It is a sad fact of life that with denial plus the use of harmful substances, the addict is usually the last person to realize that they have a problem. Additionally, this makes them the last person to accept the fact that they need help with their addiction.
This acceptance comes from immediate family, or the ones closest to the addict. This is where the tricky part of the disease comes into play. When a person is told they have a physical illness, such as diabetes or high-blood pressure, the individual accepts the diagnosis from a medical professional. Contrarily with the addict, denial is almost always the default defense mechanism. This in turn just causes them to turn to drugs more. This is why addiction is the only illness that requires a self-diagnosis to have any true effect.
Breaking Through Denial Importance
Unfortunately for the interventionist, denial is the number one challenge they face when addressing the addicted individual. Getting them to overcome that denial is often times considered the very first step in their treatment. Since denial stands to prevent the acceptance portion of the individual’s treatment, the interventionist’s goal is to expose the denial of the individual which also exposes their refusal to acknowledge negative consequences.
Often times, we see negative consequences themselves manifest as a form of intervention. One such example would be in legal intervention, such as with an arrest that threatens loss of freedom or property. This is where you start seeing a lot of individuals being “court ordered” into treatment. This allows a little bit of an ax to hang over a person’s head; essentially with the mindset of “It’s here, or jail.” Another such intervention is a workplace intervention. This would be where the person’s poor performance and the threat of losing their job brings them into treatment, often times by an employee assistance program (EAP).
Seek Help From Compassionate Interventions
While these forms of intervention are successful reaching an individual to break their denial, sometimes consequences don’t speak the volumes we feel they should. Instead, specialists who implement formal interventions know they must first begin and end from a place of love. This, coupled with the revelation of the addict’s disease, helps to break away the denial. This is best employed and aided by the help of the significant person’s in the addict’s life.
While there are several ways to break through denial, we at Compassionate Interventions don’t want to see the addict get there as a result of consequence. We feel, through an assurance of the addict’s capabilities and value, their denial can break through loving and healing. Of course, this means they have to want to experience the healing. Reach out today and learn more about our addiction intervention programs and addiction treatment resources.
– J. Dalton Williams
Inaba, Darryl S. Cohen, William E. Uppers, Downers, All Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. 8th ed. CNS Productions, INC. 2014.