What To Do When An Addict Is In Denial?

It’s never easy to talk about something as personal and sensitive as drinking or drug use. It’s important not to try and approach your loved ones while they are drunk or high to have this conversation. Keep calm. Save the venting for other friends and family members. When it’s time to talk to your loved one about his substance use, it’s important to remain as cool and calm as possible. Stick with the facts and whatever speech you’ve rehearsed.  Addiction can cause our loved ones to act in negative ways and cause hurt to those around them. It may be difficult, but it’s important not to blame or criticize them.

  • Be specific when you talk. Bring up specific incidents that they know about and have participated in like canceled plans or broken promises.
  • Use “I” phrases such as, “I was worried,” or, “I noticed.”
  • Talk about the negative effects your loved one’s using has on the things he or she cares about most, such as their career, family, sports, or other commitments.
  • Don’t be discouraged or surprised if your loved one continues to deny they have a problem. Unfortunately, denial is one of the symptoms of the disease of addiction. Don’t take it personally and remain supportive of your loved one.
  • Keep in touch with your loved ones even if they aren’t open to help right now. You never know when you may have planted the seed of recovery.

If they want professional help at a treatment center, offer to be there for them during every step of the process.