Many people often hear the term “denial” or the phrase “being in denial” when discussing an individual with a substance abuse issue. Many individuals who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time get very good at hiding and covering up their actions and have a hard time admitting to themselves or their families the true extent of their usage.
In a recent study conducted by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, millions of Americans admitted to habitually smoking pot, drinking alcohol, snorting cocaine, or taking prescription drugs. Yet, many of them were not completely honest about their level of use, and many of them who met the criteria for needing treatment did not recognize that they have a problem. The study estimates that those “in denial” of a problem is close to 5 million, which is a much higher number than the people that actually seek and get professional treatment.
It seems as though there is a large and growing denial gap when it comes to drug abuse and dependency in our society. Drug and alcohol abuse is often glorified and readily accepted in the media, which may add to the nation’s large issue with denial. At Passages, we help our clients come to terms with and be honest about their behaviors and help them get back to healthy, drug-free lives.