Denial is common among alcoholics, and many people with the problem often cannot see it until it reaches a late stage. Some cannot accept themselves as alcoholics even when they experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they are not drinking. They will put this down to a hangover and nothing more. It is often the case that the person with the problem is the last to know.

Family members, however, are usually more observant and can see the signs long before the alcoholic can. They may realise that their loved one’s drinking habits are becoming a problem, but there is not much they can do if the individual refuses to accept the problem exists. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of living with an addict.


Sometimes, a person with an alcohol problem may be willing to acknowledge that there is some kind of issue but will flat out refuse to accept a diagnosis of alcoholic. Denial is very common among addicts, and it is often embarrassment or shame that prevents individuals from facing up to reality. There is still a certain stigma about addictions such as alcohol addiction that prevents people from wanting to be associated with it.

In most cases, a person with an alcohol problem will need to go through alcohol withdrawal and then a programme of rehabilitation to help him or her learn how to stay clean; occasionally, someone with a drink problem can get clean by them self. Nevertheless, this type of sobriety is usually very shaky, and a relapse may be inevitable.

Not an Addict

Actor Shia LaBeouf has opened up about his drinking habits that he says have almost ‘f***ed up’ his life. Nonetheless, although he admits that alcohol ‘sends him haywire’, he refuses to accept a diagnosis of ‘addict’.

He has attended Alcoholics Anonymous but does not class himself as an alcoholic, saying, “You don’t touch it. Alcohol or any of that s*** will send you haywire. I can’t f**k with none of it. I’ve got to keep my head low. That s*** almost f***ed up my life.”

LaBeouf says that he began drinking in a bid to deal with the poor reviews he was receiving for performances in a number of roles, including Wall Street 2, Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. However, he added, “I got a Napoleonic complex. I start drinking, and I feel smaller than I am, and I get louder than I should. It’s just not for me, dude.”

Pressure to Drink

LaBeouf has indicated that he felt a certain pressure to drink alcohol, saying, “Part of it was posturing. I never knew how to drink. I never liked to drink, but I knew you had to drink.”

He does believe that his antics while under the influence of alcohol may have helped him to secure certain roles. He said, “I don’t think I’d be working with the directors I’ve been working with if I had not f**ked up a bit. They wanted a f***ing fireball. They wanted a loose cannon. I’m learning how to distill my ‘crazy’ into something manageable, that I can shape and deliver on the day.”

Fame and Addiction

Addiction is common among those in the public eye as many turn to chemical mood-altering substances to cope with the pressures of fame. LaBeouf is not the first actor to have hit the headlines for things he did while under the influence of alcohol, and he will certainly not be the last. Nevertheless, it would appear that he realised he had a problem and has dealt with it. He has not touched alcohol for almost a year.

Admitting the Problem

Shia LaBeouf was able to admit that he had a drinking problem and then deal with it, but many others still live in denial, even when everyone else around them can see there is a serious issue. It is hard for those with addiction, especially alcoholism, to accept that they need help.

Alcohol is a legal substance that is socially acceptable and encouraged in society. To admit that you may have a problem with this substance would mean coming to terms with the fact that you will never be able to drink again, which is something many alcoholics are not ready to do.

In order to have a healthy life and reduce the risk of alcohol-related illnesses, though, it is often essential for some people to face reality and recognise that they need to get sober and get there fast. If you have a problem with alcohol, or if someone you love is drinking too much, call us here at Addiction Helper.

It is important to realise that alcohol withdrawal may be necessary, but we can help with this. We can provide a full assessment of the situation, which will either confirm your fears or put your mind at ease. If a programme of detoxification is required, we can help to find a suitable provider where alcohol withdrawal symptoms will be effectively managed. We can also put you in touch with a rehabilitation provider to suit your needs. Call us today for more information.


  1. ‘I got a Napoleonic complex. I start drinking and I feel smaller than I am’: Shia LaBeouf reveals he has not drunk for almost a year – but says he got certain roles due to booze problem (Daily Mail)
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