What causes someone to become addicted to drugs or alcohol? Researchers estimate that up to 40% of a person’s proclivity for addiction is decided by genetics, with environment and other factors making up the difference. One environmental factor that could sway a person toward addiction is low self-esteem.
Someone with low self-esteem may have grown up with parents who indirectly or directly criticized them, they might have failed to achieve certain unrealistic expectations, or they may have been ridiculed by their peers. Over time, people internalize these negative events until they truly come to believe that they are unworthy, unvaluable, or unlovable. They may be afraid to make mistakes or try new things. In this oppressive state of life, if people don’t find healthy ways of coping, they can easily turn to drugs to cope with intense feelings of inadequacy.
Many view addiction as a means of self-medicating pain, whether physical or emotional. In the case of a person with low self-esteem, while substances don’t take away the deep, negative feelings, they can at least blot them out for a while, offering a modicum of relief. After a while, however, as tolerance develops and use increases, substance use goes from recreational to necessary. When addicted to a drug, people continue using not because they’re seeking pleasure but because they want to avoid the pain of withdrawal. If people don’t get treatment from an addiction recovery center, they’re in danger of succumbing to addiction.
People with low self-esteem may also turn to drugs, specifically alcohol, because they feel like they need a few drinks to be social and fit in. Naturally reticent or reserved, those with low self-esteem drink alcohol to loosen up and join in on the conversation. Such a perspective, however, is a warped view of alcohol and can result in problem drinking, binge drinking, and ultimately addiction. Fortunately, the resources offered at addiction treatment facilities can help those with low self-esteem to learn new coping mechanisms and reverse their negative ways of thinking.
There are several ways to combat low self-esteem and start building up respect and love for oneself. Spending time with people who love and support rather than criticize and cut down may be the first step to creating a more positive and healthy environment. Counseling sessions at addiction recovery programs can also help people to begin changing their thought patterns, replacing pessimistic or unrealistic thoughts with productive, positive, and truthful thoughts that transform their mindset and outlook. Activities such as volunteering and pursuing passions and hobbies can also help people cultivate a healthy self-respect.
If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol or drugs, please call or email our empathetic representatives, and we’ll help you find a luxury drug rehab program that addresses your needs. During treatment, clients participate in group and individual meetings, determine the source of their addiction, and develop positive, sober communities of peers and mentors. Clients also learn skills for dealing with cravings and maintaining sobriety. Please contact us today to start the journey that will lead to a new life filled with freedom and hope.