Why do addicts lie? No matter how much you want to believe them, they end up duping you–letting you get hurt all for the sake of getting their next fix.
The sad thing is, lying is a hallmark of addiction. When a person becomes addicted to substances such as drugs and alcohol, or behaviors such as sex and gambling, the addiction hijacks the brain. The person is motivated only by the addiction and the next time they have to fulfill the addiction. Meanwhile, they lose their sense of reality, especially empathy–that other people around them have feelings and get hurt by their actions.
For families of addicts, the fact that the addict would unflinchingly lie to their face–often several times without them knowing–is heartbreaking. But why do addicts lie? Here are 5 reasons.
Early trauma leads to addiction
Childhood trauma would lead adults to seek solace in substances in order to hide or forget their pain. Over time, they see the addiction as their comfort and haven from the world’s troubles and from their own personal demons that they distort what is real and not. So, addicts lie to get what they want, in order to support their addiction, and some doesn’t even know that they’re lying.
Addicts wouldn’t acknowledge that they have a problem. They would resort to lying to escape the fact what they’re doing is wrong. Often, they would gloss over the facts in order to continue their addiction and would even call other people the liars.
Not being self-aware
Addicts are so focused on getting their next fix and covering their tracks that they don’t even have time to step back and make an honest inventory of themselves. They don’t even realize that they are lying over things that they could just as easily tell the truth on. Addicts lie because it has become second nature to them and they don’t see there’s something wrong.
Guilt and Shame
They may be hiding behind the guilt and shame of putting their family through distress because of their addiction. They may also be embarrassed to accept that there’s something wrong with them. They don’t realize that they have lost control and would just lie to patch things up.
They may actually not be lying. Chances are, they may think that there really is nothing wrong with them, that they’re perfectly healthy and fine, and that their family life and career are not in shambles. They would continue lying to survive, doing what they can’t help but do, and not face the consequences of their actions and decisions.
Over time, the addict will believe the lies they tell other people and would also believe the lies they tell themselves. Reality gets blurred and all that matters is them and their addiction.