Mount Sinai Wellness Center

Why people with addictions lie to their loved ones

If your family member or close friend is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, it’s possible they may have lied to you before or are currently lying to you. They might have lied about their whereabouts, given excuses as to why they canceled plans on you or failed to show up to an important family function, or lied about why they needed money from you.

Many people don’t realize until they have someone close to them struggle with addiction that the disease doesn’t always impact the person with the problem—it can affect everyone in their lives, too. You may be feeling hurt and betrayed after finding out your loved one lied to your face, and you’re not alone in this. A Pew Research Center survey found that nearly half of all U.S. adults (46%) have a family member or close friend who is addicted to drugs, so it’s not too far off to assume that many people have been lied to.

One common side effect of addiction is that it creates strained relationships and breaks trust. However, it can be helpful to know that people with addictions rarely lie with the intent to hurt the people they care about. There are various reasons why your family member might lie to you, all of which are closely intertwined with the way the general public views addiction today.

Some of the common reasons why people with addictions lie include:

They’re Ashamed & Don’t Want to Be Judged

Despite all the science showing that addiction is a brain disease, there’s still a lot of stigmas that make talking about addiction difficult, and countless people are ashamed for others to know they have a problem because they don’t want to be judged or looked down on. They might have told some close friends, only to be told to “get yourself together” or “just stop using,” showing that there are still plenty of Americans who don’t understand addiction. Your loved one might care a lot about your opinion of them and not want to disappoint you, even though they have nothing to be ashamed of.

They’re in Denial

Some people will lie not only to the people in their life but to themselves, too, because they don’t want to acknowledge they have a problem and that they no longer have control over their lives. For example, some people lie about how much they’ve had to drink to their family members and start to believe their own lies. By abusing alcohol or drugs in the dark and hiding it in your day-to-day life, it might almost seem like you don’t have an addiction.

They Don’t Want to Quit

Many people with addictions know that quitting is the right thing to do. However, they may be unable to stop after a certain point, or they may not want to. To avoid being pressured to get help from others, then, they may lie about their addictions or how much they’ve been using. Some also do this to avoid potential interventions staged by their families so they don’t feel forced to quit.

Your loved one’s reasons for lying have nothing to do with you and everything to do with their current struggles and the way they see themselves and their addiction. The best thing you can do is let them know you care for them and won’t leave their side, even when they’re at their worst. It may be helpful to suggest you call or visit a rehab center together to learn more about treatment.

Call Our Georgia Facility Today

At Mount Sinai Wellness Center, our team knows how important family is when it comes to recovery. After a person has completed rehab treatment, after all, they go back home to family members and friends and learn how to navigate life and relationships in healthier ways. Loved ones can also make the recovery process much easier when they know the best ways to support someone in recovery and how to not enable them. We offer visitation twice a week and are happy to sit down with you and your loved ones to discuss how you can move forward together.

Contact Mount Sinai Wellness Center online or by phone at (800) 353-4673 to get help for yourself or your loved one in Georgia. We’re pleased to offer family visitation hours, as family involvement is an important part of recovery.