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Drug Rehab Realities: 5 Ways Addicted Loved Ones Will Try to Manipulate You

Drug addiction destroys lives, damages relationships and devastates families. While a drug rehab center can offer the best solutions for recovery, addicts in denial will do or say just about anything to avoid treatment or to get out of treatment before they are ready. As a result, friends and family members must be constantly aware that addicted loved ones will try to manipulate them any way they can to accomplish their sole objective—to continue using drugs.

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addicted loved one, be on the lookout for these 5 manipulation tactics they will try to use to make you an enabler of their addiction.

1. Lying

Drug addicts are very good at lying to themselves. Eventually, they actually believe that they can quit anytime they want to and that they aren’t hurting anyone else. Once they’ve bought into this twisted reality, they will have no problem lying to friends or family members in order to preserve their addiction. After all, they need to use drugs. And lying about drug use can be an effective way to get you to leave them alone so they can continue using. They know that you love them and that you want to trust them. And statements such as “If you loved me you’d trust me”, are blatant attempts to use your emotions to their advantage. When you catch an addict in a lie the key is to not take it personally. Simply make them aware that you know they are not telling the truth without being accusatory or confrontational.

2. Minimizing the Problem

When an addicted loved one realizes that friends or family members are aware of their drug problem, and lying isn’t working, their next manipulative technique will be to try to minimize the situation. “I only tried it one time,” or “I just do it once in awhile. Its no big deal,” are examples of minimization techniques addicts use to downplay the seriousness of their drug problem. For them, it’s all a part of the denial process. In dealing with this form of manipulation it’s important to show love and support for the person while expressing concern and disappointment about the behavior. This will help to show your loved one that you really do care about them and reduce the chances of a heated confrontation, which will get you nowhere.

3. Laying Blame

The last person a drug addict wants to blame for their behavior is the person staring back in the mirror. That would require taking ownership of the problem and actually trying to get help. The easier way is to manipulate others into thinking that they are the cause of the problem by laying the blame on them. After all, if you had been more understanding and had treated them better, they wouldn’t have needed to turn to drugs in the first place. Laying blame is an effective tool, as it can lead to feelings of guilt among parents and friends that maybe they are partially to blame and could have done more to recognize and prevent the downward slide into addiction. But harboring such feelings generally makes matters worse, as guilt can lead to giving in to requests for money or other favors that ultimately keep fueling the addiction. In dealing with addicted loved ones it’s critical to understand that they are the ones responsible for turning to drugs, not you.

4. Playing the Sympathy Card

Addiction is all about choices and consequences. Once an addict realizes that friends and family members are on to them, and that drug rehab is a real possibility, they will try to manipulate others by playing on their sympathies in order to avoid facing the consequences of their choices. Playing the part of the victim is often an effective way to generate sympathy from others, especially for addicts wishing to avoid rehab. After all, according to them they only started taking drugs in the first place because they felt unloved, unaccepted, or otherwise wounded or suffering. Making them enter a cold and harsh rehab program would only serve to victimize them further. Giving in to this sympathy ploy will only postpone your loved one from getting the help they really need.

5. Pretending to Go Along

Another manipulative tactic that addicts use to get loved ones off their back so they can keep using is to pretend to go along. They get it that arguments often lead to the loss of freedoms that could restrict their access to drugs, so they basically tell their loved ones what they want to hear. “You’re right. I have a drug problem,” and “Yes, I’m going to get my life together and quit,” are the kinds of insincere statements addicts often make to get concerned loved ones to lower their guards just enough to unknowingly let drug use continue.

Recognizing that drug addicts use these and other manipulation techniques to further their addictions can empower you to help an addicted loved one choose a suitable drug rehab inpatient or outpatient program in Utah.

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT