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Dealing With Addiction Denial

Everyone Else Is to Blame, But the Addict

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Updated October 04, 2012

For the family, friends, employers and co-workers of alcoholics and addicts one of the most frustrating aspects to deal with is their denial, especially when it is so obvious to everyone else the person has a problem.

In spite of all evidence to the contrary, the addict will stubbornly insist they do not have a problem, or their problems are someone else's fault. In a recent post to our Alcoholism / Substance Abuse Forum, a visitor struggling with methamphetamine abuse displayed all the classic signs of denial in the following edited message:

A Story of Denial

I was told I needed rehab by my wife. She threw me out two weeks ago and before then, called my boss and told him I was doing drugs and abusing her. Well, I wasn't abusing her, but I was using meth. I got fired from my job and I've been living on the streets and living out of my car.

I can't find a job anywhere here in Arizona. My funds are going quick and my faith in God going quicker.

I Don't Need Recovery

I just found out that she's got me on a private insurance that'll cover any rehab that I go into. This is why she's doing this to me. But I don't think I need rehab or I don't need to go into recovery. Are there any other options? I also want to let you know that this same woman has had five known affairs on me. I think I use meth to deal with that pain. If I was to divorce her and live life away from her, I wouldn't have the desire or need to use meth.

I've stayed with her so long after these affairs because of my two beautiful kids, who didn't ask for this and who deserve two parents.

-- Sgt. Rudog

What Other Sign Do You Need?

Above is the story of a man who has lost his job, lost his family, lost his home and is now living out of his car because of his meth use, but he still insists that he doesn't have a problem! His reaction to his situation is the typical denial of an addict:

  • He blames his drug use on the behavior of his wife
  • He minimizes the effect his abusive behavior has had on others
  • He blames losing his job on his wife
  • He doesn't need help, he can quit anytime

What will it take for this guy to finally admit he has a problem? Will it take a trip to jail? The loss of his health? What will it take for him to hit bottom?

The answer is, nobody knows. For some, the threat of losing their family or their job is enough to wake them up. For some getting that first DUI is their "bottom." But for others 10 arrests won't slow them down. Addiction is a baffling disease, especially for the friends and family who try desperately, as this man's wife has done, to get them to see they have a problem.

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