The bad news is; the problem of addiction in the United States has grown to such an extent that it is on record that:
- Of patients admitted to hospitals, 14% make up those who have drug/alcohol abuse related problems.
- When talking of alcohol, about 131 million people, including teenagers as young as 12, consume alcohol in large amounts.
- In 2010, it was reported that 9% of the US population took illegal drugs, with marijuana being the most highly used among teenagers as young as 12.
The good news is; there are a growing number of qualified rehabilitation centers and sober living homes to cope with the growing drug problem. In fact, anywhere you are in the US, you will find a rehabilitation center or sober living home to fit your needs for you or for your loved one. In fact, California boasts the highest number of rehabilitation centers, and if after rehab you or your loved one would want a transition place, you’ll find that you will benefit from sober living in California.
But before a person with addiction can even enter into rehab, his or her wall of denial must be broken down. And there is evidence that this is not an easy process.
Psychologists define ‘denial’ as rejection of reality. And to further elaborate on the nature of denial, they have even defined the different types.
- Outright Denial – Refusal to recognize reality.
- Minimization – Accept reality but deny its seriousness.
- Projection – Recognize the situation and its severity but place the blame on someone/something else.
People with addiction engage in one or all types of denial mentioned above. “Denial” is actually one characteristic of addiction. And one common thread of denial that runs through most addicts’ arguments when confronted and forced to recognize an addiction problem is that they are, in fact, in control of their addiction and not the other way around
The last one to ever recognize an addiction problem is the person with addiction. While the people around him or her grow more concerned about the state of his or her social, psychological, mental and professional wellbeing, the person with addiction blinds himself or herself to the reality of the situation. Statistics have shown that most people who go into rehab are either forced into rehab by the criminal justice system or confronted by family and a close circle of friends via an intervention.
But the 1st step we have to take if we want to break through the walls of denial so a loved one can confront and accept his or her addiction to drugs or alcohol is to understand the psychological aspect along with the physiological factors. Drugs and/or alcohol will also have an impact on our cognitive abilities due to a cerebral dysfunction that goes with long term drug or alcohol abuse.
Persistent denial is also a reflection of this cognitive failure according to the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. This means that people with addiction are bound to suffer from a pronounced weakening of:
- Executive Function.
- Verbal Memory.
- Visual Inference.
- And Mental Speed.
All these equate to an inability to recognize the gravity of a situation using reason, observation and inference. Recognizing the 2 types of denial, one type based on emotional rejection of reality, and one on the changes drugs or alcohol inflict on the brain, can help us understand:
- The intervention process.
- The various supportive rehabilitation methods.
- And the need for experiencing a sober living environment to effect a smooth transition to the outside world.
In addition, if you think a gentler climate will help your loved one make the full leap to total recovery, you can go all out and have him or her experience sober living in California as the final leg of his or her total recovery.