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DENIAL: HOW IT BLOCKS THE ROAD TO TRUE FREEDOM


By E. J. NICHOLAS

Drug, alcohol addiction and even abuse are hidden by the human tendency to deny the truth. It’s first important to determine the type of denial the person is in before an addiction treatment specialist is able to help an addict learn how to overcome denial.

Many people deny the severity of their problem when caught in a cycle of addiction or abuse. Some believe they can quit at any time and still retain a measure of control over their substance use. They say they just don’t want to quit by rationalizing their ongoing use. The person that attempts to rationalize or normalize their substance use by making excuses or justifying use, lacks insight into their own self-destructive behavior. There are other drug or alcohol addicts that may realize deep down they have a problem. However, many will lie or use deception and deny the problem when confronted with their ongoing use.

It can be challenging to help a recovering addict learn how to overcome denial. However, help from a drug or alcohol rehab treatment center will make it a lot easier. In order to determine the type of denial the person is in addiction specialists must work closely with the recovering person. To identify the underlying psychological causes behind self-destructive behaviors one must seek therapy and counseling in order to recover. The true extent of the problem often becomes clearer, as the person learns more about their individual addiction triggers. This in turn makes it easier for them to recognize that they were in denial.

When an addict remains in denial about having a problem, many family members struggle to watch loved ones caught in the grip of addiction. It can also be challenging for family members to work out how to deal with someone in denial. Some people may believe they can push a person or threaten them into accepting treatment. Others may feel that blaming them or accusing them for their actions could provide the key to them accepting treatment.

In reality, a person struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction may react in unexpected ways. Violence or aggression may occur when being confronted. Overwhelming feelings of shame or guilt could result in others causing them to spiral even deeper into the grip of addictive substance use.

It’s important that family members and loved ones seek advice and guidance from an addiction specialist within a drug or alcohol rehab center. Learning more effective ways how to deal with someone in denial reduces the chance of them responding in unpredictable ways. Family members also learn more about how important their role is within the addicted person’s journey to recovery.

Recognizing you have a problem but continuing to deny that you need treatment in order to quit using is a big hurdle to overcome.

However, the biggest problem arises when one graduates from a comprehensive rehab treatment program and he/she tries to fast-track their way through the recovery process. Learning to accept reality is a big factor in learning how to overcome denial. A form of denial is minimizing the impact of continuing to use drugs or alcohol. So is rationalizing use or denying how much is really being used. What it all comes down to is realizing that a problem exists and something needs to change in order to regain control over your life. This is the first step on the road to recovery from addiction.

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