Lying during addiction is a common occurrence. Addiction and lying have a common bond, in that substance users lie to hide the truth of their behavior. The untruths they tell are intended to camouflage their actions.

Lying is a coping mechanism and a method of protection commonly used by drug and alcohol users. The whole purpose is to be able to continue their substance use and also to avoid having to address the problems associated with it. It is not uncommon for family and friends to want to force the substance user to admit to their behavior, which can create great stress for both the user and the family.

Addiction and lying is also associated with the desire to avoid any negative conversation and confrontation. Alcohol and drug users will avoid people who criticize their use and situations that highlight their negative behavior. In many instances, loved ones may go along and accept the lies or at least pretend to.  Lying, along with avoidance and manipulation, are part of the behavior pattern of substance users.

Twelve step programs are based on the discredited theory that addiction is a disease and that substance users cannot help their behavior — that they are powerless to resist alcohol or drugs. Traditional treatment programs often consider alcohol and drug use to be caused by a genetic defect that has been passed down through the generations of their family – an alcohol or addiction gene.

Twelve step programs also warn substance users to avoid any stressful situation or environment that could cause them to relapse. Cognitive behavioral education asserts that stress and temptations are a natural part of life. It teaches users how to control their emotions and behaviors, including addiction and lying.

Coping mechanisms, according to behavioral professionals, are learned behaviors, as is substance use. Traditional treatment programs, which virtually always include the 12 steps, promote a victim mentality and claim that addicts are victims of their disease who have no control over their alcohol and drug use behavior. However, cognitive behavioral education is based on the fact that the ways people act result from the choices that they make.

Contrary to popular belief, addicts are not powerless, are not victims of an addiction disease, and have control over their behavior. Traditional treatment uses moral judgments, labels, and manipulation to force their members into compliance with their methods. On the other hand, cognitive behavioral education recognizes that substance use is a personal choice. It teaches practical and effective ways to overcome the use of substances.

The non-profit, non-religious St. Jude Retreats offer cognitive behavioral education and teach guests how to use self-assessment to reevaluate their goals and  how to change their choices to make them consistent with achieving those goals. Guests learn how they can develop positive habits and behaviors that will lead them to a more purposeful life free of unwanted substance use.