OK let’s be honest here. If you’re the parent of an addict then you’ve likely already heard your fair share of tall tales, exaggerations and even bold-faced lies from your loved one. And if you’re like most of the parents we meet, then it probably made you feel hurt, furious, and confused. It likely has you questioning yourself and wondering what else they’ve told you is a lie? It may even cause you to sneak around and start spying on your loved one, in the quest for evidence to prove your suspicions.
How do we know? Well, we’ve been there. Every one of us at Seasons has addicts in our lives and has seen the effects the disease has on not just the addict, but also their families. This is a family problem. The result is heartbreak and it’s the same for almost every parent we speak with. Dishonest behavior is simply part of the landscape of addiction that not only fuels the fire of their disease; it destroys the trust that forms the basis of the relationship you once held so dearly.
THERE’S NO JUSTIFICATION BUT THERE IS A REASON
Let’s start by acknowledging the hurt. It’s a deeply painful experience to be lied to by the ones we love. Many parents take it personally and feel terribly hurt and angered by the deceptions of their addict children. But the truth of the matter is, the addict is not lying to hurt you, they are simply lying to get the medicine they need to stay alive.
This may sound dramatic and even permissive, but it’s not. Dishonest behavior is never ok, but you may be slightly comforted to know that a ‘using addict’ is simply not in control of what comes out of their mouths. They’re in a situation where their disease, in whatever form it takes, is driving them to get and use as much drugs or alcohol as they can, then find ways to get and use some more. The key to achieving this is almost always through dishonesty on one level or another and you are the likely victim.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
We often hear parents say they blame themselves for their children’s addictions. They wonder what they did wrong, and whether they should have acted or reacted differently. They wonder if they should have cut their children off earlier, or not cut them off at all. But most of all, they wonder if their kids will ever be OK again. Or if they’re tragically destined to a broken life where nothing is important but the next fix, or the next drink. And what’s worse in these situations is that anyone who stands in their way, including you, will pay the price.
If these thoughts sound familiar then you should know that you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone who has a using addict in their lives experiences dishonesty and feels hurt by it. The key is learning how to deal with it in a way that keeps you safe. So, here, in a humble attempt to lighten the no doubt heavy load on your shoulders, we thought we’d list out the seven most common lies we hear young addicts tell. It’s a serious topic but we try to remain lighthearted about it because we know that an admission of dishonesty is also the first step to recovery where change is possible and hope becomes a reality.
If you’ve heard any of the excuses on the list that follows then it may be worth considering taking action. While you can’t control what your addict child does, you can offer them a chance at recovery with an intervention and an opportunity to make a change. Read on then contact us at Seasons if you want some more information about how to start the process.
SEVEN LIES YOUR ADDICT WILL TELL YOU
- “Leave me alone! I’m going out now to see my therapist”
This will likely be delivered in a self righteous and annoyed tone of voice. Whether or not they actually show up for the appointments you have painstakingly organized (and paid for) is another story.
- “Look, I’m only late because the car broke down, chill out!”
If they’re even bothering to respect your curfews any longer, then this is a commonly used tactic to get them a few extra hours away from the restrictions and expectations of the home environment.
- “What money?”
Straight up denial is a common defense mechanism and addicts will use it in almost every situation, naively believing that you don’t know what’s really going on – and even offering alternate excuses like, ‘you must have lost it’ which are delivered with wide eyed false authenticity.
- “How dare you! I don’t appreciate these accusations”
Self-righteous insistence of innocence and deflection by guilt mongering is a classic addict tactic. They will use wounded eyes and an absolute cracker of an excuse to sneak out of almost every blame worthy situation. Sadly, if you hear this, it’s likely they’re as guilty as sin.
- “I already told you! There’s nothing going on.”
They’re likely to offer this one on a Sunday morning (when they’re supposed to be with you at a family outing) but simply can’t get out of bed, or even show up anywhere on time when their presence is requested.
- “But everyone has two phones. One is for calling and the other has my music on it.”
The truth here is that they likely picked up that prepaid Nokia in order to contact dodgy dealers and socialize without the risk of getting busted by the cops. Addicts are smart, they watch movies and they know exactly how to hide their biggest secret.
- “Great news, I found a job working nights in a call center in the city.”
For the most part, young ice addicts are night dwellers. The drug keeps them awake, the parties are ongoing, and the fun never seems to end. But if your addict begins making claims of a mysterious new night job you may want to think twice about where that money is actually coming from.
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY
So there we have it, the top seven fibs that your young addict is likely to tell you at one point or another. If this list sounds familiar and you think your son or daughter could be ready to admit their problem, then have a look around our website. While they have to make the decision themselves to start recovery, you can place a well-timed opportunity in their pathway to ease the process.
Seasons Bali offers young addicts the chance to take some time out in a therapeutic community that is based on the successful 12-step model of recovery from addiction. Get in touch with us today to find out more about what you can do to help.