A main symptom of addiction is lying. Lying to yourself (denial) and lying to others. ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’, that’s how the expression goes and it’s real. When addicts lie they believe that others can’t tell that they are not telling the truth. That is why it is important to communicate what we see to an addict instead of being too embarrassed to say that they look stoned, drunk or that they seem to be concealing something. The best way to do that is to say that their eyes are giving the game away and then let go of the outcome. In other words, don’t expect an addict to own up straight off. Instead say what you see and feel, and then be prepared to walk away rather than argue the point.
I was running a halfway house meeting
for men in recovery from drug addiction
one of the guys came late and made a feeble excuse
and his behaviour was suspicious
I felt uncomfortable and so I asked him
what he had used?
he denied it vehemently
addiction is lying
I then repeated my question, unemotionally
and he owned up that he had used codeine
saying that usually he got away with his lies
I then offered to take him to a detox unit
as the house rule stipulated so that
he would be given one more chance
to come back
I had trusted my gut feeling and
he gave up the lie
it’s as simple as that!