No one ever starts out drinking alcohol or using drugs with the idea that they want to get addicted. Addiction happens over time and often takes the user by surprise.
Naturally, a huge factor inside of addiction is denial. Most people who have developed a problem are living in denial in that they have it all under control and they can stop using when they want to.
Sadly, denial is a large component of why people stay addicted to substances for as long as they do. No one wants to admit they have lost control or that they have a drug problem.
It’s important to understand the dynamics of denial, especially when you want nothing more than to learn how to help an addict in denial.
How to Approach Someone In Denial About Addiction
Trying to help someone with a drug problem can prove to be very challenging. It’s important to understand what to say to someone who may not realize or be ready to admit they have a substance abuse problem. Often as a family member or loved one, you may be wondering what to say to an addict in denial.
Most people battling with addiction will use various defense mechanisms to prolong their habits and avoid admitting a problem exists. Here are some guidelines to follow for approaching someone in denial about addiction:
- Remember that your verbal remarks will have little effect on their decision to get help.
- Addicts are much more inclined to seek help if they arrive at the decision on their own.
- Be aware that an addict will most likely lash out, guilt or become angry when approached. It is important not to reciprocate.
- Try to stick with open-ended questions that will get them talking, rather than using closed questions that only require a yes or no answer.
- Ask questions and avoid statements.
- Be prepared for resistance.
- Rather that drill them with questions, indicate you already know there is a problem and that debates, excuses or details are much less important than getting help and taking action.
- Understand that in order for someone to make changes to their behaviors, they must first accept responsibility for them.
- Offer encouragement instead of shaming.
- Show that you are concerned and be empathetic.
- Be prepared to set boundaries and stop enabling them.
How to Help an Addict Recover
Getting help and treatment is the ultimate goal of helping an addict face their denial and addiction. Getting someone into a solid treatment program with support is the leading way to help an addict recover.
However, recovery for an addict doesn’t stop after they detox or enter into an inpatient or outpatient program. Recovery is a friend and family affair. This means that living with someone in recovery is just as important to his or her recovery as treatment. So, understanding your role in supporting them in the life-long recovery process is key.
Becoming educated about how to support an addict in recovery is imperative. There are support groups for friends and families who are involved in drug addiction for this reason.
Contact us today to learn more about treatment and support options to help an addict in your life find recovery.