Actions Speak Louder than Words when it comes to Addiction Rehabilitation

Being pleasant to people is all well and good and costs nothing. However, when it comes down to it, words mean nothing if they are not accompanied by actions. We can all say something and mean it at the time but if we do not follow up our statements with action then they mean nothing.

How many of us promised again and again that we would not drink or use drugs again? And we meant it – but we could not stick to it. Our families and friends believed us the first time or two but then discovered that our words meant nothing.


I meet a lot of new people each month who are in what we call denial. This means that they cannot acknowledge the extent of their problem with drink or drugs. They are forever saying that they are not as bad as so-and-so, that their drinking or using is not that devastating. Coming into addiction rehabilitation (sometimes after a push by the people who love them) they often start off by telling us how bright they are (member of Mensa), how good they are at their job, how senior, how successful, how well off they are etc etc .

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We recognise that this is because their self-esteem is at a low ebb and they need to talk themselves up. However, denying their drink or drug problem is something we cannot allow if we are to get them well. So we have to get information from their families and friends to ask what they have observed about their drinking or using and the impact on all their lives. We get this from their so-called Family Questionnaires.


If someone is not in denial and is aware just how bad their addiction is and how it has affected them and those they love. The information from these Family Questionnaires is a good match and we do not need to use it. However, in at least half of cases, there is a considerable gap in the alcoholic’s or addict’s perception and that of everyone else.

Actions Don’t Match their Words

Their actions do not match their words and we have to draw this to their attention. We recently had a questionnaire for someone who I call one of our ‘better class of alcoholics’ (we get a lot of these – of course they are not, an alcoholic is an alcoholic) and it revealed just how bad his drinking was, contrary to what he had told everyone. He had been in drink drive accidents, slept in the road, on the floor wherever he happened to be, had to wrap himself round a tree in order to stand up etc etc. This particular questionnaire was especially powerful because it was accompanied by the photographic evidence. How powerful is that in getting through someone’s denial so they can understand how bad their addiction is. Really want to do something about it!

In addiction recovery we not only have to talk the talk but we have to walk the walk. If we are working our programme and living a good life (rather than just talking about it) and showing people how fulfilled and complete that can make us. They too will want recovery and understand the benefits of living without drink or drugs and following the 12 Step programme.

If you have an alcohol, gambling or drug related problem. Please call 01462 851414 for free and confidential advice and help.