Awareness vs. Change: Break Denial

By Published On: July 11th, 2015Categories: Recovery Tools & Tips

Awareness and change are often confused but are very different. People affected by substance abusecan get swept up in the idea that awareness will somehow create real change. Although having knowledge of a problem is a step towards change, real transformation occurs when a person starts to act in a different manner. Drug and alcohol abusers want to be judged on intentions. They also want to experience as little pain as possible. If an addict could change as the result of awareness he would gladly do so. Unfortunately this desire is not grounded in reality.

Awareness Is Only The Beginning

We have all heard the saying “Knowledge is power.” I agree that it is difficult to resolve the unknown but knowledge is irrelevant without action. Awareness is the first step toward making any significant life change. When discussing drug and alcohol issues and the effects on the abuser and loved ones, the need for clear recognition of the problem is critical. Even with the proper information it is still easy to fall into denial. Awareness without action is fantasy. There must be a solid plan of action in order to initiate true transformation.

How To Get There

Imagine leaving for a trip without a good GPS or map. Then picture yourself asking for a route but then ignoring the instructions given. Even if you have somewhat of an idea of where to go, it is likely you will get lost and may eventually give up. You may even blame the person who tried to help! This phenomenon takes place in recovery all of the time. People figure out at least a part of the problem but then refuse to follow direction. Finding a program of recovery means nothing if the plan isn’t followed. Even if the going gets tough, stay the course. Having help and support along the way makes a huge difference but the difference between success in recovery and failure usually comes down to a willingness to adhere to a set of guidelines.

About the Author

Clint Stonebraker, the executive director of the Insight Program.
Clint Stonebraker has worked in the substance abuse treatment field since 1987 and has been the owner of The Insight Program since 1993. Clint Stonebraker has overseen the expansion of Insight into Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh North Carolina as well as growth in the Atlanta area. Clint is committed to providing quality care to individuals and families affected by substance abuse.

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