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Breaking Through the Denial of Addiction

Breaking Through the Denial of Addiction

Many people who have substance use disorder will deal with immense feelings of shame due to the stigma that still surrounds the disease. These negative feelings can cause them to deny that they have an issue anywhere from early substance misuse to full onset addiction that is crippling their everyday lives. While avoidance is a coping tactic that many people look to when they’re in trouble, the danger of continued denial of substance use disorder prevents people from getting the help they need. Breaking through denial can be a challenge, and encouraging someone to choose recovery can seem impossible until they get past that step.

Forms of Denial

Denial can wear many masks and present itself in different ways from person to person. The most common signifiers, however, can be boiled down to a specific set of behaviors.

Ignoring the problem: pretending there is nothing wrong when substance misuse has spun out of control and begun to affect the person’s life and the lives of others around them takes an incredible amount of denial. By lying to themselves and others, they start each day with a “blank slate” mentally until they use again, restarting the cycling, which progressively gets more dangerous and with more consequences involved.

Rationalization: people who want to avoid dealing with their addiction issues will continually find excuses for their substance misuse. They will blame external factors for their destructive coping mechanism or prolong getting help by employing self-control methods that consistently fail.

Comparison reasoning: when someone wants to diminish the severity of their substance misuse, they will assure themselves that their situation isn’t so bad because they aren’t doing “worse” substances or are only using them at certain times. They will also excuse their destructive misuse by pointing fingers at other people who also misuse substances to make their problems seem lesser in comparison.

There are other less categorical behaviors that many who struggle with addiction will exhibit as a form of denial. Still, their biggest challenge is breaking through these barriers to get effective treatment.

Getting Past Denial

Sometimes it takes a village to help someone with addiction that is in denial of their wavering health. There are steps loved ones of those affected with substance use disorder can take to urge someone to seek treatment and steps people with addiction can take who suspect they have been avoiding seeing the impact of their substance misuse.

An intervention can help reach through to someone who desperately needs help with addiction and contact clinics that offer simple, outpatient treatments that are evidence-based and effective. By taking the guesswork out of finding a reputable treatment center, there is hope that those who need help will take the opportunity.

Recovery Services of New Mexico are prepared to aid all enrolled patients to achieve their maximum potential in treatment using FDA-approved therapies in our medication-assisted treatment program. Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff and medical providers will give each patient individualized care for all of their recovery needs. Contact us today to inquire about enrollment.


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