You Become Secretive And Suspicious
Someone with substance use issues often becomes secretive and takes more care to protect their privacy. They may become less talkative or more suspicious when people ask them questions. They may be wary others are trying to get information out of them, and may spend more time alone, choosing not to divulge where theyve been or what they have been doing.
There are several reasons for this. First, they are often aware that their friends and family wouldnt approve of their drinking or drug use. They might not approve of it at all or they might just think its excessive. This usually indicates the user, themselves, is aware on some level that they have a problem. Second, they may be using illicit substances or illegally obtaining controlled substances. They may be concerned about getting into legal trouble or getting others in trouble.
Life Without Addiction Can Seem Like A Void
For someone with an addiction, life can often revolve around their addictive behavior. Although they plan to quit one day, for today, life without their addiction seems frighteningly empty. If you dont understand how this emptiness drives people back into their addictive behavior, they will tune in to that, and lie to shut you up.
Mention in a kind and positive way what you would like to see happening instead of the addictive behavior, preferably before the addictive behavior becomes part of your routine.
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Excuse #5 I Dont Care About My Life And I Dont Care If My Addiction Kills Me
One of the lowest points an addict can get to is the one where life becomes meaningless. They are so consumed with pain and grief that the depression seems to justify the rampant substance abuse. This is a vicious cycle: the more they use, the worse they feel. When theres no joy or pleasure left in life, theres no reason to seek out recovery.
In reality, abusing drugs/alcohol is the largest hurdle that holds them back from leading a productive and meaningful existence. Once clean and sober, theyre able to focus and start enjoying life again. Theyre also able to embrace the love and support of family, get back to the friends who truly love them, and lead the authentic, meaningful life theyve missed out on for so long.
If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol or drug abuse, help is available. Start by learning more about the signs and symptoms of addiction.
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That Dui Wasnt My Fault
Addicts will often blame others for their own problems. Nothing is ever their fault. This lie is prevalent whether theyve tripped on the stairs during a drunken binge or been pulled over for a DUI after a night of partying. A DUI isnt their fault the cops had it in for them. They didnt trip because they were drunk the carpet on the stairs is loose. Its always someone elses fault. Blaming others for the consequences of their substance abuse is easier on the conscience than realizing your life is spiraling out of control.
Don’t Tell Them What To Do
You want to help your loved one with their addiction in any way you can, but you can’t control exactly how they do it. They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.
As long as they aren’t causing more harm to themselves or others in the process, you can show them that you respect their way of making positive changes. Rather than dictating what they must do, ask them how you can help.
For instance, saying “Why haven’t you gotten help already?,” or telling them what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do comes across as condescending. You want to avoid putting added pressure on them and instead, be a trusted friend that they feel safe with.
You should just quit cold turkey. It worked for someone else I know.
I want you to feel your best. I can help you research treatment centers or therapists if you’d like.
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Being In A Relationship With An Addict: Can It Be Healthy
There are a few different scenarios where you might wonder what its like being in a relationship with an addict, or whether or not its possible to have a relationship with an addict. The first could be if you were already in a relationship with a person before they were an addict, and now theyre in the midst of addiction. You may be questioning whether or not addicts and relationships are two things that can go together.
Another scenario where you might question how to have a relationship with an addict is if youve just met someone and found out they have an addiction problem but are not yet in a relationship with them.
There are also situations where both people are addicts so the question may become can two addicts have a healthy relationship.
To provide insight to any of these questions, its important to understand addiction and what it does to relationships.
Why Are Many People With Addiction Manipulative
The most important thing to remember when someone you know is addicted is that addiction causes changes in the brain itself. Its common to hear that addiction has hijacked the brain, and it results in people acting in ways they might never have considered prior to their struggles with drugs or alcohol.
Addiction begins when the brain begins to adapt to the frequent consumption of a substance. Normally, the brain rewards healthy behaviors like bonding with friends and family, exercising or eating a good meal. Likewise, the brains reasoning ability allows us to properly weigh consequences and decide which actions we shouldnt take. However, drugs and alcohol provide an immediate, artificial sense of gratification to the reward system that far outweighs the pleasure received from everyday activities. This results in the addicted person wanting more and more of the substance, regardless of the consequences.
Addiction takes over the reward system to the point that critical life factors, like work responsibilities and family relationships, become insignificant compared to the need for the substance. Addiction also affects the brains danger-sensing circuitry, making people feel stressed and anxious when they dont have access to the substance. These effects combine to completely shift a persons priorities, causing them to lie and manipulate in order to sustain their addiction. There are five basic reasons why people with alcohol addiction lie and cheat:
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Negative Risks Of Codependency And Enabling Behaviors
Codependency and enabling behavior can be damaging in relationships for everyone involved. If an addicted person never has to face the consequences of their addiction, they may not realize they need help. Ultimately, enabling can lead to medical, financial and relationship issues throughout the family.
According to one study published in 2016, codependency leads to poor health, self-neglect and additional responsibilities for affected family members. The study concluded that codependency harms the family system and the health of family members of addicted individuals. In fact, self-neglect was almost three times more likely to occur in families with high codependency. Other risks involved with codependency and enabling include:
- Other family members developing an addiction
- Losing relationships with others outside of the addicted relationship
- Difficulty maintaining responsibilities outside of the relationship
Even though its natural to want to help the person you love, enabling does not help anyone in the long run. The best step a family member, friend or significant other can take to help an addicted loved one is to let them face the reality of their addiction and the consequences of their behavior. To do so, a loved one of an addicted person can:
For the addicted individual, codependency and enabling can negatively impact their attempt to get help before and after treatment. Its critical to make codependency part of an addicted persons treatment plan.
The 20 Lies Addicts Tell Themselves
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What Should You Do In An Emergency
Does your loved one have any of the following symptoms? If so, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
- Lost consciousness after taking drugs.
- Became unconscious after drinking alcohol, especially if five or more drinks were consumed in a short period of time.
- Had been drinking and is seriously considering suicide.
- Has a history of heavy drinking and has severe withdrawal symptoms, such as confusion and severe trembling. Severe withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens , can cause death.
Am I Enabling My Spouse/partner
Many spouses/partners end up acting as enablers for their significant others. Enablers are very harmful to addicts because they never hold addicts accountable for their actions. So, enablers make it easier for addicts to continue on in their drug use. Therefore, if youre enabling your spouse/partner, youll likely need to end the romantic relationship.
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Common Ways People With Addiction Manipulate Others
- Addiction BlogCommon Ways People With Addiction Manipulate Others
- Drug Addiction Treatment
When you care about someone with an addiction, you may find some of their behaviors confusing and upsetting. Two common threads you can observe in nearly all addictions are lying and manipulation on the part of the person abusing drugs or alcohol.
So, why do people with addiction lie and cheat? How do you recognize when you are being manipulated, and what can you do about it? The answers to these critical questions will impact the way you handle typical addiction behavior in your relationships, and the role you play in convincing someone with an addiction to seek treatment.
How To Raise The Subject
People often worry that initiating a discussion with the person with the problem will lead him or her to take drastic steps. They might make a scene in front of other family members, move out of the house, drop out of school, use more excessively, try to hide their problem, or retaliate against them or other family members. However, you might find the conversation to be a wonderfully productive experience. Perhaps the person simply hasnt noticed behavioral changes or doesnt realize that his or her substance use was or is causing a problem. And without change, the problems may become so severe that the same drastic outcomes could result.
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Is Your Spouse Or Partner Willing To Change
This is an important question to ask as having a strong desire to change is key to achieving sobriety. If your spouse or partner is taking accountability for his or her actions and has a strong desire to attend rehab and change, this may be a sign that you can continue your romantic relationship with him or her.
Finally The Most Horrifying Thing An Addict Does
The most horrifying thing an addict can do to a loved one is to lose their battle with addiction. Every day, drugs cost people their lives.
In the last decade, theres been a 2x increase in the amount of drug overdose deaths in the U.S.
Total U.S. drug deaths: more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids a 2 fold increase in a decade.
The biggest contributing factor to this increase is the opioid epidemic, which is claiming the lives of 115 people every day in the U.S. Addiction to opioids cost more people their lives in 2017 than were lost in the 20-year Vietnam War.
The global coronavirus pandemic also devastatingly impacted the opioid epidemic, as overdose deaths from opioids reached an all-time high. More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, a record number according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This issue has become a public health crisis.
Opioids affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing. High doses of these drugs can lead to respiratory depression and death. Unfortunately, even when used as prescribed, opioids can lead to tolerance meaning you may need to use more and more of the drug to get the same effects.
Combining opioids with other respiratory system depressants, such as alcohol, sedatives, or anti-anxiety medications, can also increase the risk of overdose death.
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The Truth About Lying: Do Dishonesty And Addiction Go Hand
The editorial staff of Rehabs.com is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
This has to be my least favorite joke:
How do you know when an addict is lying?
Its when his/her lips are moving.
Along similar lines, at an outpatient clinic I visited while doing research for Inside Rehab, an addiction counselor facetiously said to a roomful of clients, The one thing we know about alcoholics and addicts is that youre always one hundred percent honest.
In a conversation with me, even a nationally known expert included the following in his definition of an addicted person: Theyre all liars.
When Someone You Love Is An Addict
Youre dealing with someone different now.
When an addiction takes hold, the person you love disappears, at least until the addiction loosens its grip. The person you love is still in there somewhere, but thats not who youre dealing with. The person you remember may have been warm, funny, generous, wise, strong so many wonderful things but addiction changes people. It takes a while to adjust to this reality and its very normal to respond to the addicted person as though he or she is the person you remember. This is what makes it so easy to fall for the manipulations, the lies and the betrayal over and over. Youre responding to the person you remember but this is not that person. The sooner youre able to accept this, the sooner you can start working for the person you love and remember, which will mean doing what sometimes feels cruel, and always heartbreaking, so the addiction is starved of the power to keep that person away. The person you love is in there support that person, not the addict in front of you. The sooner youre able to stop falling for the manipulations, lies, shame and guilt that feeds their addiction, the more likely it will be that the person you remember will be able to find the way back to you.
Go for progress, not perfection. There will be forward steps and plenty of backward ones too. Dont see a backward step as failure. Its not. Recovery never happens in a neat forward line and backward steps are all part of the process.
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Enabling Drug Abuse In Relationships
Codendepent people often engage in enabling behaviors. Enabling behavior directly or indirectly encourages, or simply makes it possible for a person to continue using drugs. Sometimes, a person does not realize they are an enabler, or they might deny they are codependent and helping a loved one maintain their addiction. Addiction is not easy for anyone to handle. However, realizing you or a loved one is codependent is the first step to getting help and repairing relationships. Examples of enabling behaviors include:
- Denying a loved one has a problem
- Using drugs with the addicted loved one so they dont use alone
- Making excuses for drug use, such as saying a loved one has a stressful job
- Avoiding problems to keep the peace
- Avoiding feelings and self-medicating
- Taking over the addicted loved ones responsibilities
- Feeling superior to the addicted person and treating them like a child
- Controlling the addicted person any way they can
- Enduring the addiction and thinking things will get better on their own
They Can Be Extremely Fun People To Be Around But You Have To Realize They Are Not Living In Reality
Sure going to the bar and getting completely loaded on a Monday night seems fun but its extremely unrealistic. He doesnt have to wake up for work the next morning, but guess what YOU probably doand you know if you call in sick one more time youre going to get fired. Staying up every night till 6am is also not realistic because you have to be up at 8am for work and he once again DOESNT.
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