Anyone who has lived with an addict can attest to the fact that people who are living as drug addicts or alcoholics frequently tell lies. The longer that the person is an addict, the more he or she will be likely to become surrounded by a complex web of lies on top of lies to conceal the fact of substance abuse, to hide unsavory activities and to try to keep up a pretense that everything is just fine. What types of lies to addicts tell? Here are ten of the most common examples:1. “I’m trying to quit.”
No matter how it may appear, the addict will often try to calm any concerns on the part of friends and family with reassurances that he or she is making efforts to quit. Ironically, this “lie” is very often true; most addicts know that they need to quit, and at any given time you can expect to learn that the person factually is trying to quit. The question, however, is whether or not the person is actually quitting or is merely “trying” to quit.
2. “I didn’t take the money.”
Make no mistake: Drug addiction is expensive to maintain. The costs of paying for the amount of drugs or alcohol that an addict needs on a daily basis to get high and avoid the symptoms of withdrawal can be staggering. Those who live and work around an addict will often find that money seems to “mysteriously” disappear.
3. “I didn’t steal the pills from the medicine cabinet.”
Recent statistics demonstrate that a majority of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and a large percentage use two or more. Many of the pharmaceutical medications in widespread use, from painkillers to stimulants to tranquilizers, are every bit as powerful as street drugs when abused. An addict will often search out a family member with a prescription and use that person’s medicine cabinet as a private dispensary.
4. “I can quit whenever I want to.”
Just as there are addicts who are perpetual quitters, always claiming to be on the verge of sobriety, so are there those who try to calm the concerns of their loved ones with assurances that they are not actually addicted and can quit at any time. Despite these assurances, the person just never seems to get around to quitting.
5. “My problem isn’t that bad.”
Even if the addict can admit to having a drug or alcohol problem, he or she will usually try to downplay it by comparing it to other people and claiming that it is not as severe.
6. “I don’t need help.”
Whether the person denies being an addict or claims to be able to quit without any outside help, he or she may be found to deny any offer of help and to insist that “everything is fine.” Everything may appear to be fine until it all collapses in a serious accident, an arrest or perhaps a hospitalization for overdose.
7. “I’ll go to treatment when I’m ready.”
A drug addict or alcoholic might think that recovery is right around the corner and that quitting will be easy, but in reality this is far from true. A drug addict may realize that it would be good to quit, but is constantly putting it off until some time in the future when things are “just right” or when it has finally gotten bad enough to provide motivation.
8. “I don’t want to go to rehab.”
Many addicts have negative connotations about attending rehab, considerations which bar them from seeking the help that they really need. Often, it is a matter of not wanting to admit that one is actually an addict and therefore needs rehab. In other cases, concerns about being pigeonholed or forced to accept beliefs that one does not truly hold are what keep an addict out of rehab.
9. “I can quit on my own and don’t need treatment.”
Very often, a person who is struggling with addiction is simply too stubborn to admit that help is needed. The person may recognize that there is a problem, but might be determined to refuse any help and to try to solve the problem without any outside assistance. There are cases where this may work, but they are the exception to the rule.
10. “My addiction is your fault.”
Perhaps the most pernicious lie that an addict will tell is the lie that blames addiction on a loved one. Without a doubt, the influence of those around a person will play a large role in determining whether or not he or she becomes an addict, but it is futile to blame addiction on another person. An addict in rehab will typically have to realize that it is time to make new friends and disassociate from those who have encouraged drug use or drinking, but the accusation that addiction is another person’s fault is normally leveled against a person who is not factually to blame.
Whatever lies that drug addicts tell, it is important for the friends and family of that person to persevere in their determination to help. Realize that, to a large degree, the lies are not being told out of malicious intentions towards you, but rather as a last-ditch attempt to be right and to avoid accepting the crushing reality that the person has gone off the rails in life. No matter how challenging it may be, do your best to ignore the ingenuity and continue to offer your trust that the person, deep down, wants to get sober and wants to improve, and continue to offer your help.