6 Lies Every Addict Says To Themselves And Their Loved Ones

6 Lies Every Addict Says To Themselves And Their Loved Ones

Honesty is not a trait that is commonly used to describe an addict or alcoholic. Because those struggling with addiction feel compelled to hide their illness and are often dealing with feelings of embarrassment and guilt, they are usually dishonest to those they love, as well as to themselves. Furthermore, they don’t want confrontation or any negativity. If they told the truth, that is exactly what would happen. 

As the disease progresses, the substance abuse lowers the addict’s or alcoholic’s ability to be objective and make good decisions. They do not see the destruction to their lives for what it is. Their reality becomes centered around their addiction and are no longer able to tell the truth from the lies they tell themselves and others.

This lack of truthfulness is not only a problem when it comes to helping someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is also detrimental to the addict who is likely speaking mistruths in their head which perpetuate the problem.

The 6 Lies Every Addict Says

Interestingly, the lies that are conjured up by nearly all addicts and alcoholics typically follow a similar theme. Here are six to watch out for:

Lie #1:

I Can Stop Using My Substance Of Choice Whenever I Feel Like It


I’m in control. This is a particularly interesting lie because addicts want others to believe that they have control over their lives. Yet, they can’t admit that they are controlled by alcohol or drugs. Especially when they are using the substances in order to cover up a trauma or other problem. They are psychologically addicted to their substance of choice as long as they are not seeking help for the reason they started in the first place. 

There is also the added problem of chemical changes in the brain as use continues long term. Now the altered brain chemistry causes physical cravings for the substance in order to feel “normal”.

Lie #2:

I Need Drugs Or Alcohol To Cope With My Problems

copeThis is a perpetuating lie because addiction causes more problems, yet it is used to self-medicate when these problems arise. Many addicts and alcoholics use this lie to justify their substance abuse because of their inability to face the original problems with a mental health professional.

This is especially true when dealing with trauma. The addict cannot seem to find a way to deal with their problems without self-medicating, when in actuality, this makes the problem worse and adds more problems, causing them to continue the cycle.

Lie #3:

I’m Nothing Like (Name)

nothing like nameAddicts like to compare themselves to others with problems to justify their less-severe addictive behaviors. Unfortunately, addiction is addiction whether the individual is busted for a DUI, passed out in their own home or is abusing prescription medications on a daily basis. It’s only a matter of time before behaviors worsen because addiction is a progressive disease. As with any illness, once you have it, it needs to be addressed, regardless of what “stage” you’re in.

Lie #4:

My Addiction Has Nothing To Do With Anyone Else

Anyone ElseAddiction is a disease of isolation, and addicts like to hide their illness from those around them. Unfortunately, addiction affects friends and family in many ways. This is when denial sets in, and addicts often think that loved ones are judging them when they suggest that help or treatment is needed. They see concern and think it’s controlling. They do not see how their behavior is affecting the people around them, constructing a reality where there is no problem.

Lie #5:

I Have Nothing To Live For Anyway. I Might As Well Keep Using Drugs Or Alcohol

nothingDepression is common among alcoholics and drug addicts. Many use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate painful feelings of guilt, grief and sadness. Unfortunately, as the addiction grows stronger, so do the symptoms of mental illness and this becomes a vicious cycle of self-medicating for depression and the depression getting worse because of the self-medicating. And where there is no joy, there is no reason to seek recovery and sobriety.

Lie #6:

Life Is No Fun Without Drugs Or Alcohol

boredAddicts often tell themselves that life will be boring without drugs or alcohol. This prevents many people from entering treatment. In all actuality, addiction can make you feel more uptight and stressed as your cravings get worse. This is a rollercoaster that stops being fun as you’re trying to catch up with those cravings. Sobriety is a choice for a healthier lifestyle that involves getting new friends, new interests and new ways to enjoy life, as well as the continued support and love of family and friends who truly love them.

How Can You Tell Your Loved One is Lying to You?

Non-verbal cues are body language, usually fidgeting or not being able to look you in the eye or covering the mouth or eyes. Swallowing or clearing their throat before talking are also cues they may be about to lie. Because lying triggers the autonomic nervous system, the blood gets drained from the ears, face and extremities, any hand to face movement, hand to hand movement or grooming, such as putting hair behind the ear, are good indicators of lying.

If the person pauses, or hesitates before answering a question, they may be lying. Talking around the question or not having a clear narrative are also indicators for a lie. Leaving out details or vague answers are other signals for possible lies. But the best way to tell if your loved one may be lying, is to use your gut instinct.

Do You Have An Addicted Loved One Who Is Lying About Their Problem?

Dealing with lies and deceptive behaviors can put a tremendous amount of stress on a relationship. If your loved one has been lying to you and others, seeking help is a phone call away. Call us now to get help. One of our intervention specialists will be happy to help get your loved one back on the right track.

Get Help From a Professional Interventionist


*This was originally posted on July 28, 2016 and was updated and republished July 22, 2019

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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