We’ve all been challenged by our kids lying when they have a substance use problem.
Your child may tell an outright lie, or they may omit information. Either way, it is a struggle to deal with.
I recently spoke with a mom who was frustrated with her son’s lying.
“I want him to admit the truth,” she exclaimed.
A common line that I’ve heard is, “The drugs are not mine, I’m holding them for my friend.” I remember falling for that one as well. So often we just want to believe anything that will make the problem go away.
Lying seems to be an integral part of addiction. When you think about it, it makes sense. Or does it?
According to Tom Horvath, Ph.D. and president of Practical Recovery, “I don’t think substance users have a monopoly on lying. Anyone who has done something another person doesn’t approve of may misrepresent reality when asked about it. Don’t all of us at times spin/bend/misrepresent reality to others, for various reasons?”
“The perspective of the questioner has a major impact on substance users. If you are seeking to ‘catch’ someone, you are much more likely to hear a story based on not getting caught.”
We addicts definitely know that lying is crucial when it comes to surviving once you’re forced to feed a harrowing opioid [habit?] – erm – addiction. Personally, I can still clearly remember lying to members of immediate and distant family, along with friends and acquaintances over the course of a week-long Thanksgiving break one year, just to take advantage of the fact that a lot of former classmates from high school would be back in town visiting their families for the holiday. I would even attempt going to some of these kids’ parents looking for money! I just spewed insincere charm like a broken oil rig. (Some of my targets took the bait, but most of them did not, by the way.)
I am so incredibly thankful for a life of recovery now if, for nothing else, to never have to lie again.