The Value of Honesty in the Midst of Addiction

The Value of Honesty in the Midst of Addiction

A 2006 edition of the Annual Review of Neuroscience argues that addiction changes brain chemistry in ways that damages decision-making, judgment and honesty about substance abuse. Addicts often hide their drug use, understate how often they use and they lie to friends and family members about loans, financial problems, sobriety and other issues. Many addicts even lie to themselves about their ability to control drug use, because deception is commonly associated with drug habits. However, a commitment to honesty can help with safety, rehab and recovery.

Many drug addicts learn to be dishonest, but honesty can help addicts in the following ways:

  • Loved ones can provide more appropriate help while limiting drug-related harm
  • The addict can better maintain trust and respect in important relationships
  • Being forthright about drug habits helps addicts stay tethered to reality
  • Dishonesty about drug use can lead to denying adverse effects and overdose signs
  • Admitting an addiction paves the way toward recovery

Even if an addict is not ready to quit, her honesty opens the door to discussion, which can play a vital role in getting help. For example, ARISE (A Relational Intervention Sequence for Engagement) and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement And Family Training) models are non-confrontational intervention styles that involve ongoing discussions about drugs. As addicts become more honest about their drug habits, they may also become more honest about their need to change, which may prompt action.

Honesty also plays a valuable role when drug addicts transition into treatment. Some rehab patients only enter treatment because family members insisted that they do so, so motivational therapies are often necessary to overcome denial. However, people who are honest about their addictions begin recovery from a healthier starting point. Honesty in treatment provides the following benefits:

  • Fosters a better mood, attitude and mindset for recovery treatments and principles
  • Epitomizes an awareness of the situation that can promote a stronger recovery
  • Allows for more effective therapies by being honest about fears and weaknesses
  • Makes it easier to acknowledge and address co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Provides a clearer picture of the patient’s issues that need treatment
  • Facilitates honest assessments involving risky relationships and habits

Following primary treatment, recovering addicts are strongly encouraged to develop a support network that includes local group meetings and recovery sponsors. Honesty is also essential during aftercare recovery in the following ways:

  • Promotes the sharing of experiences and emotions
  • Encourages recovering addicts to admit struggles, setbacks and relapses
  • Makes it more difficult to deceive oneself into thinking drug abuse can continue
  • Helps other recovering addicts feel more comfortable being honest

Honesty is an invaluable resource during addiction recovery, and it is an important tool for fixing any damage caused by drug abuse.

If you struggle with drug abuse, then take a step in the right direction by speaking honestly with one of our admissions coordinators. Our staff are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to discuss addiction warning signs, treatment methods, facility options and any other issues you would like to learn about. They can also check health insurance plans to explain their treatment benefits, so please call now for professional support.