How to Overcome the Denial of Being a Substance Abuser

young woman showing her denial with no on her hand

Denial is a defense mechanism that allows our brains to reject the facts in order to protect ourselves from feeling too uncomfortable or unsafe. When reality hurts, our brain immediately uses denial in hopes of mitigating and avoiding the truth.

For an addict, denial is comforting. In fact, most addicts and substance abusers are in complete denial that they have a problem at all. It isn’t until addicts hit rock bottom that they crawl away from denial and toward acceptance. When this happens, addicts are more likely to seek substance abuse counseling to start their lives on a healthier and happier path.

Addicted to Denial

Far too often, addicts remain addicts because they’re in denial that their actions are problematic, harmful, and even deadly. In fact, saying “I can stop using at any time” is one of the most common lies that you’ll hear from someone who is, in fact, addicted to drugs or alcohol. The problem is that denial is one of the biggest roadblocks in the way of reaching the path of recovery.

Addicts won’t enter a drug rehabilitation center until they admit that they have a problem and need to make a change. However, many addicts only accept their addiction when the facts are just too glaringly obvious that they cannot go one day, perhaps even one hour, without their substance of choice on hand. Only when the addict stops denying the truth about how bad things spiraled out of control in their lives, will they accept the truth about their addiction.

When the person admits and accepts their problem with drugs and/or alcohol, only then will they be able to finally be able to begin the process of a substance-free life, free from the chains of addiction.

Overcoming Denial is Possible, but Not Easy

Are you tired of perpetually worrying about where your next high will come from? Do you get anxious from depleted finances? Have your relationships become strained to the point where they might be broken irreparably? If you’re in denial, you might not recognize these clear signs that you have a substance abuse problem. But how do you let go of the comfort of denial? The first thing you’ll want to do is to stop lying to yourself and others. Stop telling yourself that you can quit anytime, or that you aren’t like other addicts. Change your mindset and admit that you do indeed have a problem.

The next step is to learn to respect yourself and be willing to reach out for support. Talk to a close friend or relative. You can also seek help from treatment centers in your area.

Helping a Loved One Who Is in Denial

There’s nothing more heart-wrenching than watching someone you love and care about become a slave to drugs or alcohol. While you may want to seek drug addiction help for your loved one, they likely will push you away and minimize the severity of their problem, especially if they are in denial.

So, what can you do to help addicts who don’t believe they have a problem?

The best thing to do is to communicate. While your loved ones may say they aren’t addicts or that they can quit their addictions at any time, you know those statements couldn’t be any further from the truth.

When discussing addiction with someone you care about, always stay calm. Don’t be judgmental, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Tell your loved ones how their behavior impacts you emotionally, mentally, and maybe even physically. Be 100% honest.

Once you help your loved ones overcome addiction, there’s a much greater chance that they’ll seek out treatment centers to provide further support.

Stuck in Denial? We’re Here to Help

young couple making a heart shape

Recovery is a life-long journey, but the first step on the road to getting better is admitting you have a problem. By admitting and accepting the fact that you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, you can escape the wrath of addiction and get on the path to a better version of you.

At Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, we offer a variety of treatment options, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, to help you recover. Our drug rehabilitation centers are designed to get you on the right path, allowing you to discover the better side of yourself.

Call our 24/7 helpline at (855) 859-8808 to learn about our programs to get the help you need from people you can trust.