Roughly 17 million U.S. citizens above the age of 18 have some sort of alcohol-use disorder. However, in 2012, only 1.4 million adults received treatment at a specialized facility for it. What about the rest of those who need help?
Alcoholics often try to justify their behavior by using a variety of excuses. In treating patients, some specialists try to break the vicious cycle by using an integrated approach. For example, Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef of Fairwinds Treatment Facility in Clearwater, Fl., uses a Dual Diagnosis approach to understand patients' addiction and symptoms, proposing a combination of clinical and therapeutic treatment methods to address the root causes of their substance abuse.
In the final part of our two-part series, we look at five more excuses alcoholics make when trying to avoid treatment:
1. This is who I am. Why aren't you accepting that?
The reality of an addict's situation is, they are not the person they think they are. An addict often can't imagine life without alcohol. It has become an essential item in their life. As a comparison, think about your job or a hobby that, figuratively speaking, has become a part of you. Without it, you might feel empty and alone. An addict feels the same way about their alcohol.
2. There are worse people off than me
An alcoholic will often make excuses to not seek treatment to justify their own lifestyle. They'll even compare their situation to others to try to diminish the destructive impact of their behavior. This will help them feel more in control of their situation even though they are not actually in control. Some things they might say include:
- "I've never hurt anyone while drinking"
- "I still have a ton of friends"
- "I still have my job and make money"
3. No one understands my situation, so why should I ask them for help?
Alcoholics often believe they are the only ones who can understand their situation. They are unique and special compared to those around them. Others probably weren't there to experience a dramatic event or abusive parent they had to endure, so how could they relate?
The fact is, while the events an alcoholic has experienced may be unique to them, their peers have experienced similar situations.
4. I drink because it helps me
This is an example of the alcoholic playing a victim. To the addict, others simply don't understand why they have to drink. The addict has a stressful 12-hour a day job, while their friend does not. Let's say at the end of that 12 hour shift, they have to go home to cook dinner for their family, wash laundry and clean the house. These excuses, brought upon by alcoholism, blinds addicts from the fact their addiction is only worsening their issues.
5. You have problems too
The best defense is a good offense. Alcoholics will often attack those who they believe are attacking them. It's actually a common defense mechanism everyone uses to prevent themselves from being thrown into and dragged through the dirt. As it relates to alcoholics, they use this technique to allow them to continue their cycle of abuse.
Founded 25 years ago by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, Fairwinds Treatment Center uses a Dual Diagnosis method to treat patients with alcoholism and other addictions. Dual Diagnosis combines clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to identify the underlying reasons for addiction and resolve the psychological triggers to prevent relapse.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to set up an appointment, please contact Fair Winds Treatment Center today.