In order to confidently pursue treatment options in substance abuse recovery, it is essential for individuals to remain an honest stance on their journey. While the actual process of addiction can entail a gradual opening up of one’s experience, no progress can be made without actually accepting the fact that addiction exists.

There are many reasons why individuals may lie about their addiction—from shame to personal responsibilities. However, when drugs and alcohol take control of the mind and the body, it can be difficult for an individual to even face the reality—and severity—of the situation. If an individual is in denial about his or her addiction, it can become difficult for individuals to recognize the issue and provide help or guidance.

As such, it is essential for all individuals struggling with addiction—whether themselves or a loved one—to consider the possibility that denial is present. Here are just a few of the major signs that indicate you or someone you know is not facing the truth and consequences of addiction:

  • Putting Yourself and Others in Danger as a Result of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse, in the first place, is often a sign that addiction risks are present. However, some may feel that they fall into the “gray area” where they are fine to use drugs or drink “responsibly.” While many may argue that their substance abuse is controlled and safe, a telltale sign that one is in denial about addiction is that he or she is putting their safety and that of others at risk.

A common example of this is driving, performing work duties or operating machinery under the influence. Another instance could be putting children in danger while providing supervision while intoxicated. In cases where dual diagnosis treatment may need to be explored, individuals who experience depression or suicidal thoughts as a result of substance abuse may be even engaging in self-harm while abusing drugs or alcohol.

  • Lying About Things That Do Not Need to Be Lied About

Those who are in denial are likely to be heavily guarded; whether shielding themselves or others from the consequences of addiction. While individuals may not recognize they are lying about their addiction, it may be possible to identify an increasing ability to be dishonest about matters that usually do not need covering up.

For example, if you recognize that you have become more secretive about your outings, spending or who you communicate with—you may be lying about trivial facts to cover up the presence of addiction.

  • Impaired or Lost Memory

While it may be normal for a person to forget small details here and there, many who abuse drugs and alcohol—especially if binging—will experience severe lapses in time or “blacking out.” Waking up with no memory of the previous night is usually a major indicator that substance abuse is taking place; however, there may be more subtle signs of memory loss.

If you find yourself having conversations with people and they point out that you’ve already discussed the topic, you forget people you met or you have been failing to keep up with promises made while intoxicated, there is a chance you are suffering from addiction.

  • Not Taking Responsibility for Actions

Individuals who regularly fail to meet their work, home or social responsibilities may find themselves not necessarily “lying,” but rather making excuses for the reasons they have fallen out of being held accountable. Those who are unapologetic about causing harm to others or failing to meet responsibilities will likely always want to take the position that nothing is their fault.

If you or a loved one seems to have given up all accountability for major responsibilities, without even recognizing the presence of a problem, you may be hiding the much larger problem at hand—addiction.

Finding Help with Denial

If you are unsure about whether you are in denial, it is essential to talk to a professional who can help indicate the presence of addiction and any other potential issues that may be present. Individuals who may suspect denial in a loved one may pursue intervention options or other alternatives to exposing the issue.

While claiming responsibility for addiction is a tough thing for many, the first step is simply recognizing the presence of substance abuse and the need for help. If you fear that you or a loved one struggles with addiction, the most important thing is seeking detox and subsequent addiction recovery treatment. Although it is natural to want to explore the reasons why addiction has occurred, focus on the priorities first: coming clean and getting clean.

If you are ready to make the first step away from addiction denial, Chapters Capistrano offers flexible treatment options and a welcoming environment, staffed with professionals trained to sensitively explore these issues. Pick up the phone and start a conversation that could change your life—call Chapters at 949-276-2886.

Medical disclaimer:

Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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