There’s a reason that honesty is a characteristic that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states is indispensable.
Rigorous honesty is critical for recovery.
The reason is that addicts and alcoholics are at times constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. In fact, addicts and alcoholics often are delusional about the way they live their lives and treat others close to them.
They think their alcoholic or addicted life is normal. For someone who does not abuse alcohol or drugs, that is a hard concept to understand.
The doctor’s opinion in Alcoholics Anonymous states that addicts cannot differentiate the true from the false and they think their lives are normal.
Addicts and alcoholics lie so much that they rarely tell the truth to psychiatrists and counselors or doctors about their problems.
If you look at the cycle of addiction, it is difficult for someone with substance use disorder to see the truth much less tell it about their lives.
How Addicts Lie to Themselves
Addiction is a chronic disease and it will continue to come back if it is not treated.
There are two characteristics that make it chronic. The first is that an alcoholic or drug addict will do way more than they intended.
As if having a physical allergy, their body craves more. More often than not, they do not stop unless some consequence pulls them to their senses.
Emerging remorseful they promise to never touch the stuff again.
Soon, however, they become restless and annoyed with life and its troubles. A small lie forms in their mind that becomes a mental obsession.
Despite the consequences of the past and the need to stay sober, the addicted person starts to think that they can manage their addiction.
This time it is going to be different. We don’t know why, but almost every addict passes through this stage.
Then they drink or use again, setting off the terrible cycle of addiction.
Why Drug Addicts Lie to Others
Much of a drug addict’s life is devoted to ensuring they can get high.
Heroin addicts and alcoholics can get sick when they don’t use or drink. Sometimes — depending on how far down the scale of addiction they have gone — addicts or alcoholics need to get high to function in life.
They cannot stop getting high or they will physically get sick. In this state, they will lie to almost anyone to get what they need.
In this state, addicts and alcoholics feel like they need to keep using it. And in some cases, especially with alcoholics, stopping abruptly can cause serious health problems.
Because of this, they will lie to anyone to avoid not getting high. Lying becomes second nature to a drug addict.
About Burning Tree Programs
Burning Tree Programs helps chronic alcoholics and addicts live a sober life. If you need help getting treatment, we have several treatment options for people just getting help, and for the chronic relapser.