Increasing Self-Esteem in Recovery & Why it is Important - Banyan Boca
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Increasing Self-Esteem in Recovery & Why it is Important

Everyone struggles with confidence now and then, but for those with low self-esteem, feeling insecure may be the least of their problems.

How Low Self-Esteem Can Lead to Substance Abuse & Relapse

Often, substance abuse is tied to a person’s mental state, and without mental health treatment, that person may turn to drugs and alcohol. While poor mental health can mean a variety of things, one common factor is frequently low self-esteem.

Addicts typically have lower self-esteem than the average person.1 When someone is insecure or lacks confidence, they may struggle with negative thoughts about themselves. In order to escape this constant negativity or drown their sorrows, some people will turn to drugs or alcohol. This type of coping creates an unhealthy pattern that can lead to addiction and reinforces this low self-esteem.

In recovery, addicts are trying to find healthier ways of coping with their low self-esteem, but old habits die hard. New coping strategies alone may not be enough, and low self-esteem could still lead to relapse. The best way to avoid relapse from this problem is to focus on the source and improve self-esteem in recovery.

Tips for Building Self-Esteem After Addiction

Just because you completed residential treatment doesn’t mean your sobriety journey is over. Addiction recovery is a long process that requires a lot of work long after formal treatment ends. Along with learning to live without drugs and alcohol, many recovering addicts need to learn how to love themselves again. Low confidence can stall their progress, but there are several ways to work on increasing self-esteem in recovery.

Practice Self-Love

Improving self-esteem after addiction takes time and hard work. It is important to actively practice self-love regularly. Try giving yourself daily words of affirmation or learning to immediately recognize when you do something well can help you learn to love yourself and build better self-esteem.

Continue Doing What You Learned

Just because your time in treatment has ended doesn’t mean you should push everything you learned off to the side. In treatment, you probably learned several coping mechanisms and strategies that can help with low self-esteem in recovery. For example, our cognitive behavioral therapy in Boca focuses on problem solving and combating negative thought patterns. It is important to continue to practice what you learned so that you can continue to see improvement.

Take Care of Yourself

Increasing self-esteem in recovery is also about taking care of yourself. Focus on working on both your physical and mental health. Exercise, meditate, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and journal. When you feel good about yourself physically and mentally, your self-esteem will naturally improve.

Focus on Your Progress

Many recovering addicts get hung up on their wrongdoings from before they were sober, which can lower their self-esteem even more. While it is important to take responsibility for your actions, it is also important not to dwell on what you cannot change. Instead of focusing on the negativity, look toward the future and remind yourself of all the progress you have already made. When you take the time to recognize all the good you have done, it is easier to feel more confident.

Find the Right Support System

A good support system can make you feel valuable. Also knowing that other people believe in you can help you believe in yourself. These reminders can help you build self-esteem in recovery.

Improving self-esteem in addiction recovery is just part of the battle. At Banyan Boca, we help prepare patients for all of the ups and downs that they are likely to face long after their time with us is through. If you or a loved one is looking for treatment for a substance abuse disorder that will lead to lasting sobriety, let us step in.

Reach out to us today at 888-280-4763 to get started.


  1. NCBI - The Role of Self-esteem in Tendency towards Drugs, Theft and Prostitution

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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