A. Most of the time, you can’t.
There is no hard and fast test for honesty in a person—especially a substance abuser. Don’t be surprised or terribly hurt if and when a recovering
person fails to tell you the truth. I have done this myself, and seen it
during my interactions with the men and women I’ve counseled over the
years (particularly those in the jails and prisons). The thought life of the
chemically dependent person is all about the drug—24/7/365.
When I was using drugs, I planned my days around getting high.
When someone asked me what I’d been doing, where I was going, where
I’d been, why I needed money, or when I would be back, I just made
things up. Honesty would only have caused more problems for me. My
attitude was, I’ll tell you whatever I need to say to get you off my back.
This is one reason recovery is difficult at first, since it means being
honest for the first time in a long time.
This “Q & A with Joe” is excerpted from Part 5 of “Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.“
Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
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MORE ASK JOE:
> Son needs $75 for drug dealer of he’ll be “killed for sure.”
>“I need help because I’m not able to deal with my live-in Fiance’s need to get drunk every night.”
> Should my husband “back off?”
addicted friend addicted loved one telling the truth addict telling the truth