Often, the addicted person has little self-awareness. This is traditionally called denial. There are many reasons for denial, but the most essential reason for denying there is a problem in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is this: if the addict admits they have a problem, they may have to stop the behavior. The last thing an addict wants is to give up their drug of choice. It can give them a feeling of utter terror to imagine life without their “substance,” whether that be alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors.
What can you do to help such a person?
The first step is not to enable the addicted person. If you have been making it easier for them to partake in their addiction, stop. This means that you:
- Refuse to serve as an alibi or excuse for missing work, school, or other obligations
- Refuse to call in sick for them or otherwise be a “front” when they are suffering the aftereffects of a binge
- Do not adjust your schedule, obligations, or work to accomodate them when they are impacted by the consequences of their addiction
- Do not cover up for them in any way
- Start taking care of your own issues that have come from being involved with an addict: Al-Anon, therapy, or some other way to reach out and get help, and let them know why you are doing it
Have you considered a professional intervention?
If you are frustrated, worn-out, or just plain have too much anxiety about confronting the addicted person, you might consider hiring a professional addiction intervention specialist.