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The Relationship Between Alcoholism & Denial

The Oxford Dictionary defines the term ‘denial’ as a “refusal to acknowledge an unacceptable truth” & is often “used as a defence mechanism”. It also describes alcoholism as an “addiction to the consumption of alcoholic drink”.

These definitions may be short & simple, but the relationship between alcoholism & denial is much broader & more complicated.
Even though alcohol is legal in many parts of the globe, it’s extremely dangerous when it’s abused. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that harmful use causes approximately 2.5 million deaths each year.

Many alcoholics find it difficult to accept that they have a drinking problem. They feel that if they come forward & ask for help, it’s seen as a sign of weakness & inferiority.

Unfortunately, the reality is that alcoholism is an incurable brain disease that continues to get worse the longer it’s left untreated. If you suspect that your loved one may have a drinking problem, seek professional help immediately.

How to Identify Denial

It’s very easy to pick up when someone is in denial about having a drinking problem. Most alcoholics will refute this notion, even if they can see the damage it’s causing. Instead, they’ll use something & or someone else as a scapegoat to place the blame on.

Here are some signs of alcoholism denial:

  • Your loved one becomes irritated when you confront about their alcohol consumption
  • Your loved one blames everyone & everything besides themselves for the problems caused by their drinking
  • Your loved one feels guilty about the amount of alcohol they drink
  • Your loved one lies to you about how much or how long they’ve been drinking
  • Your loved one rejects the rule that the 5 drink limit for men & 4 drinks limit for women is too much

How to Convince Your Loved One to Get into Alcohol Rehab

It’s common for an alcoholic to be in denial about their drinking habits, but this shouldn’t deter you from trying to help your loved one.

Time after time it’s been proven that forcing someone into alcohol rehab has no effect on whether it will work or not. One of the best ways to persuade an alcoholic to get into treatment is to host an intervention.

An intervention is a gathering of everyone that’s important & plays a key role in an alcoholic’s life, where they’ll all try & convince the person that their drinking has a reached a point where the only way out is to get professional help.

Interventions shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to vent any anger or frustration that you might have with the alcoholic. It’s a chance to constructively tell the person that they need to get help & what the consequences will be if they refuse to get into alcohol treatment.

For more information about interventions, how to host one & other helpful details, click here:


If your alcoholic loved one does agree to get help, we can provide you with immediate access to the best private alcohol rehab centres in South Africa, the United Kingdom & Thailand. Call us now & let one of our qualified addiction counsellors provide you with free, expert & confidential advice.

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