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Friday, March 29, 2019

A Web of Deceit: Why Addicts Lie

If you love someone who is struggling with a substance misuse disorder, you may be shocked when you catch them lying to you. Even family members you thought could feel comfortable being honest with you about anything will lie and manipulate to hide their drug or alcohol misuse and the resulting cascade of problems it creates. Why do addicts lie, and how does the dishonesty help the addiction thrive?

Addiction Changes the Brain

Nobody starts drinking or using drugs with the intention of ruining their lives. But the potential for addiction lies within us all, and for many, it becomes a trap they cannot escape on their own. But why do so many addicts refuse help? Why would your loving sister, wife or best friend engage in such self-destructive behavior that allows their addiction to deepen?

Think of it like this: Her need for drugs has become an all-consuming factor in their life. If she tries to go cold turkey, the intense cravings or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming enough to blot out all rational thought. When someone is physically and psychologically dependent on drugs, they lose sight of other things they once enjoyed doing.

Drugs also lead to poor decision-making ability and a lack of critical thinking skills. Someone who uses opioids every day can become so focused on achieving the euphoric feelings that she eventually forgets about her goals to get a new job or finish a college degree. Likewise, a sober alcoholic may have committed to spend her money more wisely, but after giving in and having one drink, it may feel acceptable to buy a round for the whole bar.

Guilt and Denial Play a Role, Too

If you ask your loved one about her behavior while she is sober, she will probably say she feels ashamed or regretful about the things she has done when drinking or using drugs, and she may even admit she is embarrassed about the addiction itself. These negative feelings will often cause addicts to spiral further into their addiction by turning to their substance of choice to dull the pain, escape from their feelings and help them cover up any regrets in a haze of intoxication.

Recovery Means Peeling Away the Lies

For an addicted person to seek recovery, she must first stop lying to herself and to others about the extent of her disease and the damage it has been causing. This process may take time, and learning to be honest and owning up to the pain and guilt can be one of the most challenging components of healing. At Canyon Crossing, our women’s-only treatment plan includes teaching clients how to take full responsibility for all their actions, as well as how to develop healthy coping mechanisms that will enable them to avoid relapse and live a life of sustained recovery.

When you choose Canyon Crossing for a woman in your life who needs help, she will have the full support of our compassionate team in working through the harm her deceitful behavior has done to herself and others she loves. However, she will eventually feel this burden lifting from her spirit as she recovers her self-respect and integrity.

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