Why Do Addicts Lie and Manipulate?

Lie detector

Nearly every family of an addicted person encounters this shocking fact: The addicted lie and manipulate those around them. Even those who have long been close to one’s heart—like one’s children or a spouse—will lie to one’s face, These were people who were loved and trusted, sometimes for decades before addiction came to live in the home.

It’s a brutal reality that it takes some families years to come to grips with. Some families never do come to grips with it. But every day that a family fails to realize that they are being lied to and manipulated, addiction gets to thrive and maintain its of influence.

Why They Do it

father and son having an argument

Why don’t addicts realize that their families have their best interests at heart and want to help? Why do they lie about their drug or alcohol use and the problems it creates? Why do they make up stories about robberies or lost jobs to get money? Why do they lie about a hundred other things and manipulate families to keep them from stopping drug use or drinking?

Think of it this way: Their need for drugs is making them crazy. When cravings kick in, they are so completely overwhelmed that all other considerations—like love, truth and honor—take a back seat. The need for drugs seems as vital as breathing or having food after starving for a long period. No other thought can even co-exist in their worlds. One woman described her sensation of overwhelming need for drugs as literally making her insane.

But there’s a second reason they lie and it happens as soon as the drugs take effect the very first time. It’s the same reason a person can continue to use drugs after the destruction starts. Drugs immediately begin to shut down the user’s ability to be analytical. As soon as the effects of the drug kick in, the user has a lowered capacity for objective thought and decisions.

So someone smoking marijuana every day can think the mellow feelings that result are desirable while quickly forgetting about educational goals that were so important just a few weeks ago. If those goals do occur to her, it’s easy to make them go away with a little more weed.

A sober alcoholic can be determined to use his money wisely but after a single drink, it looks acceptable to spend all his money on booze. That analytical ability went out like a light with the first drink. In fact, this is also what happens with triggers. The effect of triggers is to lower a person’s ability to be objective and so that devastating decision can be made to have a drink or use drugs again.

Morality and Ethics Soon Depart

Young man recalls stealing

Once those analytical, objective capacities are lowered, it’s not a big jump to the loss of morals. When an addicted person is desperate to prevent withdrawal cravings and sickness, criminal acts they never ever would have engaged in begin to look like the only way they can survive. This is how a person who was honest and ethical his whole life can begin assaulting people and robbing them, breaking into houses, stealing valuables from his family or prostituting himself or herself.

Now add guilt to the mix. Guilt acts like concrete laid on top of the analytical shutdown, cravings and crimes. Now the addicted person struggles with a burden that can’t be faced. The person is now locked in that destructive pattern of behavior.

Recovery—a Process of Peeling Off the Layers

For recovery to be lasting, a person must work through all these layers of damage, relieving the guilt and restoring the ability to be objective. This recovery takes time which is why there is no set time limit for the Narconon drug rehab program. Each person works his way through these layers at his own rate.

The first layer of relief on the Narconon program comes from the New Life Detoxification Program—a deep detox utilizing a sauna, moderate exercise and nutritional supplements. This combination enables the body to dislodge drug residues that remain behind even after drug or alcohol use stops. As the residues are flushed out, a person’s outlook brightens and his thinking becomes clearer. Most people say their cravings are greatly reduced. Some even say cravings are gone and that their constant dreams of drug use finally stop. Now a person can begin to think for himself again.

Friends talking

Next, each person must learn how to face the harm that has been done and find relief from the guilt. This major step forward occurs on the Personal Values Course. Here, a person discovers how integrity was lost and learns the procedure for recovering it. Each person has the full support of Narconon staff who understand that this process is difficult to face. Those in recovery may need help working through the harm they have done to those they love. But at the end, many people feel a weight lift as they recover their self-respect and love for others.

One person completing this life skills course commented, “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest and I no longer have to do those things that badly affect my life. I no longer have to slowly destroy my body and my personal property.”

Call us today to help someone you love get started on the Narconon drug rehab program.