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The Most Common Lies Addicts Tell to Themselves & Others

by | Published on May 29, 2020 | Drug Addiction, Finding Addiction Help For A Loved One, Finding Addiction Help For Myself


Generally, lies and addiction go hand in hand. Whether you’re an active addict or know someone who is, you know there are a set of common lies addicts tell themselves and loved ones, over and over again. Lying and deceit live at the core of addiction. Addicts tell lies to cover their actions, justify their addiction, and overtime; their lies become their reality.

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our therapists have heard their fair share of lies. From common ones like “I’m not using” to elaborate conspiracy theories to justify an addiction. These are some of the common lies addicts tell all the time.

Man in Blue Crew Neck Shirt Wearing Black Framed Eyeglasses1. “I’m Not Using.”

Denial may seem obvious, but it is a common lie that addicts will swear by, even when the signs are glaringly obvious. An addict will also jump through hoops to argue and swear on everything they love that they are not using. Generally, addicts will stop at nothing to convince someone they are not using so that they don’t get caught and can continue the same behavior.

2. “I Control My Addiction, Not the Other Way Around.”

An addict will think they are entirely in control of their substance abuse. Self-will is the tricky part about addiction – it clouds a person’s vision so much that they genuinely think they can stop at any time. Most addicts who tell this lie are often the ones that deny their addiction in the first place.

Person Holding One Hundred Bills3. “I Need Money for [fill in the blank].”

Addicts will find ways to get money from loved ones and friends. They will come up with creative ways to manipulate people into giving them what they want.

From a son calling his parents in tears saying he needs money for rent or will be homeless, to a mother asking her child for $20 to pick up some things for the house, an addict will come up with creative lies to get a few dollars out of you. As a result, families need to receive family counseling when their loved one enters drug rehab and receive education on effective boundaries.

4. “I Need Alcohol and Drugs to Have Fun.”

The fear of being dull or bored without drugs and alcohol is a rampant fear among addicts. The truth is, it takes some work to change old habits, and learning how to live and socialize sober is different but certainly possible. Using substance abuse as an excuse for “having fun” is a dangerous behavioral pattern.

Man Looking at Reflection in Hand Mirror5. “I’m Not Worth It.”

Addiction beats you up until there’s almost nothing left of your self-esteem. Many addicts get to the point where their self-worth is non-existent and may even engage in other harmful behaviors like cutting, burning, and other self-harm. This kind of behavior usually indicates dual diagnosis, which is the presence of anxiety or depression, and addiction.

Addicts will often use their illness as punishment for their mistakes. May tell lies to themselves, such as “I deserve this,” and “this is my fault.”

6. “I’m Not Like [Name].”

Many will try to justify their addiction by comparing themselves to someone else. Comparison is trying to deflect inner-criticism, but it’s not addressing the situation. While someone else’s alcohol abuse might be more severe than yours, it doesn’t mean you both don’t need treatment.

People Drinking Liquor and Talking on Dining Table Close-up Photo7. “Well, Everyone Else Is Doing It.”

Here’s a common one among college students and young adults. For example, if everyone in the office is swapping coffee for Adderall, why wouldn’t you? Peer pressure can lead many healthy individuals into prolonged battles with drug and alcohol addiction. Mirroring toxic behaviors of those around you is never a healthy approach to living.

8. “I’m Not Hurting Anyone.”

Many addicts believe their illness doesn’t impact others. Parents will often think their children don’t notice their addiction. Many go years considering that their family and friends don’t suffer from their addiction when, in reality, they’re affecting anyone around them.

The suffering and emotional distress of watching someone get lost in drugs and alcohol can be heartbreaking. Not to mention, many family members and friends often have to pay for treatment programs, legal fees, and other situations that might require financial assistance.

Orange and White Prescription Bottle On Table9. “I Only Use Prescription Medications, So It’s Okay.”

With prescription medications addictions, many addicts simply blame their doctors for their habits. The misuse of prescription medications is higher than ever before. People with opioid and painkiller prescriptions start misusing drugs meant for short-term use, and before they know, they’re switching to cheaper drugs like heroin.

10. “Recovery Won’t Help Me.”

Because addicts often struggle with self-worth and self-punishment, seeking treatment can be something they consider not for them. People with long-lived addictions often believe they’re a “lost cause.” In reality, addiction treatment and the right substance abuse program can help anyone, regardless of their addiction level.

The idea that recovery and drug rehabilitation is not sufficient is a common lie for addicts who’ve been to rehab before and relapsed. Remember that addiction is a long-term battle, and relapse is more common than you think. While a specific treatment program didn’t work in the past, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other approaches that can help with your recovery. The important thing is to keep looking for the right program.

It’s Time to Get Real

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our therapists have heard these common lies a million times. We do believe recovery can help you. We think you can find the power to manage and control your addiction.

Through our treatment programs, we’ll work with addicts to help them build back their confidence. Our comprehensive treatment plan looks at addiction from every angle. We look past these common lies and start facing the problems of addiction head-on.

Stop the vicious cycle of falling for these common lies addicts tell. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out.

Our admission specialists are available to help you find the best treatment plan for your needs. We believe in speaking the truth, and addiction is a death sentence if you don’t seek treatment. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and start your new path towards a sober life.

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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