Alcoholism And Addiction: Dealing With Denial

Alcoholics may be willing to admit they drink a lot, but they have a hard time accepting they’re addicts. Whether it be beer, wine or liquor, when a person drinks alcohol of any type on a regular basis over a long period of time – it can cause their body to become physically dependent on alcohol. Tolerance level is increased over time, making it possible to drink more without the same kind of effects that non-alcoholics experience. Stigma is one reason people struggle to admit to having a drinking problem. Addiction is commonly viewed as a shameful character flaw, resulting in a fear of social rejection. Unfortunately, society judges and stereotypes those who have substance use disorders, and in turn those who struggle with substance use disorders internalize society’s messages. People who suffer from substance use disorders often struggle to admit to themselves that they have an issue, out of fear that this problem would make them weak or immoral.

If your loved one is in denial or doesn’t want to seek treatment, they’re not alone. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,about 14.5 million people have an AUD, and yet only 7% received treatment that year. There are empathetic, actionable ways to support someone with an alcohol use disorder who may be stuck in denial.

Help Your Loved One Find Treatment

And not everyone with alcohol use disorder experiences it the same way. There are many factors that can contribute to developing alcohol use disorder, such as stress, trauma, abuse, or any number of other circumstances. Alcohol use disorder, also called alcoholism, is a complex condition. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and look different from person to person. Sometimes, a person’s personality can influence their tendency for denial. Certain traits, such as independence and perfectionism, can add to a person’s hesitancy or reticence to seek help, says Grawert.

Alcoholism and Denial

Those denial rates were higher than the levels predicted in Hypothesis 1 and occurred despite deniers reporting averages of nine to 11 maximum drinks across probands and offspring. The high rate of denial reported here was not anticipated in subjects with higher education and many life achievements, individuals who might have had an advantage in noting that a general alcohol problem was present. However, despite their heavy drinking and multiple alcohol-related problems, their high level of functioning might have convinced these subjects that they did not meet their stereotype Alcoholism and Denial of what individuals with AUDs are like. Focus on 176 AUD offspring who were primarily European American, 40% of whom were women, 29% had ever been married, and individuals who reported on average 15 years of education. Sixty-two percent met interval criteria for alcohol dependence, they reported on average 11 maximum drinks per occasion and endorsed an average of four AUD criteria. One in five smoked cigarettes in the prior 5 years, 80% used cannabis, 19% had a cannabis use disorder, and 37% had used other illicit drugs, including 3% who developed a SUD on those substances.

Causes of Denial in Alcohol Use Disorder

By appearances, an individual may be able to drink a great deal without becoming intoxicated, having hangovers, or suffering other apparent ill-effects from alcohol. An early stage alcoholic is often indistinguishable from a non-alcoholic who happens to be a fairly heavy drinker. In any case, the appropriate course of action is to continue to hold the employee accountable for his or her performance and/or conduct, regardless of whether or not the employee has admitted an alcohol problem. The role of the Human Resources, or Employee Relations office in dealing with cases of substance abuse is to advise management of appropriate adverse, disciplinary, or other administrative actions which may be taken. They also advise employees of their rights and the procedures in such cases. They do not obtain confidential information from the EAP nor do they independently approach the employee regarding the problem.

  • The proper level of commitment to the program and the principles in it varies widely between different people.
  • Tell the addict you will be there to support them when they’re ready to get help, but don’t cling to them too tightly in hopes that you can “save” them.
  • Everyone around them can see it, but they still hold onto their denial.
  • If your loved one is in denial or doesn’t want to seek treatment, they’re not alone.
  • People with AUD may have difficulties with insight, working memory, complex thought, and problem solving.

What we are dealing with is a whole denial system, not just denial of a particular problem. It is also important to understand that denial can be on both an intellectual and spiritual level. It is common to see a person who intellectually accepts being alcoholic but doesn’t believe it in his innermost sell. This is the person who constantly relapses, much to the amazement of themselves and everyone around them.