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Many times individuals who are addicted to drugs and alcohol mistakenly live in a fantasy world that is out of touch with reality. This fantasy world often develops as the addictive substance takes control of an person’s life, causing the substance to become top priority for that person. This, in turn, causes addicts to lie to themselves in order to justify their actions and decisions surrounding the substance. Here are 5 of the most common lies you’ll see repeated by addicts, so that you can be better prepared to help those who are suffering from serious addiction.

1. The only person that I am hurting is myself.

One of the biggest lies that addicts tell themselves is that their actions are only hurting themselves. This is simply not true. A person with an addiction is always hurting someone other than themselves, whether it is an employer, family member, friend, or neighbor. Those who live or work with the affected individual, for example, will often be at the receiving end of heightened irritability or mood swings. And, of course, those suffering from addiction often begin to fall short of responsibilities at work and at home. The actions of an addict will always affect someone around them negatively.

2. Life is more enjoyable with drugs and alcohol.

The idea that one can only have fun with alcohol and drugs is a major misconception. The most enjoyable memories that people make are when they are sober—especially because they can, in fact, remember them. You do not need to be high or drunk in order to have a fun and fulfilling time.

3. I only use a couple days a week, so I am not an addict.

Telling yourself that because you only overindulge on drugs or alcohol a couple times a week—and not every day—is another lie addicts tell themselves. Addiction is not defined by how many times a week a person partakes of the substance. Rather, addiction is defined by the use of the substance despite the outcome and/or consequences. It is important to remember that addicts can still only drink or take drugs once or twice a week and still be considered addicts.

4. I am not like that person who is reliant on drugs, so I don’t really have a problem.

One way that addicts excuse their actions is by using the deceitful tactic of comparison. Some addicts will state that because they are not homeless and buying drugs like the man who lives on their corner, they don’t actually have a problem. A person living on the street, however, is just as likely to lose their life to a one-time overdose as you are. Comparing your addiction to someone else’s addiction is not reality.

5. I can choose to either smoke or drink, but I am not an addict if I am not doing both.

Talking to yourself this way is one of the fastest ways to form an addiction. Many addicts think that if they are cherry picking their methods of addiction (like alcohol or drugs) then they are not an addict. This is simply false. One substance is enough to confirm the presence of an addiction.