Why People Hide Their Addictions and What To Do About It

Addictions | Lakehouse Recovery Center

There are many reasons why someone doesn’t want to admit that there is a problem with drugs and alcohol. In fact, there might be such a need to hide substance use that a person will continue to hide it from themselves. However, as you can imagine, hiding your drinking and drug use can ultimately be dangerous, and in some cases, fatal.

This article will discuss why people hide their addictions and what to do if you’re ready to come out of the closet.

Reasons That People Stay in the Dark About Their Substance Use

Addiction carries a stigma. The public eye sees it as a weakness in character rather than a psychological illness. For instance, a recent study revealed that the stigma of an addiction carries more weight than the stigma of mental illness. It appears that many people believe that an addiction is an indication of a personal flaw.  This is one barrier that frequently stands in the way of seeking help or telling others about what’s going on.

People don’t want to shame the family. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 2.7 million women in the United States, many of whom do not receive treatment because their social roles as mothers and nurturers. Seeking substance abuse treatment would highlight the stigma of alcohol or drug use in their families and communities. The shame that comes with admitting drug use often gets in the way of tending to their addiction, even if it becomes destructive.

There might be legal consequences. Criminal charges and other forms of legal punishment may come with admitting to the illegal use of certain drugs.  Because of these obstacles, there are a large number of men and women who desperately need professional help but don’t seek treatment to avoid legal trouble. As a result, they end up in dangerous situations such as overdosing and losing their lives.

There is also a psychological illness. It’s very common for people to have both a psychological illness, such as depression, as well as addiction. The combination requires treatment that addresses both illnesses. However, both mental illness and addiction carry a stigma making it hard for a person to seek help.

There aren’t the financial resources to pay for treatment. Some people avoid staying in denial about their addiction because they have no idea how they would pay for professional help, if they got it.

Recognizing That You Need Help

Sometimes, men and women who suffer from addiction can recognize the need for help. They might eventually seek treatment because they realize that they themselves don’t have the inner strength to end their substance use. When this happens, the desire for addiction treatment outweighs stigma, denial, fear of legal consequences, and shame.

They might recognize they desperately need treatment so they find a way to pay for it.

When it comes down to it, when an individual knows that he or she needs assistance, getting addiction help and committing oneself to sobriety is the only thing that is going to end an addiction, regardless of what others think. The decision to finally get help is a choice that each person needs to make for themselves.


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