Whenever our minds are forced to encounter knowledge that seems threatening, denial kicks in as a defense mechanism. In the context of drug addiction, the body has become chemically dependent on drug use, causing acknowledgment of a drug addiction—and its resolution—to feel like an untenable threat. As a result, denial takes a hold of us mentally during the course of drug addiction, attempting to preserve drug use—and prevent knowledge of a drug problem—at all costs. For this reason, breaking through denial is one of the first forms of psychological treatment that you will receive during your stay at a private inpatient drug rehab center.
Breaking through denial about drug addiction can be incredibly difficult—largely, because we don’t even realize denial is present. As a defense mechanism, the subconscious becomes avoidant, experiencing great anxiety at the mere thought of removing drugs from our lives—since we have become dependent on them psychologically and physically for daily living. Altered thinking patterns begin to take place as a result. We tell ourselves we do not have a problem—and thus we never need to get sober and remove the drug from our lives and bodies. We fear that we may not be able to get sober, so we tell ourselves that we do not need to in the first place. What follows is a pattern of justification, minimization, blame-shifting and avoidance that all allow us to continue using drugs without fear of their removal.
However, even though denial is a subconscious, sincere attempt at self-protection, it often just leaves us at greater risk instead of providing safety. While we engage in the cycle of denial about our drug abuse, addictions tend to worsen. Personal consequences and relationship problems increase, and we find ourselves with financial, health, and psychological repercussions to drug addiction. Additionally, the same denial that encompasses our drug addiction often invades other parts of our psyches and lives. We may find ourselves using the same measure of denial to avoid our own emotional pain, past traumas, or even current abuse we’re suffering from. Until these areas of denial are broken, we will never be truly healed or truly free.
When you enter an inpatient drug rehab center, denial can be dealt with in a safe, confidential and nonthreatening atmosphere. In the nurturing environment of one-on-one therapy sessions, you can partner with a compassionate therapist who can help you confront both your addiction—and any unresolved emotional pain—without feeling frightened or overwhelmed. As you begin to heal yourself in individualized drug addiction therapy sessions, the defenses of denial will become less necessary—as you recognize that you have the personal power to overcome your drug addiction.