To get a crack addict to willingly submit to treatment is nearly an impossible task. The reason this is such an impossible task is because according to the crack addict, he or she doesn’t have a drug problem. Crack addicts live in a state of denial, which is basically a crutch for the crack addict. Denial is actually a psychological defense that helps the addict handle the anxiety and stress that they could not deal with otherwise. Through the use of denial, he or she doesn’t have a drug problem, and so they don’t have the anxiety and stress that would go along with a drug problem. Denial is an extremely ironic state as it was put to work so the addict can handle their high level of anxiety and stress. The irony of this is that their anxiety and stress levels are so unbearably high because they are addicted to crack.
It won’t do any good to talk to the crack addict about going to rehab or any other type of drug abuse program until you get them past the denial stage. Denial is a normal process that the crack addict will have to go through before they will finally admit that they have a crack problem.
In the first stage of denial, the addict minimizes the amount of crack they are using, especially to people who know how it is measured and the usage of it. For example, if they are using one gram per day, he or she will only admit to one half gram. If they are using over a gram of crack daily, they will very probably still just admit to using a half.
The next step he or she will go through is when they begin to justify their crack use. The addict will make up excuses like,”you’d use drugs too if you had my life, kids, job…whatever.” In this stage, he or she is trying to establish that there is nothing wrong with using a little crack; anyone with his or her problems would do the same thing.
Finally, when and addicts friends and family are getting fed up with their excuses the addict becomes defensive and blames anyone and anything other than themselves. Any problems that have to do with their addiction are twisted in their mind until they believe that it’s someone else’s fault their life is falling apart. A common scenario for this stage is if the marriage is literally falling apart because of their addiction and refusal of help is destroying the marriage.