Not everyone who drinks or uses drugs develops an addiction. There are plenty of people who can have a drink or two while out with friends, and it becomes nothing more. However, there are others for whom this behavior becomes problematic, and they’re not able to stop after one or two drinks. It can be a fine line, and depending on how much time you spend with a person, it may be difficult to tell when casual substance use has turned into something more serious.
Individuals struggling with addiction are also skilled at making excuses to downplay their substance use and make it appear as nothing to worry about. It can be very convincing and you want to believe them, but in reality, you know there is more to it. Here are a few common excuses that may be red flags:
- “I can quit whenever I want” or “I only drink when …”
Addiction changes the way the brain processes information, and it alters the reward center. Although people think they can just stop on their own, it’s not that easy. They may be able to quit for a day or two, but then they often return to old habits. And they may say they only drink when they’re stressed, after a hard day, on special occasions, on the weekends, or anything else, but how often does that happen? Every day may be stressful, and anything could be seen as a special occasion.
- “I’ll cut back/stop after …”
They usually have an excuse of why they can’t stop and get help now. There’s a wedding coming up. They’re in the middle of a big project. They want to find a new job first. The list goes on and on. There’s always a reason why they haven’t done it yet, but they never follow through with actually getting help.
- “My drinking/drug use doesn’t affect anyone else.”
In their mind, they are the only one being affected. They don’t see how their actions and behaviors impact others. It can have a ripple effect. Even though they don’t intend to hurt family, it happens – whether physically or emotionally.
- “I don’t time for rehab” or “Rehab doesn’t work.”
There is never a perfect time to seek addiction treatment. There will always be other responsibilities or activities that come up. But at some point, they have to make their own well-being a priority and put aside everything else to get the help they need. Getting help now can allow them to make the most of opportunities that arise in the future and live a healthier life.
And while there is always a risk of relapse, no matter how small, rehab does work. There are millions of people who have turned their lives around and are living a thriving life in recovery. Comprehensive treatment and a well-structured recovery plan can help individuals overcome addiction and make necessary changes in their lives to embrace sobriety.
Continuing to accept their excuses just prolongs the problem and can make it worse. Admitting you have a problem with addiction can be very hard, but it’s the first step in getting help. Do your best to stop enabling their behavior and encourage them to enter treatment. Reassure them that you will support them along each step of the way and want to see them get better. If you’re unsure where to start, call the professionals at Crossroads to find out how they can help.
[cta]Stop believing the excuses and help your loved one get the addiction treatment they need by contacting Crossroads today.[/cta]