Denial is often the greatest obstacle to alcohol dependence recovery. After all, it is not only difficult to identify the problem, but also to admit you have a problem.
Breaking through denial is not an easy task. People get defensive when someone tries to convince them that they have a problem. A person has to be ready to look at their behavior honestly before they can admit they have a problem.
The process of acceptance happens in stages. Those stages vary from person to person. It can also take a long time for someone to realize it is time to seek treatment. This process can be hindered or facilitated, depending on the circumstance.
The Wake-Up Call
The wake-up call that says it is time to get help may come in different forms.
- On the Job — An employer can step in and make an employee submit to treatment or face suspension or termination.
- Legal Intervention — When a person finds themselves facing a judge, they can be forced into rehab. It is an ideal alternative to jail.
- Family Intervention — Addiction affects everyone who cares about the person suffering from this terrible condition. It can be a powerful experience when family and friends confront a loved one about their behavior and heavy substance use.
Studies have found that recovery outcomes are affected by the type of intervention. People who are forced into treatment have lower rates of long-term successful outcomes than people who enter treatment voluntarily. One reason for this may be that being forced into treatment before one is ready creates resistance to change.
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. People are not open to recovery when they are still in the denial stage.
How can you help a loved one take the first step towards treatment?
Addiction affects everyone involved with the person who has a substance use problem. The best way to help them is to seek help for yourself first. Consult an addiction specialist before you confront your loved one. A specialist can help you understand the signs of addiction and guide you through the process of planning an intervention. It is essential to arm yourself by learning all you can about substance misuse and the addiction treatment programs available.
Addiction programs such as Aquila Recovery utilize motivational interviewing, a non-confrontational approach. Encouraging them to objectively think about their actions and consequences, can motivate your loved one towards change.
Taking that first step of admitting the problem is a critical moment. When your loved one finally says that they are ready to get help, you will already have everything you need to lead them into addiction treatment immediately. It is crucial to be prepared with an addiction specialist or treatment team ready to offer addiction treatment options for your loved one.
It may feel like a battle, trying to break through the wall of denial and make someone realize the damage to their health, relationships, and career.
Helping someone to take that first step toward treatment can be challenging, but we are here to help. Contact us online or call 202.796.9661 today.