Many parents decide to go to a specialist when they start to see that their children do not accept that they have an addiction problem.. This is because many young people who use drugs or alcohol do not see it as a problem but just see it as something that they do for fun and can quit at any time.
No matter what they talk to them, and no matter how worried they are, because the addict will always reaffirm his position that what he is doing is not a problem, he will even take refuge in the Manichean argument according to which the the only thing that happens is that parents try to control their life and everything they do. He cannot admit that there is a serious problem.
“No I’m not addicted”
One of the most common and common symptoms of addiction is denial. It happens when the person cannot see or recognize that this situation is happening. The reason is that at first he doesn’t see any change, as far as his eyes are concerned, what he does is harmless.: a drink from time to time, a leek when he goes out with friends… This suggests that he has absolute control of the situation, when in fact he is not.
This first phase of addiction this is called the precontemplation stage. The addict is not yet aware of the real problem and therefore does not consider it necessary to do anything about it.
To make a positive difference in a person’s life, you need to be able to see reality. In most cases, this is difficult because the addict tends not to want to believe that something negative is happening. However, those who are aware of their situation and have the opportunity and the will to change tend to perform better than those who are unaware. And even worse, at this stage of addiction there isn’t much we can do for others.
The reflection phase
The reflection phase is the stage where the individual decides he wants to change his behavior and live a life without addiction. This phase usually begins when the addict realizes that he has a problem with alcohol, drugs or any other substance or behavior. This is where you can start working towards achieving detoxification.
However, even though at this point the addict already knows that something is going on, it is not yet decided that the situation will change even though he is aware that things are not going well.
It is the goal of all therapy to help the person reach this stage of contemplation, because it is about taking the first step towards dealing with addiction. Parents, friends and family can do a lot to help, although it can be very complicated.
What can we do as parents?
There are many different treatments available to help drug addicts. Of course, the same treatment can never be given to two different drug addicts, so each person has their own problems and their own way of dealing with them. It depends on the person’s personal needs and how they want life to be at the end of treatment.
The treatments are based on proven theoretical models, although each professional approaches the therapies differently, depending on each person.
Two concepts to consider: reactance and freedom
Within addiction, there are two important concepts, reactance and addict freedom.
When we speak of reactance, we refer to the possibility that the person feels pressured or forced to do something. It will cause you to do the opposite of what you are supposed to do. Keep in mind that in general nobody likes to be told what to do, how to behave, so imagine if you are dealing with an addict. Hence, it is best to avoid undue pressure or confrontations and orders related to drug addiction.
The concept of freedom is closely related to what we talked about previously. We don’t want to feel that nothing and no one is pressuring us and that we have free will. For that, to help an addict realize his situation, we have to make room for him, but at the same time show him the reality. A good idea to help him think and express himself.
Despite everything we have said, there is a harsh reality, which is not easy to show that there is an addiction. Quite often this is a process that lasts over time, and can be downright frustrating at times.