For those struggling with a substance use disorder, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, coming to accept that they are not just abusing a substance but are dependent upon it can be a challenge. Denial in addiction is very common. Unfortunately, this leads many who are addicted only turning to help when they experience an extreme state like overdose or legal troubles. It’s important to understand why an individual may deny they have an obvious addiction. Doing so will help both individuals and those they care about to understand how to get the support they need to heal. Gulf Breeze Recovery can offer a substance abuse treatment program that can meet each individual’s specific needs as we help them lay the foundation for lasting recovery.
What Denial in Addiction Entails
Denial is the inability to see the truth of one’s addiction. Four hundred years ago, Galileo looked at the night sky with the newly invented telescope and declared that the Earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way around. Despite the ever-increasing evidence to support his claim, it took 150 years for his findings to be accepted by most of society. Even though new inventions and mathematics supported him, some people still staunchly refused to believe that the discovery was true.
Denial is the refusal or inability to see what is obviously true, distancing oneself from reality. Everyone has had a brush with denial, whether it’s a relationship they shouldn’t be in, feeling that they can take on more tasks than they should, pretending things aren’t as bad as they seem. But where denial becomes harmful is when we ignore warning signs detrimental to our physical and mental health. Harmful denial is pervasive for those struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.
Few people start with a full-blown addiction to alcohol or drugs. It typically creeps up slowly, building as it goes, which is why it can be easy to ignore the signs that your use is getting out of hand. When well-meaning friends and family give gentle nudges, we tend to blow it off and make excuses.
What Does Denial Look Like?
Denial comes in many forms and can look different depending on your personality and circumstances. How do people know when they are in denial about their substance abuse? Here are just a few examples to let you know if you have a problem with denial:
- You know that you have a problem but choose to ignore it anyway, lying to yourself and your loved ones.
- Rationalizing substance use as a temporary solution to an external problem.
- You compare yourself to your peers to determine acceptable use.
- You know you use more than you should, but you don’t think it causes any problems.
- Your loved ones tell you to get help, but you ignore them.
- You may have considered getting help, but think that your case is “unique” and that treatment can’t possibly help your situation.
- Denial is the habitual ignorance of reality, whether intentional or not. So how do you overcome the habit of denial?
Realizing that denial is just another habit that we can be addicted to can be a great push in the right direction. It starts with brutal honesty with yourself without allowing your ego to step in and say, “You’re doing fine.” Taking a good hard look in the mirror of your soul, taking inventory of your habits and actions, and whether or not they lead to the healthiest you can be should illuminate any actions that need addressing.
Once we’ve laid ourselves bare for personal inspection, if we find that maybe the drink or the drug use is causing us to miss even one hour of the life we would like to live, interfering with relationships with loved ones, or hindering our path in our professional, social or spiritual life, it must be faced.
Overcome Denial fo Substance Abuse with Support from Gulf Breeze Recovery
Turning away means more denial, prolonging the inevitable truth that will eventually resurface, and more wasted time pretending the truth isn’t real. Facing it means accepting that this is something that you’ve done, not something you are and that just because you acted one way before does not mean you must keep acting that way in the future. For most, it means telling a loved one that you understand you have a problem to address. For many, it means getting the help they need from family, friends, physicians, and counselors who are trained specifically to help break the cycle of these habits.
Regardless of what path is chosen, it should always include an honest inventory of a person’s current situation and a willingness to accept whatever that honesty uncovers. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, you can find the substance abuse treatment program you need. We provide treatment for:
- Alcohol Addiction Treatment
- Drug Addiction Treatment
- Heroin Addiction Treatment
- Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment