We are all partial to finding blame when things fall apart, but in a case of relapse back to drug and alcohol addiction, it’s very important to just take a step back and think before you speak to a loved one who has relapsed. In short, you need to neutralize your emotions and not make your loved one feel guilty or even absolve them from guilt at all.
Taking time to blame someone tends to focus the responsibility on the blamed one and not on the problem, and also focuses on the “Who did what?” as opposed to the “What do we do about it?” Blame also implies a desire or sense to punish someone and by doing so there is a missed opportunity to resolve the problem, or identify the trigger that led to the relapse. The worst part is that the conflict remains the focus instead of finding a solution. Continue reading
Relapse happens often, more often than what anyone would like. In fact, *according to the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA) there is evidence that nearly 90% of alcoholics will experience at least one relapse over the 4-year period following treatment. Unfortunately, there aren’t any interventions that can prevent relapse in a predictable manner.
One of the most difficult parts of sobriety is seeing a loved on return to alcohol and/or drug abuse after they’ve completed addiction treatment and began the work to make their lives better. It can be devastating to all involved. Most loved ones either throw their hands up in despair, while others will seek addiction advice that can help them get through their loved one’s relapse. After all, addiction is also about the people surrounding the addict. Continue reading
If I am in denial, when do I know when my drinking a problem?
Great question for our Alcohol Addiction Advice Section!
As most of us know already, the word denial is the refusal to admit the truth or the reality of the situation, but I think when it comes to alcohol abuse and addiction it means, “refusal to acknowledge there could possibly be an issue.” For me, the main difference is that you don’t have to admit you’re an addict or that you have abuse issues. It is just about living in the possibility of it, to take a long look at your behaviors, and then make a decision.
In fact, denial can be one of your biggest obstacles to getting the help you need. Your passions and desires to drink alcohol might be so strong that you can’t see what’s actually happening when you do drink. You might not be able to see the big picture of the end result. Well, besides the dreaded hangover in the mornings. You could even rationalize why you drink, like, “I work really hard,” “my life is very difficult,” “people don’t understand me.” The list can be endless.
When one excuses of rationalizes their drinking in ways like this it keeps them from looking honestly at that behavior and its negative effects. Here are some other ways people deny having a drinking problem:
- Blame others for your drinking problems.
- Make light of the consequences of your drinking.
- Underestimate exactly how much you drink.
This is what I always say, “If you’ve no problem with alcohol then you‘d have no reason to cover up how much you drink and what happens when you do.”
One of the strongest indicators we at Ask Recovery Rob run across while giving alcohol addiction advice is when people are deep in their denial of alcohol intake. Oftentimes people don’t want to admit how much they drink, and in some cases they are being honest, but they’ve blacked out and can’t remember exactly how much they drank.
Denial is a huge obstacle for some and denial prevents them from getting the help they need for alcohol abuse and alcoholism. With the desire to drink so strong the mind finds ways to rationalize drinking – even if the consequences are obvious. Denial worsens problems at work, finances and personal relationship because it keeps them from looking at their behavior with honest eyes.
Here are four indicators you might be in denial for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
- Drastically underestimating how much you drink
- Downplaying the negative consequences of your drinking
- Complaining that family and friends are exaggerating the problem
- Blaming your drinking or drinking-related problems on others
Believe me, if you rationalize your behaviors around your drinking with lies, or refusing to discuss the issues, you might want to take a breath and try to figure out why you are being so defensive. Consider this: if you don’t have a problem with alcohol, then there is no reason to cover up your drinking or making any excuses for your behavior.
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