A DeLand, Florida, man took $425 out of his bank account to spend on cocaine and then realized he had to come up with a story to tell his wife. In an attempt to cover the loss of funds, he called DeLand police and reported he had been robbed at gun point by two men. He gave details – the men’s height, what they said to him, what kind of shoes they were wearing – and based on his report, police went in search of the suspects with K-9 units.
It didn’t take long for them to figure out that the man’s story and actual events didn’t add up. K-9 units found no trace of anything suspicious. Other people in the area at the time said they saw nothing. Then footage of the front of the gas station, where the man said he was robbed showed nothing but him walking in and out casually, without talking to anyone.
When confronted with the evidence, the man confessed that he had gone to the convenience store to withdraw the cash and buy cocaine, and didn’t want his wife to find out.
He was reportedly charged with perjury in an official capital proceeding and was held without bond due to a probation violation related to grand theft.
Lies and More Lies
Lying and addiction go together for almost everyone. In most cases, the reasons for lying include a desire to:
- Continue to get high without intervention: For someone living in active addiction, the primary goal is to keep the flow of substances going and to continue to get and stay high. The prospect of someone potentially getting in the way of that process causes many to lie to the people around them, not just about the money spent but also about whether or not they are under the influence, how much they use, what they use, and where they go when they are gone without explanation for hours or even days.
- Avoid an argument: Maintaining an addiction is exhausting, physically and emotionally, and dealing with fights over one’s whereabouts and money, and keeping up with the lies, is part of the reason. Most people living in addiction will do anything to sidestep an argument. For many, that means lying to cover up the choices they know will cause conflict with others and potentially stop them from being able to continue the behaviors that support their addiction.
- Avoid embarrassment: For many, it is clear that their addiction is a growing problem. On some level, they may know this and yet still be embarrassed that they are unable to manage the problem on their own. Even if they know that they will need treatment in order to manage the disorder, to get treatment potentially means admitting to everyone they know that they are dealing with an addiction, and that can be a very difficult thing to do. As a result, they may feel it is necessary to lie to cover up their use of substances in an attempt to avoid embarrassment and maintain the illusion that all is well or that their use is recreational or medicinal in nature.
- Continue believing that their circumstance is unique and their drug use is justifiable: For some, lying happens as they attempt to justify their use of drugs and alcohol. Continually saying that their high levels of marijuana use or prescription drug use is medicinal, or covering up the consequences of drug use (e.g., job loss, losing custody of children, eviction, etc.), is all part of justifying continued use of these substances. To admit that drug use played a role in these consequences would be to admit to themselves and others that they are living with an addiction disorder and not that they are being unfairly treated or even discriminated against based on their so-called “medicinal” use of substances.
Time to Tell the Truth
Continually lying to cover up drug use, the means of getting more drugs, or the consequences caused by drug use is a red flag that addiction is a problem. Family members who accept these lies as fact may inadvertently be contributing to their loved one’s ongoing addiction.
Is it time for you to ask the hard questions and get to the truth of the matter so you can help your loved one enter a drug rehab program?