Drug Addicts and Alcoholics – Tell the Truth

When I was drunk or high, there was an easy way to tell if I was telling the truth … words were coming out of my mouth. I made up stories, even when the truth sounded better. It’s not a great way to live.  I could never pass the “duck test”. You may be familiar with this. It is when you are walking around town, you hear your name called and jump under a bush. I have been sober a long time now, and it feels good to be able to answer my phone, answer my door, open my mail and yes even turn around when someone calls my name.

So, if you are talking to a drunk alcoholic or a “high” drug addict, they are most likely not telling you the truth. Don’t get me wrong, lots of people lie and for all sorts of reasons. In fact 31% of people admit to lying on their resumes, 32% say they “stretched the truth” when giving their doctors personal information and 60% of people lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation (people lie more often over the phone than in any other form).

So, How to you detect a liar:

1. A liar will often use your words when answering a question.

– Did you use any drugs today?

– No, I did not use any drugs today.

2. A liar will often not use contractions

– Have you been drinking?

– No, I have not been drinking.

Truth telling methods
How do police detectives determine when a suspect is lying. Read about common interrogation techniques.

3. A liar will often make indirect statements and side-step a straight answer.

– Did you take my bottle of prescription painkillers?

– Does it look like I took your painkillers? Gee, if I was going to take someone’s painkillers, don’t you think I would have left already. (sometimes the person will actually help you look for the missing item).

4. A liar will often say way more than is necessary, telling a very elaborate story to sound more convincing.

– I had some emergency cash in that drawer over there, did you take it to go out drinking last night?

– No, I used my own money last night. I got it from the ATM on Gibsen Ave. Did you know they charge a $2 service fee. It’s really a rip off. I think I might even have the receipt. Let me go look for it.

5. A liar will often mumble or stammer

– Have you stopped using drugs?

– Well ….. garbled words follow …..

Body Language “Tells”
  • One classic liar move is touching the face, mouth or throat. Also, touching or rubbing the nose (sometimes the ear) can be an indication of deception.
  • A liar will also avoid eye contact.
  • A person not telling the truth will often stand stiffly, with little arm or hand movements. This is done unconsciously to try to make their body occupy less space.
  • Look for weird patterns regarding emotion. Indicators like showing too much emotion, or showing emotion for too long of a time. Also, there might be a gap between a person showing emotion verbally and physically. This is common to see when someone receives a present they do not like. First they say “This is great – I love it” and they smile afterwards. When the person smiles at the same time as saying the words, it tends to be more truthful of a statement.
  • When the person is smiling, look carefully to see if their whole face shows movement. A fake smile, is usually limited to the mouth area. A natural smile will use other muscle groups like the eyes and forehead.
Master the techniques to spot the liar
Compulsive lying
Read all about compulsive and pathological lying at this informative site. There is even a quiz
  1. If the person is an alcoholic or drug addict, get out of denial because almost everything that is said will be a lie (from my own personal experience).
  2. Watch body language
  3. Listen carefully to how they say things and what they say.
  4. Understand eye movements (If the person looks up and to the right, they are typically trying to visually remember something – like if you pose the question what was your first pet’s name.
  5. Study other subtle eye movements.
  6. Be on the lookout for irregular emotional patterns.

If an alcoholic or addict is lying to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad person. They are probably just very sick.  Don’t enable this person. Get them the help they need. There are also people who suffer from a mental illness that makes them lie. You might have heard the terms pathological and compulsive lying . These conditions can be treated too!

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14 thoughts on “Drug Addicts and Alcoholics – Tell the Truth

  1. in native cultures, at least the ones here in canada, “A liar will also avoid eye contact.” because culturally eye contact was intimate so when native person in court would look down and avoid eye contact. This was in a book I read to and I usually don’t make eye contact with most humans. Lying is part of the human condition and seems very hard to detect unless one uses blood test or the like. But I know it is money to do those tests. So finding a “tell” of addiction seems very much like guess work, as honing the skill to drink is very beneficial if one desires to continue drinking. Hope this was useful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What is this lying that you speak of? Ha! As a recovering addict myself, I remember asking that question often! Thanks for the reminder of where I could still be today but for the grace of God…

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  3. Lies always precede a narrative; excuses as it were. For me they were just as much internal as external. “Bad” behavior needs to blame something for its survival or it can’t continue, while the truth feels it can stand without explanation. The Big Book says it all at the beginning of chapter 5, How it Works

    “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being HONEST with themselves.”

    Just like it says on the coin, “To thine ownself be true.” Recognizing my OWN lies to myself was agonizing.

    Here is the one philosophy that changed everything for me. My sponsor asked me this question around six months into my recovery. “Alive or dead, fictional or not, can anyone I can think of make me do something I don’t want to do?” When I said no he congratulated me declared me and told me I was now responsible for EVERYTHING in my own life, No more blame, no more excuses.

    Man that guy used to make me angry……….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You made me literally laugh out loud – which is not easy because I am at a McDonald’s play land with my 7 year old. I have gotten so angry at sponsors who had the courage to tell me the truth. The best case was the woman who told me to forgive the ex boyfriend who clearly was a total jerk and 100% in the wrong. She had the patience to argue with me for over an hour. It was a good thing because we have been married for 10 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a friend who told some phenomenally destructive lies. She had been in recovery for 20 years, was heavily involved in AA, sponsored lots of people, and always talked about honesty and accountability. The stuff she did during our friendship still puzzles me. In the end I decided that she just had a personality type that couldn’t co-exist with honesty. If she wanted something, it was like she HAD to have it, regardless of what she had to say or do to get it.

    Since then, I’ve read posts by sober alcoholics who describe themselves in exactly those terms. (I am confident that she hadn’t relapsed.)

    Is this a common thing? I still feel burned by our friendship, and I wonder what I could have done to avoid it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would not blame yourself …. my experience has been the same. Most of the sober people I know are amongst the finest of people, anyone could know. However, every once in a while, someone comes along and burns me. It stings real bad too. But I wound not change your loving trusting ways. Being too suspicious of people can be lonely.

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