Why Do Alcoholics Lie?

April 24, 2020 , Agape Treatment Center

why do alcoholics lie?If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol addiction, chances are you have noticed that their behaviors are erratic and incomprehensible. In many instances, alcoholics lie to their friends and family to cover up their behaviors. Alcohol use disorder leads to the strong mental and physical urge to drink which often affects the way an individual makes decisions.

Addiction, of any kind, is classified as a disorder of the brain that causes an individual to continue abusing substances despite negative consequences. Morals, beliefs, and values of an individual may take a back seat to the incessant need to satisfy the alcohol craving – this includes honesty. Lying in order to consume more alcohol is just one of the many reasons why alcoholics lie, despite causing harm to spouses, families, friends, faith, and careers. Examining the motivation behind an alcoholic’s dishonesty can help family members and friends understand what is happening in the mind of their loved one and learn how to respond accordingly.

Alcoholism and Dishonesty

If you have a loved one who struggles with alcoholism, you most likely feel confused, resentful, and hurt by their lying. You may question why someone would destroy their life, health, and relationships only to get drunk. In order to understand why alcoholics lie frequently, it is vital for you to understand the logic of addiction and the thought process behind the alcohol abuse that often cultivates dishonesty.

There are several “reasons” why individuals who have alcohol use disorders often lie to the people around them. Below we have outlined popular reasons why honesty is such a problem among alcoholics.

Alcoholism is Stigmatized

First and foremost, many individuals who suffer from alcoholism are ashamed to admit that they may have a drinking problem. Our society stigmatizes alcohol abuse and addiction. Therefore, many individuals will attempt to hide or disguise their disease in order to avoid judgment. Your loved one may lie to mask shame or to avoid common ridicule from their peers. Furthermore, stigma causes many alcoholics to avoid rehab. A 2007 study showed that 37% of college students did not seek substance abuse treatment in fear of facing societal stigmas.

Many Alcoholics Lie to Avoid Problems

Oftentimes, alcoholics have never learned the proper coping skills in order to deal with life’s problems and adversity. Furthermore, these individuals cope by consuming copious amounts of alcohol or other substances and may question why you would want to keep them away from something that helps them. As a result, it is not uncommon for alcoholics to lie about their drinking problems in order to maintain their unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

Lying to Protect Their Addiction

People with alcohol use disorder or addiction are generally numbing themselves from physical, mental, or emotional pain. You probably have heard baffling stories of mothers unable to stop drinking in order to maintain custody of their children or fathers who get wasted and lose their jobs. Furthermore, you probably ask yourself how and why someone would continue drinking under such risky and reckless circumstances. The truth is, if an alcoholic admits that they have a problem and they are causing pain for others, it would most likely amplify the pain they are attempting to avoid by way of abusing alcohol. Therefore, one of the reasons why many alcoholics lie to themselves and others is because they truly believe that they are only hurting themselves. This dishonesty preserves and even prolongs addiction.

Lying to Maintain the Delusion That They’re Drinking is Under Control

Substance abuse alters reality for someone with alcohol use disorder. Often times, these individuals experience grandiose and victimizing delusions. The reality addiction is sometimes too painful, therefore, many alcoholics construct a reality in which their excessive drinking is not a problem. Individuals struggling with binge drinking or alcohol use disorder might convince themselves that they can quit drinking whenever they want. However, these individuals usually drink to the point of blacking out every day. When they try to stop drinking, the alcohol withdrawal symptoms are too dangerous and too much to confront without the help of an alcohol rehab.

Lying to Avoid Confrontation and Alcohol Rehab

If someone you love is an alcoholic, it is likely that you have attempted to confront their drinking problem. Most likely this individual has lied or brushed off the conversation in order to avoid any discussion surrounding their excessive drinking. Even a compassionate confrontation would likely reveal an alcohol use disorder and the individual would have to face the reality that he/she needs rehab. The stress of confrontation is often overwhelming for an alcoholic, as this could serve as a barrier to their addiction.

Getting Help For Alcoholism

People who struggle with alcoholism often lie, but the lies should not divert attention from the problem at hand – active alcoholism. Underlying issues that often contribute to addiction must be exposed, acknowledged, and explored. Do not allow the manipulation and lies of your alcoholic loved one to prevent you from seeking an alcohol rehab program that could save their life. Whether or not your loved one lies to you about their alcoholism, it is worthwhile for you to confront them and offer them the gift of substance abuse treatment and ultimately recovery.

Whether you have to stage an intervention or uphold firm boundaries with your loved one, doing so will stop enabling his or her drinking habits. It’s painful to watch a loved one suffer and it’s painful to be lied to, but it’s important to not lose hope. Recovery is possible and our staff is here to help. Give us a call today to learn about our alcoholism treatment programs.