It is very difficult for those with addiction issues to admit they have a problem as to do so would mean giving up their drug of choice forever. While possibly being aware that drugs or alcohol is causing negative problems in their lives, these individuals may be afraid of a life without these substances. After relying on them for so long, the idea of never being able to have them again can be frightening. It is for this reason that so many addicts fail to get the help they need to overcome their illness.
Pressure from Family
In many cases, it is a concerned family member who will initially raise the question about whether a loved one has a problem or not. Drug addicts and alcoholics will usually carry on with their addictive behaviour until they are called out about it. And even then, many will deny such a problem exists. The person in question may become defensive and get angry with his or her loved ones.
Some genuinely believe that they do not have a problem and, as such, are of the opinion that they can control their drinking or drug-taking. In their mind, they could stop any time they wanted to but because it is not a problem, they have never even tried to quit.
Dangers of Substance Abuse
Those who abuse substances such as alcohol are leaving themselves open to a host of both mental and physical health problems in the future. Alcohol is considered by many experts to be as dangerous as some illegal drugs, with the difference being that alcohol is readily available and often at very low prices.
Recent reports have revealed that ninety per cent of individuals in the UK do not even associate alcohol with an increased risk of cancer, but the reality is that it is linked to seven different types of cancer including breast, liver, mouth, throat, and oesophagus.
Alcohol abuse can also result in a number of other physical health issues including high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. And it is not just physical health problems; heavy drinkers may often suffer from mental health concerns that include anxiety disorder and chronic depression.
While health issues directly affect those with alcoholism, other consequences can have an effect on those closest to the alcoholic. Relationships tend to be dramatically affected when one family member suffers from an alcohol addiction. Parents watching a child struggle, for example, will feel helpless, guilty or ashamed. They may suffer from their own health issues brought about by stress.
Spouses and children living with an alcoholic may live in constant fear of conflict as their addicted loved one becomes violent or aggressive when under the influence. Or they may suffer financially because money is spent on fuelling the addiction to alcohol instead of on necessities.
Denial is very common among addicts, and even those who are clearly struggling with addiction may find it hard to accept they have a problem. Many people wonder how or why an addict would continue to deny there is a problem when it is obvious to everyone else. The reality is that many individuals affected by alcoholism and addiction are genuinely unable to see the truth of their situation.
Their brain may be trying to protect them from facing up to reality and what that would mean for them. They may be afraid of what sobriety would be like, or they are too embarrassed because of the stigma that is still attached to this destructive illness. Denial is a defence mechanism employed by the brain and one that often requires professional help to break down.
If you or a loved one is suffering because of alcoholism or addiction, contact us here at Rehab Helper for advice and support on how to get the help required to overcome this illness.