Webster’s Dictionary defines self-esteem as confidence and satisfaction with oneself. Drug and alcohol addiction cause many addicts to lose their self-esteem through poor choices and judgment. After completing drug rehab, addicts begin to feel better about themselves and, with time and consistency in behavior, self-esteem grows.
Self-esteem is learned and encouraged in childhood through interactions and experiences we have with parents, teachers and peers. It is also built through different activities like playing a sport or having a hobby. Individuals build self-esteem through excelling in activities or situations.
Self esteem is built by:
- Successfully overcoming obstacles
Boundary setting has a tremendous impact on self-esteem, especially when alcohol and drug addiction are present. Most addicts cross their own and others’ boundaries during substance abuse. This has a negative impact on self-esteem and results in self-criticism, which perpetuates the cycle of addiction.
Drug Addiction Tears Down Self-Esteem
When an addict uses drugs and alcohol, he or she is changing brain and body chemistry. These changes have a negative impact on the ability to have a healthy sense of self-esteem, which is negotiated in our thought patterns. Negative thoughts automatically accompany drug and alcohol addiction.
Three areas of self-esteem that are negatively influenced by substance abuse are:
Thought Process - An addict often struggles with remorseful thoughts during or after using. These could include:
- “I am so dumb.”
- “I suck.”
- “How dumb do I have to be to do this again? I must be insane.”
- Decision Making - Addicts sometimes make choices that are directly harmful, such as poor time management, missed workdays or fighting with loved ones who attempt to interfere with the addiction.
Boundary Setting - Addicts may cross boundaries or neglect themselves to support their habit. Examples of such activities are:
- Prostituting for money
The consistent pattern of poor decision making, boundary violation and negative thinking contributes to the tearing down of an addict’s self-esteem. Low self-esteem makes addicts believe that they are not worthy of addiction treatment, but addiction treatment is the very thing that will help increase their self-esteem.
Drug Rehab Rebuilds Self-Esteem
Once an addict makes the decision to enter drug rehab, his or her self-esteem will positively change. Making the choice and commitment to stop substance abuse will help the addict correct issues in the three areas that are contributing to low self-esteem. The disease of addiction perpetuates low self-esteem, essentially creating another reason for continued substance abuse.
Improving self-esteem begins with eliminating substance abuse and can be continued with 5 changes in behavior. These skills are taught in drug rehab by addiction therapists who understand the importance of rebuilding self-esteem. These 5 changes are:
- Healthy Decision Making
- Healthy Boundary Setting
- Reframing Negative Thoughts
- Practicing Positive Affirmations
- Surrounding Yourself with Sober, Positive People
Stepping Stone Center offers comprehensive treatment, helping the addict regain positive self-esteem through achieving sobriety. These 5 changes in behavior are taught in our addiction treatment program by our addiction therapists.
Call Now and Make the Best Choice of Your Life
If you or a loved one has suffered a loss of self-esteem because of addiction, please contact one of our Stepping Stone Center coordinators at 800-237-3150. Start rebuilding your self-esteem by entering treatment today.