Why Teens Lie About Their Addictions (And What to Do About It)

Teens often lie to avoid punishment when they’ve done something wrong or when they know that their family will disapprove of their actions. They also lie to avoid telling their parents what they are really doing—such telling their parents that they’re going to a friend’s house to study when they’re actually going to a party. When teens hit mid-adolescence (13-15 years old) they start to push for more freedom, and lying can be a way to get that freedom they desire, according to Psychology Today. If you have reason to believe that your teen has an addiction and is lying about it, there are several things you can do as a parent.

Confront Them

If you believe your teen is lying to you about their drug use, talk to them about it. Explain how you feel disrespected when lied to and you want to help them with their addiction. Encourage a healthy discussion about their habits, allowing them to feel comfortable about coming to you with these types of issues.

Explain the Consequences

Let your teen know what the consequences of lying are, especially about something as serious as a substance abuse problem. Instead of placing blame, which often results in them to shutting down and becoming defensive, let them know that you are there to support them and want to do whatever you can to help.

Be Honest About Your Feelings, Too

Don’t hide your feelings. Let your teen know how you feel when they lie to you, whether it is angry, hurt, sad or worried. They will feel more responsible for their actions if they know they are hurting their loved ones. Once they are aware of the affect their addiction has on their family and friends, they may be more willing to make changes and accept help.

Remind Them That They Can Regain Your Trust


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Even though your teen has lied to you, tell them you are willing to give them a second chance to reinstate your trust in them. This gesture will prove that you support them, making them more likely to reach out and accept your offer.

Seek Professional Help

Addiction is serious and oftentimes it is extremely challenging to overcome. Because of this, your teen may require outside assistance and support. If your teen is battling addiction, seek professional help to assess the appropriate next steps.

Featured image amanda tipton