they wouldnt be able to cope without drugs or alcohol.
Dont: Violate Their Privacy
In taking care of yourself and attending therapy, you may be tempted to vent about your loved one with an addiction. While you should be as honest about your feelings as possible when getting therapy, its important to respect their privacy. This is especially relevant when discussing someone with addiction with friends or family.;
Make sure the person is okay being talked about and having their struggles discussed. If you attend counseling with your loved one, make sure you dont reveal what was said in session to others. If your loved one attends therapy or counseling on their own and dont want to discuss what they talked about in session, respect that and dont push them for details.;
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