Understanding Drug Addiction and Denial Management

One of the most difficult things about drug addiction is that it is a disease that fools the sufferer into believing they don’t have a disease.  This denial starts early in the process of drug addiction or alcoholism and continues indefinitely and to varying degrees of intensity.  As a result, denial management must be made a critical component of any drug rehab center and it must play a significant role throughout the life of the person’s recovery.  However, denial management doesn’t come automatically – it is a learned process that must be facilitated by a professional who is experienced with drug addiction and alcoholism.  Ideally, denial management is best learned at a true residential inpatient program where these experts are most likely to be found.

Denial management is such a vital part of recovery because an addict’s life has almost always become twisted and convoluted with lies, deception and betrayal by the time they make it to a safe harbor such as an inpatient substance abuse treatment program or an intensive outpatient program.  When therapy begins, most people find that denial became a part of their life as soon as they started using drugs or alcohol.  At first there was denial about the harm in taking the drugs at all.  Then there came denial about how much and how often drugs were being used.  And from there things simply snowballed, with lies being told to other people nearly as often as the addict lied to themselves.

Just reaching out for help is a monstrous step toward uncovering denial, but even when a person has admitted their addictions and behaviors and sought treatment, there is always a great deal more denial occurring.  Drug treatment seeks to uncover issues hidden through denial and deception, but addicts are often in denial about their own abilities to get clean and stay clean.  Therefore, denial management must work to uncover the suppressed talents, aspirations, skills and dreams as much as it uncovers lies and fraud.

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Denial management as part of a Florida drug rehab or other program addresses these issues with various therapies, the primary of which is Individual Therapy.  This type of therapy is one-on-one time with an experienced addiction specialist.  Patients are encouraged to explore their own demons and uncover the stressors and triggers that cause them to use drugs or alcohol in an effort to seek relief.  This type of therapy is mostly guided self-help that seeks to help the person see things in new, more positive ways.

Denial management continues with group therapy that creates an environment where people can support one another in their goals to be better people - not just people who are free from drugs or alcohol.  By sharing in a group setting, confidence is fostered and the resulting bravery often leads to honesty of the purest kind.

Family therapy is one of the most useful tools in denial management.  Because addiction causes people to think in a distorted way, it is often only with the help of the people who are close to the addict that they can see how things really are.

Denial management is a lifetime process that must constantly evolve as the person’s recovery evolves.  Tools for denial management and a lifetime of successful recovery can be obtained at a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program, or an intensive outpatient program.  In order to find out which is right for your circumstances, all you have to do is call.

About James F. Davis

James F. Davis, CAS, is a Board Certified Interventionist and the founder of Recovery First. Inc. Davis is also an expert on Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) - the leading cause of relapse among addicts and alcoholics. Mr. Davis operates a website dedicated to sufferers of Post Acute Withdrawal, and has published the first-ever survey on the condition. Davis is also the author of two upcoming books on the topics of PAWS and Adult Children of Alcoholics. You can contact Mr. Davis directly via his Google+ Page, via the Facebook page for Recovery First, or by writing to editor@recoveryfirst.org
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