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When Should You Do Something About Your Alcohol Or Drug Use?

By Chris Cordell

woman calling

Now on the face of it this seems a blindly obvious answer but as we have said in previous blogs many people wait years to address their drinking or drug use & some unfortunately never get the opportunity to address it at all.

A record number of drug-related deaths continues to be recorded for both legal and illegal drugs. Its at its highest level since comparable statistics began in 1993, with the highest rate now coming in the 40 to 49 age range.*

Within this cocaine deaths also rose for the eighth consecutive year to their highest level. Now this maybe a shock, and hopefully wake up call, to those using cocaine who by and large undermine its potency or the seriousness of its use. Cocaine use has gone through the roof over the past few years and in London alone 23kg is used every day. Out of all the blogs we have written the one on dealing with cocaine comedown** consistently gets hit 100s and 100s a time a week, many by repeat visitors. But as indicated above the number of people reading it pale into insignificance compared with the numbers of people that do anything about their use.

The picture is also true with alcohol. Currently there are 8.4 million people drinking at hazardous and harmful levels and alcohol related deaths also continue to rise with a 22% increase in the period of July to September 2020 alone. And similar with our cocaine blog one of our alcohol blogs gets 100s of hits a week with, little if any change taking place after ***

If you are concerned about your relationship with drugs or alcohol, or someone else’s, and want to stop and staying stopped then call us now on 0208 191 8920 or email us directly through https://helpmestop.org.uk/contact-us

Alternatively chat to us via our Live Chat between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday https://helpmestop.org.uk/

Why Do People Leave It So Late To Do Anything About Their Alcohol Or Drug Use?

Well, the main reason is denial. Denial stops people making that initial “help” call, sending that e-mail, or having that Live Chat.

Denial is one of the major common states in which people will deny or distort the reality of what is really going on with their drinking or drug use. Denial will lead to ignoring the problem, minimizing other people's concerns, or even blaming others for your drinking or drug use. Lets be real, no one wants to admit they are struggling with alcohol or drugs so denial allows people to swerve what is an extremely uncomfortable situation on a number of levels.

However continued denial can cause devastating consequences, from health issues to broken relationships, loss of employment and even run ins with the police.

Below are 8 common denial or thought traps focused on minimizing, rationalizing and just being self-deceptive in order not to address an emerging drug or alcohol problem.

  • Excuse 1: I’m not hurting anyone. Minimizing the problem is a common process if concerns are brought up, the person may act like you're blowing things out of proportion or exaggerating.
  • Excuse 2: I just want a bit of relief.
  • Excuse 3: If you had my problems, you would drink or use drugs. Rationalization is a great way to swerve the issue. Saying they you are stressed and need a little help getting through the day or that you have earned a reward for such a difficult day is very commonplace.
  • Excuse 4: I don’t drink high % proof cider or do hard drugs like heroin like real addicts, so I don’t have a problem
  • Excuse 5: Everyone else drinks and does drugs.
  • Excuse 6: My drinking or drug use hasn’t really increased. Self-deception is a powerful denial mechanism where the individual convinces themselves that things aren't that bad or as severe as they really are.
  • Excuse 7: I’m certainly not using or drinking more then X, Y or Z.
  • Excuse 8: I’ll cut down or stop after this time.
  • Excuse 9: I don’t need help I can sort this myself.

How Denial Can Be Overcome

Unfortunately, overcoming denial is not an easy process. Far too many people leave it until they hit some big issue such as an overdose, major health problem, loss of employment, breakup, or threat of breakup of a relationship until they can accept the reality of their problems. Leaving things to “the big moment” is just so mind boggling not the right thing to do. Not only are you now having to deal with your drug or alcohol problem, but you have also added whatever “car crash” your use has created.

Dayhab Help Me Stop

What To Do?

Not everyone needs the sort of effective intensive face to face or online treatment programmes Help Me Stop run, certainly not everyone needs to go into residential treatment and not everyone needs a detox but getting professional help is the best way to stop and stay stopped. The team at Help Me Stop are skilled at listening to what is going on for you and coming up with some options.

All the staff at Help Me Stop have had previous personal experiences with drug and alcohol misuse, so we know what it is like both as professionals and as individuals – moreover we know what works to address the issues.

If some of the 9 bullet points resonate with you or you have recognized that your drinking or drug use is causing problems; be that arguments, financial or health issues or something else then give us a call or dive into our Live Chat.

If you are concerned about your relationship with drugs or alcohol, or someone else’s, and want to stop and staying stopped then call us now on 0208 191 8920 or email us directly through https://helpmestop.org.uk/contact-us

Alternatively chat to us via our Live Chat between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday https://helpmestop.org.uk/

Help Me Stop’s intensive non-residential outpatient Dayhab drug and alcohol treatment programme is an effective psychological solution that also offers 3 months of free accessible aftercare and family support options. Treatment is delivered face to face either in the mornings or afternoons over 6 weeks.

For those adults can’t get to our centre in West London we offer a 6-week morning or evening online outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programme, run by the same therapists that provide the face-to-face programme.

Chris Cordell is Help Me Stop's General Manager and is a senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine, Certified International Recovery Specialist, member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine and a member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals.


** https://helpmestop.org.uk/blog/cocaine-come-down-withdrawal

*** https://helpmestop.org.uk/blog/how-to-stop-drinking-alcohol-safely

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