Substance Use

Why Do Addicts Lie?

young man hiding alcohol in his jacket

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Why Do Addicts Lie So Much?

Sometimes people try to hide their drug or alcohol use and signs of addiction from others, especially at school or work. Living a double life is difficult for an individual with substance use disorder, and a need for self-preservation may cause them to lie about their substance use. Others might lie to avoid confronting the addiction, and some may lie to obtain more drugs. No matter the reasons, lying is part and parcel of the disease. 

If you or a loved one is concealing drug abuse or alcohol addiction, it may feel like you’ve lost control — but there is help. We understand the challenges of this disease and will treat you with dignity and respect during your treatment. If you’re ready to confront your addiction with experts who care, call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 today.

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#1 They’re in Denial

Family members or friends of an individual with substance use disorder may be concerned about signs of addiction and confront them, hoping they’ll seek addiction treatment. Many times, they’re disappointed when the person denies their own behavior.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, denial is refusing to acknowledge imminent harm or harm that has already occurred.

It is important to know that not all substance users deny using addictive substances. Some might admit to using but are unaware of the severity of their substance abuse, or assume the situation isn’t as bad as others believe.

Other reasons for denial include:

  • Not believing they could be helped
  • Not knowing how to move forward to recovery
  • Feeling they can quit at any time

#2 Fear of Going to Jail

In all states across the U.S., possession of illicit drugs, whether prescription grade or black-market, is a crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, type of drug and amount, and any previous arrests, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felon. To avoid a fine or jail time for violation of parole or probation, an individual may lie about possession or recent use of drugs.

#3 To Keep Their Job

An person struggling with substance use may lie to keep their job.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, federal and non-federal workplaces with federal contracts of $100,000 or more or federal grants of any amount must implement a drug-free workplace program. This program helps reduce substance use on-premises and identifies employees with substance use disorder.

But, a failed drug test doesn’t always mean a person will lose their job. Some employers have a last chance agreement policy and agree to keep the person employed, so long as they receive treatment for substance abuse. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, the Family Medical Leave Act may help. FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of leave for those wishing to enroll in an addiction treatment program at an inpatient rehab like Zinnia Health. Call today at (855) 430-9439 to find out more.

#4 To Avoid Confronting What Caused the Addiction

Some people lie about an addiction to avoid reliving a traumatic event like:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • A terrible accident

To treat the addiction, however, an individual with substance use disorder must explore why they began using and develop coping tools. Without this critical step, they risk serious complications caused by long-term drug use. 

#5 They’re Not Aware That They Have An Addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction occurs when you can’t stop taking drugs despite negative consequences The compulsion is so strong that you’ll continue to use the drug even if you’re harming yourself. Over time, this addiction replaces everything you enjoy, and you will do almost anything to get it.

Drugs work on various parts of the brain where they attach to neurotransmitters and reprogram them. They control the release of hormones, like serotonin and dopamine, which create the sensation of euphoria and a temporary high.

Repeated drug use directly impacts the basal ganglia — known as the brain’s reward center. Over time, circuits in the basal ganglia adapt to drug use, reducing their sensitivity to dopamine. This means the user has to ingest more to have a similar high.

People with an addiction often cannot control their impulses or make rational decisions. However, they feel they are thinking clearly. Loved ones who confront the addict about their addiction might be surprised when the user denies having one.

#6 To Obtain More Drugs

One reason addicts might lie about their drug use is to secure the means to obtain more drugs. Those struggling with substance use disorder may seek to borrow money from family or friends to support their habit. If they admit to having an addiction, their loved ones may not help them financially, so they lie.

A substance user develops tolerance after using the same drug repeatedly. Tolerance means they’ll need higher doses to get their desired effects, which can be costly. This might cause them to lie for more money.

#7 To Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms  

An individual may lie about their addiction for fear of developing withdrawal symptoms once they stop.

Withdrawal is a tormenting condition that plagues individuals with addiction. It occurs when the person has a psychological and physical dependency on the drug.

According to the National Library of Medicine, withdrawal from opioids like heroin, opium, and morphine results in the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

Some addicts experience low blood pressure, dizziness, and changes in heart rate. These symptoms require medical intervention and treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility to avoid complications.

Medication-assisted treatment at a rehab provides medications like buprenorphine to cut drug cravings and disrupt changes in the brain that cause withdrawal. Despite this, an addict might believe they must use more drugs to stop the symptoms.

Getting Help for Addiction

The unpleasant truth is a person has to accept that they have an addiction in order to get help. Despite the stigma attached to addiction, being open about it is the only way to get the help you deserve. No amount of rationalization will make the symptoms of alcohol abuse or substance abuse disappear

The next step is to contact a drug detox center for help achieving sobriety. Detox provides a safe space for the substance to leave your system while taking medications to treat withdrawal.

By enrolling in a residential rehab program, you’ll receive one-on-one therapy to discover the root cause of your addiction. You’ll also receive behavioral therapy to replace addictive behaviors with productive ones. Additional treatment options like Alcoholics Anonymous and family support groups work to break the cycle of addiction.

If you’re ready to live life on your terms — free from addiction, contact Zinnia Health treatment centers at (855) 430-9439 today. 

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(855) 430-9439
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