It’s hard to admit you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, especially to yourself. No one wants to feel powerless or out of control. For that reason, denial is common among people with addictions. It’s the “selective ignoring of information” or a refusal to acknowledge the reality of your situation. Denial allows drug addicts to feel in charge, despite evidence that they’re not. It’s a way of coping with what loved ones in your life are probably saying: You have a problem. Denial can manifest in lies people tell themselves. They can be very convincing and may even fool other people for a time. But eventually the truth comes out. When it does, the person struggling with addiction moves on to another lie or admits to themselves that they need help. Take a look below at a few of the common things addicts say to justify and/or distort the truth of their situation. Are you telling yourself any of these lies?
It’s hard to admit you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. No one wants to feel powerless or out of control. Addiction manipulation happens when a person justifies their addiction to avoid facing the truth.
Justifying addiction is a way of coping with the guilt and shame associated with it. It’s a way of denying or minimizing the dangers of their behavior. This is common and nothing to be ashamed of. Contact Washburn House in Worchester, MA, at 855.298.3104 if you need help breaking the cycle of addiction manipulation. Our inpatient drug rehab program can help you achieve your best life.
Explaining Addiction to Family Members
Addiction is a complex disease that affects the entire family. Being open and honest with your loved ones about your addiction is important. Seek their support and understanding to receive the help you need. It’s easy to get into a cycle of manipulating loved ones with excuses, lies, and deflection. Family members may feel frustrated or angry, but it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease and often not something the person can control.
It can be hard to admit that you have a problem, and many find themselves justifying their addiction. The following are some of the ways that people with substance use disorder justify their addiction:
Some people use way more than I do.
This is an example of minimization, where you downplay how much or how often you use drugs or alcohol by directing attention to others who seem to have a worse problem than you. When you’re confronted about the severity of your use, you quickly start thinking of ways to make your use pale in comparison.
I’m working so hard. I deserve a stress reliever.
It’s easy to rationalize or try to make logical sense of your addiction. You could be going through a rough patch in a relationship or having a stressful week at work. From there, you can more easily forgive yourself for doing things you wouldn’t otherwise do—except that you’ll keep using after your stressful event has passed. You’ll either find another event or aspect of your situation to blame your drug use on, or you’ll move on to another one of these lies.
I can stop anytime I want to.
Using drugs or alcohol changes the chemistry of your brain and makes it extremely difficult to stop, no matter how much willpower you have. Powerful cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and other factors make it so that even if you try to stay away from drugs, without proper help, you may come back.
I’m a functioning drug abuser/alcoholic.
The myth of the functioning user is just that—a myth. It’s impossible to have a chemical dependency and be able to live normally. Your mind will always be preoccupied with how you’ll get your next high. Drug use takes a physical toll as well, affecting things like sleep and eating habits. Several serious diseases can result from addiction, like:
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- High blood pressure
- Increased risks of heart attack and stroke
Inevitably, you won’t be able to live a normal life. Addiction will take a toll on your work or school performance, your physical health, your family and social life, and your ability to take care of yourself.
My drug use isn’t affecting anyone but me.
Addiction cannot possibly affect just one person. Parents, a spouse, children, friends, and siblings are all affected in one way or another. They certainly are suffering watching you fall deeper into a hole while being powerless to stop it. While you may find relief telling yourself—and others—this lie, you’ll eventually have to face the pain and suffering of your loved ones.
I’m a lost cause anyway.
This lie can be the most destructive of all. A negative self-image means you’d probably benefit from therapy-based treatment, like cognitive behavioral therapy, so you can positively change your way of thinking.
Embrace the Truth with Washburn House
In order to maintain your addiction, you have probably gotten good at manipulating yourself to believe, at least partially, the lies above. By doing so, you give yourself permission to do things you know aren’t healthy and definitely aren’t making you happy. If you’ve told yourself any of these things, consider seeking help at a drug and alcohol rehab center. Addiction treatment at a facility like Washburn House will help you face your denial. You can achieve the life you deserve. Contact us at 855.298.3104 today to learn more.