Most addicts are in denial and don’t believe or will not admit they are addicted to drugs.
Even when their addiction creates a problem they will have an excuse to cover-up the truth. By not confronting addiction head-on the addict probably won’t reach out for help. His family may also make excuses for him to cover-up his addiction. This kind of behavior does not help the addict either.
Instead of keeping the addict in a dangerous situation, we should call them out on their lies and excuses. We should help the addict face their problem of addiction and seek the help necessary for them to get well. The next time you hear an addict make excuses for their substance abuse issue, tell them that you know they are making up excuses and not facing the truth about their problem. Here is a list of common excuses that addicts use regarding their addiction problem:
- “It’s no big deal.” The addict is in denial and does not believe that he/she has a problem with addiction. He thinks that he can stop using whenever he wants to. Even when he knows he has a problem, most often he won’t admit it.
- “Now is not a good time to get help.” The addict may say that he will get help some day, but right now is not the time to do it. He may make up all kinds of excuses about why it isn’t a good time to get help. He might say he is too busy with work, or his family needs him right now, or he has other more pressing problems to cope with at the moment. It will never be the right time to get help, as far as he is concerned, because he really doesn’t want it.
- “I’m not hurting anyone.” The addict thinks this excuse will justify his addiction but the truth is that he is hurting those who love him and want him to get help.
- “No one can help me.” He may tell you that he has been through rehab before and it didn’t work because he relapsed. The truth is that many addicts relapse after their first try at sobriety. But that is not an excuse to give up. You keep trying until you get it right.
- “I have depression so I need to take the drugs.” This may or may not be true. The addict might have depression but he should not be self-medicating. If he has a mental or physical disorder, he should be under the care and supervision of a doctor.
- “I need the drug for my pain.” If the addict suffers from chronic pain he needs to stop self-medicating and see a physician and/or pain management therapist.
- “You have no idea what I’ve been through.” The addict may have had traumatic experiences in his life and want to escape from the mental and emotional damage it caused. Abusing drugs is not the answer to the problem. The addict should go to a rehab center where his drug problem will be treated and where he will also get psychological help. Psychological therapy can help him work through the pain caused by the trauma, come to terms with it and finally let it go.
- “It helps me relax.” Doing something that is destructive to you because it helps you relax is not wise. Exercise, reading a good book, music therapy, a walk in the park or swimming at the beach are all relaxing endeavors that are healthy and fun. There are many healthy alternatives that can help a person relax.
- “I’m not that bad.” The addict admits that he has a problem but tries to minimize it by saying it isn’t a big deal and that he has it under control.
- “I need it to cope at work.” The addict may have you believe that the situation at work is so horrific that he has to take drugs in order to deal with it. If there really is a problem at work he should discuss it with his superior, and if that doesn’t help he should look for a new job. Most often this is just an excuse to use drugs.
- “This is who I am.” Not really. This is who he has become under the yoke of addiction. His true self, before he became an addict, is who he really is.
- “You’re not perfect either.” Here the addict tries to take the focus off of himself and points a finger at you.
- “I know what I’m doing.” How is that possible when drugs alter your perception and affect cognition and other mental functions? The addict is in an altered state of consciousness when under the influence of drugs. He is not in his right mind to truly know what he is doing.
- “I can’t afford to get help.” You don’t have to be rich to get help. Help is available for those who ask for it.
- “It’s your fault I’m like this.” The addict will put the blame on others for his failures and at the same time try to take the focus off of himself and his addiction.
When you become aware of some of the excuses those living with addiction often use, you can be prepared with the correct response. Many times, excuses are used when someone is in denial or on the defensive. Being supportive, encouraging and letting that person know that you are there when they are ready to receive help can be just what that person needs, even if they aren’t admitting it at the moment. Stay strong and don’t be swayed or manipulated by these often used excuses.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.