I Don't Have a Problem!

Addictions Self Improvement The Seventh Year


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For many years I have worked with individuals who were referred for assessment or treatment associated with substance use, abuse, or dependency.

Following are ten statements that I hear over and over again from the clients:

  1. I don't have a problem - Then why are you here? If you have any problem in your life that might be tied to alcohol or drugs, then you have a drug or alcohol problem. Check your wallet, weight, health, career or relationships and you'll soon find a chink in your denial armour.
  2. It's not my fault - You cannot blame your parents, friends, or associates for the choices that you make when it comes to use of alcohol or drugs. You can always say "No".
  3. Maybe I was dependent in the past but now I can manage it - Once an addict, always an addict and a little bit of the substance will only lead to more. Oh, and promises are very easy to make but if you don't have a good support system and a plan to deal with stress in your life, you will likely have future problems.
  4. I function well - Except when you don't!
  5. I don't binge and I'm not addicted - People tend to have very skewed definitions when it comes to substance abuse. Being passed out in an alley with a bottle in a brown paper bag is NOT the definition of a "binge". The standard definition across North America for a binge is three drinks for men and two for women. (Yes, that was 3 and 2 - not a misprint!)
  6. I don't need treatment - Do you really have the tools that will prevent future problems for you? Treatment is a professional and confidential way for you to gain the support that you need so that you will have it when you need it.
  7. Others are worse than I am - We can always find someone who is worse (or better) than we are in a specific area. That doesn't mean that we can ignore the things that interfere with our ability to do well.
  8. I was "set up" - The lab probably didn't make a mistake with your sample. The co-workers are likely not out to get you. The ones who attended the intervention likely do really care about you.
  9. The law and employer need to be changed - Would you think differently if your loved one was killed by someone who was breaking the law or your employer's "zero tolerance" policy?
  10. This will never happen again - How do you know? How many times have you said that before? Why is there a pattern that is obvious to others? Do you have a good plan that will support you through both good and bad times?

You don't have to wind up in trouble or in the office of a professional to know that you have a substance abuse problem. You already know it in your heart.

Why not get the best help you can before you just wish that you had?


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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