When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol they become desperate for more. Addiction can cause moral and ethical decay and the addict is unable to think clearly and make the right choices. The physical body and mind begin to feel “normal” during substance abuse and abnormal when the substance starts to leave their body. When they start to experience strong cravings, addicts can literally feel like they are losing their minds. Desperation takes over and they will say anything to get their drug or drink. They will lie, use manipulation and sometimes blame others for their plights.
Top Ten Lies an Addict Tells
Knowing how addicts think and behave will help us become aware of what to expect from them. Here is our list of the top ten lies that addicts use:
- When an addict has been fired from his or her job, he or she will usually make up a story about why it happened. He may present himself as the victim in the situation, and that his being fired was not his fault. He may say that the boss or other workers were against him and he was pushed out. Another thing he may add is that he was not happy with the job anyway and he wants to take some time off. An addict’s wife or family may notice that his bills are not being paid and money is missing. He may become angry if he is questioned and not supported. He will play the victim until the family gives in to his will. The wife or family must get the support they need to fight against the lies and manipulation of the addict.
- Addiction is a disease of denial and most addicts will lie to themselves about their addictions. Addiction creates irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior patterns that are the result of an abnormal obsession. An addict will try to rationalize and justify their addiction so that they can continue in it. The addict will tell himself that he is different than most people and his circumstances are not ordinary. He believes that he is exceptional (terminal uniqueness) and that normal behavior, rules and norms do not apply to him.
- When an addict relapses, his or her family is hurt and concerned about him or her. The addict will make promises that it will never happen again and the family usually believes these statements at first. But it may happen again and again and eventually the family may become disillusioned and bitter. The addict may play the victim and think he is being punished for not bearing his burden. He may feel that he is being treated unfairly and he may become estranged from his family. The family relationship may be destroyed because of mistrust and resentment.
- An addict may ask his family and friends for a loan because he ran short and has to pay his rent. He will usually make up all kinds of stories about why he needs to have money today. And he will reassure you that he will repay you but you will probably never see that money again.
- Some addicts will say that they can never stop using drugs or alcohol and they will present every excuse and argument to support their beliefs. If other people stop debating the issue with them, they usually feel that they are right in their beliefs. An addict will become defensive if he feels threatened, but he may listen to a skilled counselor’s opposing argument because he won’t feel threatened.
- An addict will try to justify his bad behavior and will usually put the blame on someone else. He will rationalize why he had to do what he did and he expects you to believe him and understand.
- Avoidance is another game that addicts play. They will skirt around issues and avoid giving you a straight answer.
- Addicts will lie about where they were or where they are going. They will concoct all types of stories to cover up the truth.
- When an addict is feeling shame or guilt about their addiction or bad behavior, their pride and ego feel threatened. To cover up their feelings they will tell lies and put the focus and blame on others.
- To avoid facing the reality of their circumstances, an addict will tell you everything is great. They may say they have a good job and things are going well for them, but the truth may be that they are unemployed and practically homeless.
Knowing the Part You Play
Lies serve a purpose for an addict. They are a part of the disease of addiction and they keep an addict from facing the truth and recovering. Your part in the relationship with an addict is to gently call him out on his lies and offer your support. Addicts often lie and seek isolation when they feel threatened, so your stance is to facilitate trust and support.
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.