Why Do Addicts Lie?

Honesty is often the first casualty when addiction occurs. Addiction is a medical illness, and the symptoms involve a loss of ideals that were once very important. Why do addicts lie? This question is often asked by the loved ones surrounding the addiction. The answer points to the control the drug or alcohol has on the loved one who is addicted. Addicts lie to get more alcohol or drugs.

Cravings are the motivation symptomatic of addiction. The mind and body are dependent on the drug. The substance is in control, and all typical reasoning is lost. Why do addicts lie? The lie protects them from any inkling of the truth that they are addicted.

How Does Alcohol or Drug Use Affect the Brain?

Drugs and alcohol interact with areas of the brain that regulate mood, emotions, and behaviors. For example, when the levels of the hormone dopamine escalate, a feel-good experience occurs. Drugs and alcohol trigger incredibly high dopamine levels, creating the craving for more. Therefore, in exploring why do addicts lie, you must consider the messages that are transpiring in the brain.

Increasing the levels of alcohol or substance abuse increases the body’s tolerance and dependence. Powerful cravings are felt as soon as the levels of dopamine drop from less usage. It is crucial to consider the control addiction has over the addict. Lying is just one symptom in the relentless cycle of addiction.

Addiction and Honesty

The goal of the addict is to keep the addiction a secret. So when addicts lie, it’s not just one or two lies that come up now and then. Instead, an intricate maze of lies grows out of control, and it soon becomes apparent to everyone that something is seriously wrong. Why do addicts lie? To protect themselves so no one realizes they are addicted.

The following factors all answer the question, “Why do addicts lie?”

  • Lies preserve the addiction by doing whatever it takes to satisfy the cravings for more alcohol or drugs. Lying buffers accountability.
  • Lying helps the addict avoid the reality of addiction. In addition, lying appeases the friends and family surrounding the addict, but the disease will not allow the addict to follow through with promises to quit.
  • Lies help to avoid confrontations with others. But, unfortunately, life with addiction is a struggle. With no healthy coping skills, lying comes quickly and efficiently to prevent conflicts.
  • Lies help hold onto the denial of the addiction. Addiction thrives on denial to keep it surviving.
  • Lying allows the addict to believe they are different from others who have an addiction. In addition, it will enable them to think they can handle drugs or alcohol better than others.
  • Lying is a coping mechanism against shame, embarrassment, and regrets. With fleeting sober moments, the addict lies to themself to allow a reality they can accept.

How To Cope With the Dishonesty of Addiction

Coping with dishonesty can be heartbreaking. The struggle is confirmed between your hopes that your loved one will admit their addiction and get help and the reality of the denial involved. Emotional exhaustion sets in, and overwhelming hopelessness can pull you under.

A strong support team is vital in learning how to cope with the dishonesty attached to addiction, and a strong support team is critical. It is helpful to initiate a plan to address lies. Learning about enabling behaviors and avoiding them can help implement the plan. When continually thinking, why do addicts lie? You must realize that you can’t change their behavior but can change yours.

Learning the appropriate response to lying and stopping enabling behaviors could move the addict to ask for help. But on the other hand, education can end by asking why do addicts lie and continue with a plan.

What to Do When Addicts Lie

  • Refuse to be blamed for the addiction. Addicts quite often turn the responsibility for choosing addiction toward other people.
  • Do not buy into the blame game. You are not to blame for the addict’s choices.
  • Do not take the lying personally. It’s not personally directed; it’s self-preservation. Deception is also a symptom of the disease because of the changes made in the brain.
  • You can’t control the situation, so don’t try. You cannot rescue the addict; they must do that themselves.
  • Do not make excuses for loved ones, and do not accept unacceptable behaviors. Learning to set boundaries is a personal growth tool for you to experience.
  • Emotional and physical abuse are never acceptable behaviors. These situations can be extremely traumatic and cause damage to emotional health. Do not tolerate abuse ever.
  • Get help for yourself. Therapy is a valuable tool for coping with a loved one’s addiction. In addition, group therapies are available for family members and offer a great support system.

There is Recovery from Addiction

Why do addicts lie? They do not want to end the addiction; they want to protect it. Consider a formal intervention with an addiction specialist. Regardless of other factors, it’s essential to contact a professional treatment center to get an education concerning treatment and recovery. Everyone in the life of the addict needs to get professional help to survive the addiction.

Find Help for Your Loved One in California

If you’re dealing with dishonesty, we understand the damage addiction can inflict on the mind and body. Our staff of understanding professionals at CAST Centers can help prepare you for possible interventions. Contact us today so we can implement an action plan. Although addiction is a complex disease, we can help you with it.


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