When addicts are in denial, they may refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem with substance abuse. They may minimize or justify their drug or alcohol use and may become defensive when confronted by loved ones about their behavior. Denial is a common defense mechanism that addicts use to avoid facing the reality of their situation. It can be difficult to break through denial, but it is an important step in the recovery process. If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with addiction and in denial, it may be helpful to reach out to a professional for guidance on how to approach the situation.