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.“
As the mom of a child struggling with addiction, and the author of ‘The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction,’ my ‘go to’ book is still “Why Don’t They Just Quit? ~Sandy Swenson
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A
Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you to better understand those who are dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ
addicted friend addicted loved one telling the truth addict telling the truth