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10 Things Addicts Say to Justify Their Alcohol Addiction

The lies we tell to preserve our dignity are sometimes necessary. Other times, they’re downright destructive. The things addicts say to justify their actions could be influenced by their need to belong, to avoid judgment, or to maintain their bad habits.

Understanding that people with addiction may feel challenged in many different ways will help guide them in the right direction. We need to recognize these challenges and their excuses early-on.

Here are the top 10 lies someone with addiction might say, and how we can redirect the narrative.

1. “I’m Under a Lot of Stress”

This one is among the most common lies addicts tell, and a very harmful one too.

Using alcoholic beverages as a coping mechanism can invite more problems to an addict’s life. If alcohol seems capable of providing temporary relief, it is only because it impairs memory, which might cause temporary memory loss.

However, the problem worsens if their health declines as they continue to depend on alcohol for relief. The better way to deal with stress would be to learn healthy coping mechanisms. Consulting a professional can help reduce dependency on dangerous substances, but also develop healthy habits, and overall, a healthy lifestyle.

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2. “I Only Drink on Weekends”

A “weekend alcoholic” may associate drinking with pleasant social experiences. But whether this type of addict drinks alone or with others, it is still considered a form of binge drinking.

Binge drinking is one of the most common forms of excessive alcohol use. You may have heard some binge drinkers remark that it’s not a cause for concern, as they only drink on weekends with friends, but regardless of how often one drinks, alcohol can still cause organ damage, especially if weekend drinking means heavy drinking.

While binge drinking is still not considered an addiction, binge drinkers are at a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder, so keep an eye on your or your loved one’s consumption.

3. “I Don’t Drink in the Morning”

Being able to choose what time of day to drink does not automatically prove that someone is not an alcoholic. A person can maintain a normal lifestyle while being dependent on alcohol, they’re called “high-functioning alcoholics.”

Although use of the term in medical sciences has been discontinued, the fact remains that to qualify someone with alcohol use disorder (AUD), they only have to meet two (2) of the 11 DSM-5 criteria for AUD.

While drinking early in the morning, especially on an empty stomach, can lead to more severe problems, drinking later in the day still has a negative impact on health and should never be preferred or encouraged.

4. “I Only Drink Beer and Wine”

AUD does not discriminate between soft and hard liquor, it just chooses alcohol. In fact, there are cases where an alcoholic, unable to get hold of liquor, will try to compensate by drinking other forms of alcohol, like mouthwash, for example.

The danger of appropriating addiction to certain types of beverages only can lead one to develop severe AUD. So, be mindful of your or your loved one’s alcohol intake.

5. “Alcohol Gives Me Confidence”

As mentioned earlier, alcohol impairs cognitive function, and for some, this may feel like getting a little boost of confidence. What actually happens during these moments is the brain’s ability to recognize cause and effect becomes compromised, which can lead to reckless behaviour or false confidence.

Reckless behaviour can lead to other problems like injury, property damage or even death. Someone experiencing challenges with their self-esteem can still find healthy ways to build their confidence.

If you are uncertain that you or someone you know are on the right track, it would help to consult a medical professional. There’s no shame in getting assessed; and getting the help you need soon can help you achieve a more satisfying life.

6. “I Have Never Blacked Out”

AUD does not always lead to blackouts as it can be mild, moderate or severe. Even if an alcoholic can successfully finish their day without blacking out, their condition can still worsen. If not treated, alcoholics can increasingly become tolerant of or dependent on alcohol, experience blackouts and serious health complications.

a couple faces away from each other on a couch

7. “Everyone Else Is Doing It”

Peer pressure can be tough on some people, but it shouldn’t force anyone to try or indulge in alcohol. While common among teenagers, it can affect anyone at any age, especially in work situations, where social drinking could be used as a form of networking or expected during corporate events.

Recognize your triggers and learn to stand your ground when offered an alcoholic drink. If your network of friends, family and coworkers are directly or indirectly forcing you to drink, it’s time to rewire and avoid these negative influences.

However, if someone you know is choosing to use their peers as an excuse to drink, a mentor or medical professional would be better suited to reset their habits and teach them coping strategies—especially if they are at risk of relapse.

8. “My Addiction Does Not Affect Anyone”

Among the lies addicts tell, this is part of the most destructive ones. Alcoholics might think that their addiction has no direct impact on other people, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in regards to their loved ones.

When addicts start to prioritize substance abuse over their responsibilities, they might start to slowly neglect their job, child and family care, household chores, or their studies. As the addiction worsens, it can also lead to violence, in which case, it becomes a direct hazard to other people’s safety.

9. “I Can’t Afford Rehab”

Last year, Health Canada announced the first national guideline on alcohol use disorder. Along with that is the funding for supporting treatment of alcohol-related harms and AUD through select organizations.

For financially challenged patients wanting to get government-funded treatment, there are more options now than ever.

10. “You’re Not a Doctor, You Can’t Diagnose Me”

Overcoming addiction starts with acknowledgment. Many patients refuse to admit their struggle, or are genuinely unaware of their addiction.

Getting help on behalf of a loved one can be beneficial for both the addict and the people around them. Doing it early will also result in better prognosis and higher success rates, and consequently, may aid in preserving or mending relationships affected by AUD.

Self-Awareness and Acceptance Aids in Recovery

Are you lying to yourself or to your family members? Is anyone in your circle addicted to alcohol? The things addicts say to justify substance abuse could be due to lack of self-awareness or denial. Either way, Freedom From Addiction can help.

Getting professional aid can transition you safely into sobriety, reduce damage to your health, and bring positive change to all aspects of your life. We’re just one call away.

Our compassionate and discreet treatment consultants are available 24/7 to help you start your journey to recovery. Get in touch with us now.


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