Denial is a psychological defense, a mechanism that we use when acknowledging a factual reality that would cause us to have some degree of discomfort, if not actual emotional pain. Denial is an immature response, often used by children. Their mouth is surrounded by chocolate smears they will deny that they got into the cake tin.
As per the best addiction treatment center, the main benefit of using the defense of denial is that it defers retribution. It forces the accuser to be sure of their facts. People both innocent and guilty use the defense of denial – justice cannot be served without some further line of inquiry, and hopefully, for the guilty, something might intervene, and let them off the hook.
We all routinely use denial to ease social interactions – that others believe us is not the issue, we have come up with an acceptable face-saving story, and we are sticking to that. Alcoholics and drug addicts are notorious for their denial – about the amount that they drink, that they have a problem. When forced point blanks to accept that their substance abuse is an issue, they often support their denial with accusations against others, saying that they are to blame, for the situation.
People dealing with addictions need to be very aware that addictions are not a disease, don’t magically appear. Addiction is a response to relational dynamics. When an addict makes complaints, that relate to the causes of his addiction, he should be listened to with care. There is no help for an addict from people unable to accept responsibility for any part that they play in the cycle of addiction.
True it is the responsibility of the addict to get himself sorted out, but being open to change is a two-way street. Families and communities that are attempting to deal with the problem of drugs and addiction may find that issues that lead to drug use could be resolved by honest communication between all interested parties, instead of self-protective denials.
At a deeper level, people use the defense of repression – the driver of which is shame. We repress from our conscious mind, aspects of ourselves that are inconsistent with an ideal “image”. We use self-censorship to maintain an ideal image, repress our failings. In society, censorship is used to repress ideas and concepts that might be inconsistent with or upsetting to the prevailing order.
A MedlinePlus report of June 2011, reveals a staggering drug abuse problem in the USA.
Whilst there is a reported surge in the number of Americans treated for prescription painkiller abuse over the last decade, over 2 million Americans were admitted to drug treatment facilities, in 2009, for problems with a wide range of prescription and illicit drugs.
The statistics provided in the article are not denied by the authorities responsible for providing to addicts effective drug detox and rehabilitation. The responses by authorities, at first glance, make it appear that they have been dealing positively with the situation. A proper reading of the responses would suggest the opposite.