Excuses of an addict

When an addict is confronted by their friends and family about their illness, they will often be in denial that a problem exists. Whilst a lot of the excuses that they will give may seem like a cliché to those who hear them, they will often seriously believe them. Making excuses for their actions can seriously harm any detox or rehabilitation efforts. Another common theme is to blame anyone or anything except for themselves for their actions, whether it is peer pressure or stress or something else.

These excuses can often continue into the drug rehabilitation process and beyond. Recovery requires rigorous honesty both to others and to yourself. These excuses not only risk preventing recovery, but also create the risk of sabotaging the latter stages of the recovery process. The way a client thinks and acts have the strongest effect on whether addiction recovery will continue to head in the right direction, or if the client will suffer a relapse.

Whilst it is easy to dismiss the words that someone says when you know that they are not helping, it is important to understand why the excuses are being made. That is why it is important to divide excuses into different categories.


This occurs when the client refuses to acknowledge that a problem exists. It is also the most common problem that prevents recovery. Unless the client can accept that a problem exists and take responsibility for their actions, recovery is very difficult. This is a defence mechanism which prevents the addict from the reality of their behaviour. This allows them to rationalise their behaviour, even if their world is crumbling around them. Some of the excuses include:

  • That person drinks more / does more drugs than me
  • I have it under control, I can quit whenever I want to
  • I’m not hurting anyone


Often an addict will blame everyone and everything except for themselves for their actions. It could be stress, work, money or peer pressure that leads them to drink or do drugs. This enables them to not take responsibility for what they do. Often, they may feel as though they are not in control of their lives and that their fate is tied to what happens in the world around them. This makes recovery from addiction difficult because it creates a barrier to them taking control of their own actions. Some of these excuses include:

  • If you had my problems, you’d drink / use drugs as well
  • I need to drink / use drugs to perform at work
  • Everyone else does it
  • I just want some relief

Negative Thinking

These occur when the client has either given up hope or does not think that they deserve good health. Having a defeatist attitude makes recovery from addiction very difficult because they client does not believe that they can succeed and will give up easily and turn back to drugs or alcohol. Some of these excuses might include:

  • I fail at everything
  • I don’t deserve happiness
  • What’s the point?

Post recovery

After a drug or alcohol detox process, clients will feel healthier and may think that their addiction is over and that they can return to how they were before they became addicted. An addict is not cured when they leave the drug rehabilitation facility. In fact, the recovery process is still in the very early stages. However, many addicts will throw a spanner into the works and sabotage their own recovery. It may be an attempt to gain control, or it could be a case of cutting corners to avoid the hard work that goes into addiction recovery. This severely increases the risk of relapse. Some of these excuses might include:

  • I know all there is to know now, I can handle it
  • I know how to control it now
  • I knew I didn’t have a problem, I just told them what they wanted to hear.

Recovery from addiction is a long and difficult process. Call Cassiobury Court now for help with your addiction.