An addict in denial can be very difficult to help or encourage to get professional help. You can’t help but wonder if the addict is denying the issue only to you or if they actually feel as if they don’t have a problem abusing substances. Watching a person struggling with addiction is difficult when you see them throwing their life away. It is also painful when they are hurting family, friends, relationships with significant others, and going through the finances of those who love them.
Understanding an Addict in Denial and Their Behavior
It is hard to understand the behavior of an addict in denial. How can you see the problems and the addict can’t? What you may not know is that an addict denying that they have a problem is typical behavior for many of those struggling with substance abuse. Behavior such as this can cause a lot of tension between you and your loved one when you try to talk to them and they constantly deny any problem.
An addict in denial is defensive and does not want to be criticized or belittled in any way. One of the worst things you can do is tell them that they will never be any different from the way that they are now. Don’t tell them that they will never change and will only get worse or continue their bad habits. Addicts need to hear that you love them and only want what is best for them. They need encouragement daily that they can change and live a sober life without drugs.
You Can’t Force an Addict in Denial into Addiction Treatment
While everyone knows that you can’t force a loved one to attend an addiction treatment facility, you can encourage them to get help. If they don’t want to seek help from an addiction rehab right now, assure them that you will be there for them if they decide they do want to seek treatment. It is important that they know that they have someone to turn to if they need it. Let them know that you will support them through treatment and afterward.
By denying their addiction, your loved one is attempting to manipulate you. You may even wonder if the problem is as big as you think. An addict in denial is always looking for ways to ignore the problem and continue with life as they want to by using drugs or alcohol as their way of coping. You will see less and less of your loved one as they try to avoid you and your questions or comments by spending more time with other substance abusers who do not nag them about their drug usage.
Is There Anything that will Help Your Loved One?
If your loved one won’t even admit that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, is there anything at all that you can do to convince them to get help? You can always organize an intervention with close friends or other family members who the addict is comfortable with and try to convince them through the intervention that they indeed do have a problem and need help. Although this doesn’t always work, in many cases it does.
Last but not least, if an addict in denial won’t listen to you and accept the help and support that you are offering them, sometimes there is nothing more that you can do. You just have to let it go and hope that they will figure it out on their own before it is too late. Becoming an enabler for your addicted loved one will not benefit them and it will definitely hurt you and your well-being. It is a painfully hard decision to make, but sometimes you just have to distance yourself from the situation and let them face the consequences of their actions.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment Programs
Hopefully, they will see that they can benefit from an addiction treatment program in an inpatient facility. Once they realize this, you can help them research different programs and choose one that will fit their individual needs and preferences. You can continue to support them through their inpatient stay and be there for them when they come home to their new life without drugs or alcohol. Don’t give up on your loved one, but sometimes you just have to step away from the situation for them to see that they do need professional help for addiction.