10 Lies addicts keep telling to themselves

Addiction puts the user into a vicious circle of cravings, justification, use, and regret. Most addicts know that their behaviour is dangerous, but they lie to themselves to get past the guilt.

The problem is that as the user becomes more comfortable with this lie and their addiction, their personality devolves, morphing into a liar. Things that were once true are now shades of grey as the addict uses lie after lie to avoid the truth.

Still, shades of grey can be confused with honesty. If you’re not sure if your addiction is in control of you or you’re in control of it, an addiction self-test can help you see clearly. In the meantime, check out these 10 lies that addicts keep telling themselves and answer yourself — honestly — as to whether they apply to you.

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The Web of Lies

If you’ve ever told a lie to avoid getting in trouble, you know what happens. You have to remember what you said and who you told it to, then tell another lie to cover up any consequences of the first one.

This leads to a “tangled web” of half-truths and falsehoods that can be challenging to keep straight when you’re sober. As an addict, it’s nearly impossible to remember all the stories you’ve told to yourself and to others to avoid getting caught as you go through your unique life experiences.

However, there are 10 common lies that are part of all addicts substance use story. Put a mental check next to each of the following sentences that you’ve told yourself recently. It may be time to reach out for professional help if they sound familiar.


  1. “I don’t have a problem.” Lie number one is denial. If using your substance isn’t hurting anyone, is it really a problem? Yes, it is.
  2. “I can stop if I want to. I just don’t want to.” Since lie number one applies in your mind, there’s no problem. But if there was, you could stop. You just don’t want to. This is a form of delayed denial.
  3. “I can’t live without my substance.” You’ve tried to stop, and you didn’t like the withdrawal symptoms. So, you say you can’t live without your drug of choice. The truth is you can’t live with it. Addicts stop using in one of two ways: quitting or dying. If you quit, there’s a strong chance you’ll move forward and live a healthy life.
  4. “I’m not as bad as other people.” It’s easy to point fingers and show someone else who is using drugs or alcohol more than you. But you’re not in their body, and your drugs are harming you, not them. Focus on your problem instead of shaming others to distract yourself with a lie.
  5. “I’m still the same person.” As mentioned earlier, substance use forces the addict to lie to themselves and others to avoid getting caught. As the lies become more and more intricate, this changes who you are. You would never lie to your spouse or children before. You’d never miss a lunch date with your best friend. Yet, here you are doing some of these things and more. You’ve changed.
  6. “I haven’t lost my job, so I’m fine.” Yet. You haven’t lost your job yet. Staying on the path you’re on will result in a downward slide to unemployment or serious physical damage that will keep you from working.
  7. “I’ll quit when my stress is gone.” Stress is a part of daily life for everyone. If you wait until it’s gone to quit, it won’t happen. Look for other coping mechanisms in place of alcohol or drugs to help you handle your stressors.
  8. “I can’t be an alcoholic/drug addict. I only drink/use at night.” The signs of addiction aren’t always time-relevant. If you think about your next fix and continue to use it even though you know it’s unhealthy, that’s an addiction.
  9. “It’s a prescription, so it’s safe.” The opioid epidemic showed us that sometimes prescription drugs are the most harmful kind. Be honest with your doctor and let them know you think you’re addicted to the medication they’ve prescribed you. They can work with you to find another form of treatment that will help manage the symptoms.
  10. “I’m not hurting anyone else.” The truth is that drug and alcohol use hurts everyone who cares about you. No one wants to see you suffer or go down this dangerous path, yet you’re the only one who can stop yourself from hitting rock bottom.


Do any of these 10 lies sound like something you’ve said before? Reach out to a professional rehab facility near you and find out your options. Get help while you want to so you aren’t forced to get it when you have no other choice.

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