Addiction Excuses: The Lies Addicts in Denial Tell Themselves




Many would have addiction excuses when they are met with criticism or concern over their behavior or substance use. Let’s take a closer look at these excuses.

Here’s the deal. Many addicts don’t even know they’re addicted yet. Whether it’s to a substance such as meth or alcohol, or to a behavior such as gambling or online games–they would think their behaviors are justified.

In fact, they would blame everyone but themselves for whatever problem they’re having. They would always come up with excuses to justify what they’re doing.

Addiction Excuses and Addicts in Denial

Addiction excuses are common among people who have different kinds of addictions. In fact, it doesn’t matter what drug or activity you’re involved in. There will always be an excuse for that so they continue what they’re doing.

For some, they would believe these excuses strongly because they’re still in denial. They don’t know yet that they have a problem. In fact, they would even be defensive or even aggressive when someone points this out to them. Even those who express concern may be met with denial or anger.

There are those who know that they have a problem

Let’s take a look at some of the most common addiction excuses that people use.

“Everyone else does it.”

Sometimes, it just looks like this because they are surrounded by other users. As they succumb deeper into their addiction, they will stop doing the things they used to do, the activities they used to like doing. They may also find themselves choosing to be around those who are also using. They may even alienate or avoid their old circle of friends.

The truth, however, is that not everyone uses drugs or drinks or gambles. Those who do tend to surround themselves with those like them in order to support their addictive tendencies.

“I can stop whenever I want to.”

This is an addict’s idea that they are still in control. They are in denial of the problem and would use this addiction excuse often. This is a common mindset among those with substance use disorders. They think that they can still choose not to drink or use, when in fact, they may be deeply dependent on the substance. In fact, they may even have changes already in the reward circuitry in their brains that make it hard for them to stop.

addiction excuses in denial

“I’m not hurting anyone.”

This may be true at times. However, addiction has a way of eventually affecting and hurting those who are close to the addict. Their choices, even if it’s only directly detrimental to them, has a way of creating ripple effects on those around them, especially those who care about them.

“If I really have a problem, then I should be ___.”

Their idea of being addicted may be a myth, which is usually widespread due to how media portrays addiction. However, there is such a thing as a high-functioning addict. They are able to function and even excel at what they do. However, this doesn’t mean that what they are doing isn’t a problem.

“I deserve this after working so hard.”

Addicts would justify their behavior and this is one of the most common things they tell themselves and others. They would see their behavior as a way to reward themselves. In time, dependence will develop and they find themselves doing more of the reward than the actual work.

“I do better when I use/drink.”

They would think that they function better when they use or drink. Many performers, for example, would drink because they think they do better on stage after knocking down a few shots or some bottles. There are also those who use and believe that they do better in school or at work. They are more alert, more focused, more mellow, or generally just better. Of course, this is not really true as there are negative effects that come with this.

“I don’t have a problem. I’m not like ____. Look at him/her.”

They will compare themselves to others who may seem to have it worse. They will always do. And they will think they’re better than them. However, the truth is, there will always be those who may be drinking more, looking worse off, or having more problems.

While all these addiction excuses can be frustrating, you should be patient. Read between the lines. Avoid enabling. Better yet, make the seek the help they need.

Get professional addiction treatment from Bridges of Hope.

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