The first step in solving a problem is recognizing the problem. Unfortunately, this is a significant barrier for those addicted to alcohol. If your loved one is experiencing this denial, it is normal. However, you can help by understanding their denial and learning the steps you can take to aid them in their eventual recovery.
We have seen the transformative potential of implementing twelve-step programming to help individuals recover from addiction to alcohol. Contact us to learn more about our homes and how we can help you.
The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation provides sober living homes that are safe, supportive, and encouraging. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one.
Why Denial is Common
Researchers found that people who drink excessively and admit to problems with important life issues usually don’t answer questions about their drinking accurately. This is consistent with substance abuse professionals’ acknowledgment that addicts tend to lie instead of admitting their substance dependence. There are several reasons that addicts find it difficult to admit their struggle, including:
- Society’s stigma. Society is slow to accept alcoholism as a disease. Instead of viewing an alcoholic as a person needing treatment, the struggling individual is rejected and shamed into hiding their problem as long as they can.
- Treatment’s reputation. Those addicted to alcohol can feel apprehensive about treatment due to believing that it is too expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. The alcoholic can also misunderstand that substance abuse treatment is for people with a more serious drinking problem than theirs.
- Alcoholics’ readiness. Some people simply aren’t ready to turn from alcohol. They believe it is a positive aspect of their social life and relationships. Some alcoholics can not imagine coping with life without alcohol.
- Others’ disappointment. The alcoholic believes that admitting they have a problem risks them losing the love and friendship of others.
Signs of Denial
If you suspect that a loved one has developed alcohol dependence, you may notice one or more of these signs:
- They go out of their way to hide their drinking.
- They blame other people or circumstances for their drinking.
- They become hostile and defensive when asked about their drinking.
- They agree they have a problem and will seek help but never follow up.
- They compare their drinking habits to those who drink more.
What You Can Do To Help
You may feel helpless if your loved one refuses to admit their problem. It is important that you understand you cannot immediately improve their situation as long as they live in denial. However, you can take several steps to improve their chances of seeking help and eventually recovering. These steps include:
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Do not make excuses for them.
- Remain compassionate and empathetic.
- Do not use guilt to attempt to motivate them to pursue help.
- Suggest pursuing a medical exam as a starting point.
- Avoid rescuing them from the consequences of their excessive drinking.
- Do not drink alcohol with them.
- Establish boundaries of your relationship with them when they drink.
Sanctuary Recovery Foundation
We offer caring support to help you or a loved one recover successfully in a safe and positive environment. Contact us today for more information on the Sanctuary Recovery foundation located in Charleston, SC.