Like many, you may wonder how self-esteem plays a role in drug addiction and recovery. 

Beyond the physical reason of building a tolerance to the substance leading to addiction, self-esteem can also play a part in addiction. 

Many researchers agree that low self-esteem plays a part in the likelihood that a person will become addicted to a substance. Low self-esteem is defined as having a lack of or no confidence in one’s own abilities. But it is not just low self-esteem; it is linked with self-esteem to a number of other conditions. For example, a person who has endured sexual abuse will have their self-esteem lowered; that, in conjunction with the trauma, can lead to substance abuse and addiction.

Self-esteem takes a hit from addiction as well. There is a stigma attached to addiction that makes most people who are addicted feel a certain amount of shame. This further enhances the low self-esteem they already have, making the addiction worse. It is a vicious cycle, one that does not stop without the proper treatment of the whole person, not just the addiction. 

Self-esteem can play a role in recovery

Many recovery programs address the issues that cause low self-esteem. Learning that you do not have to be defined by the sexual or physical abuse, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues that have happened to you allows many people to begin to rebuild their self-esteem. 

Whatever the underlying issues are working on resolving those issues can help build better self-esteem. People who can improve their self-esteem and resolve underlying issues can achieve and maintain recovery from addiction. 

Understanding that those conditions do not define them as a person and that they can change the way they think and feel about themselves is empowering.  As they build on these better feelings of self-esteem, they can then address the addiction without shame.  

During recovery using cognitive behavioral therapy, the addicted person can begin to change the way they think about themselves and the outside factors in life that cause them stress and anxiety. This helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression and boosts self-esteem. It also helps the person find healthy ways to deal with these conditions. 

Each day the person makes it through without relapsing is another reason to be proud of their success and raise their self-esteem. 

Recovery help

If you or a loved, has low self-esteem and other conditions that have led to substance misuse and addiction, there is help available. 449 Recovery can help you with a continuously monitored detox program, therapies that include cognitive behavioral therapy, and help you learn tools to reduce your relapse risk. Call us today at (855) 435-7449 to learn more. We offer individual, group, and family therapy to help you work through underlying issues and addiction.

At 449 Recovery, it is our goal that each person who goes through the program emerges with all the tools they need to maintain recovery.