Addressing low self-esteem in substance abuse treatment

Therapists in rehabs everywhere work to improve the self-esteem and self image of their clients. Most people in recovery carry a lot of shame about their addiction. Some people feel weak or stupid for not having been able to quit on their own or for letting their substance abuse get as out of hand as it did.

Others are ashamed of things they did during active addiction, hurting friends and family. Mistreating themselves, allowing their health to decline, committing crimes against perfect strangers. These are very difficult things to come to terms with and accept. A big part of the problem is how conflicted most people feel about continuing to use substances and making these poor choices.Addiction rewires the brain to prioritize using substances over other things that an individual truly values-things like work, morality, independence, family and friends.

They dont want to do things that go against their values, but their brailns are telling them to go ahead and overlook those values. Many clients in rehab describe feelings of self-hatred, shame, guilt and worthlessness.

This is a tragic part of the disease of addiction and a key element that must be addressed in treatment for the mind, body and spirit to be healed.

I’m not sure where i got this article from, but I thought it was worth sharing.