There is a saying that recovery is only effective for those that want it not for those that need it. Forcing someone to quit their addiction or get help may not work for them because they must first understand that they have a problem and they need help. Denial can be very powerful for people suffering from addiction and telling them that they need to change may fall on deaf ears.
They will most likely continue their behavior until they reach a point where they have a realization about the reality of their addiction. Unfortunately this realization can often only occur once they truly hit rock bottom.
The Power of Denial
Friends of addicts may notice their behavior has taken a turn for the worse early on in the progression of their disease. People with addictions begin to act differently and can even exhibit physical symptoms of their problems.
When someone in your life has an addiction it can be frustrating to see their problem so clearly when they cannot see it themselves.Addiction is a unique disease in this way because the person suffering may ignore the signs and symptoms for years before reaching out for help.
An addict will continue denying they have a problem and believe that they can "quit whenever they want" or that they haven't reached the point of addiction yet. This is not the fault of the person or a characteristic of their personality but simply the nature of addiction.
Your friend or family member will not face the reality of their disease until something very bad happens to wake them up and help them come to terms with their addiction.
Hitting Rock Bottom and Getting Help
Although it may be hard to watch a friend or someone close to you fail and reach their lowest point, at times it is the only way for them to finally understand that they need help. Rock bottom can be different for every person but it often represents a devastating loss that changes their life.
It could mean losing a car, job, home, an important relationship or even running into trouble with the law. While you may want to do everything in your power to prevent your loved one from reaching such a low bottom your efforts to convince them to get help could be futile.
Only when recovery is something that they truly want, not just something they need, will an addict finally begin to take the necessary steps to healing from their disease. As much as you want them to change and to make them understand how much they are hurting themselves and everyone around them it can be nearly impossible to make them listen.
When they hit rock bottom they will see things much more clearly and want to make important changes to improve their situation. The period of time when an addict is going through a downward spiral because of their substance abuse can be the worst for friends and family members.
An addict can start to hurt people around them, act selfishly and recklessly without apology. The people in an addict's life will have to take a step back at this point and wait until they come to the powerful realization that they need help.
When they hit rock bottom they will see for themselves how bad their life has become as a result of their substance abuse. It will be a difficult moment for them but ultimately it is the turning point at which they will begin to change their life around and make better decisions.
Rock bottom is the point at which most addicts make the important choice to enter recovery.