How Your Honesty Affects Your Addiction Recovery

shutterstock_321921797Addiction recovery and rehab is all about breaking old destructive habits and establishing new patterns and codes of conduct that allow you to stay clean and sober. When you live life as an addict, you erect structures around yourself that support your addiction and substance abuse. One of the more common structures is deceiving yourself about your problems and lying to the people around you to cover up your conduct. If you are committed to your recovery, you will need to tear down that structure and replace it with a new sense of honesty, integrity and accountability.


A substance abuser who is in rehab and recovery will cite a long list of reasons for his or her dishonesty. Addicts might develop a sense of habitual lying, or they may fear the consequences of telling the truth about their problems to friends, family and coworkers. Many people, and not only addicts, use lying as a tool to avoid confrontation. It’s easier to agree and go with the flow rather than express the truth about something. Substance abusers will take this proclivity to extremes to justify their habits. An addict might also feel a sense of satisfaction after lying about something and getting away with it, which only deepens a sense of dishonesty.


An alcoholic or drug addict might enter a rehab and recovery program with a feeling that it will be sufficient to simply break his or her chemical dependencies, and that there is no need to address other destructive habits like dishonesty. This attitude, however, often generates a high risk of relapse. The habits and tendencies that created and supported an addiction can lie dormant for long periods of time if they are not addressed and eliminated. A substance abuser might stay clean for a long period of time, but when confronted by stress or some other trigger, that person’s dormant habits can come roaring back. Once again in this situation the addict will simply lie to himself and others to cover up a relapse.


Fostering a sense of honesty, integrity and accountability in rehab and recovery is not as simple as flipping a switch. The first stage in its development is learning to admit mistakes and to accept responsibility for them as soon as they happen. Holding on to a lie, particularly if a person gets away with the lie, will only encourage further dishonesty. Over time, a person who readily admits mistakes will find that he or she is making fewer of them. Honesty can then become as much of a person’s new personality as a replacement for the lying and dishonesty that characterized him while he was addicted.


Addiction recovery programs, including those that follow 12-step methodologies, generally include self-analysis stages in which an addict takes an inventory of his or her life, and openly confesses the mistakes and omissions that fostered an addiction. These are often the most difficult parts of an addiction and recovery program, but they are included in the program because they do enhance longer-term success while reducing the likelihood of a relapse. Please call the staff and counselors at LEAD treatment at 800-380-0012 for more information about developing a sense of honesty, integrity and accountability in your addiction recovery and rehab program.