What is the link between low self-esteem and drug abuse?

Any person who has low self-esteem is usually heavily influenced by their environment. It has a huge influence on the way they feel and act. This means that any negative experience they have tends to be difficult for them to overcome. The need to escape from the negativity can lead to a person experimenting with drugs, and eventually becoming addicted.

It’s important to note that not everyone abuses drugs because they have low self-esteem. There are several factors which can lead to the abuse of drugs including family history and mental disorders.  However, research has shown that people who abuse drugs tend to have lower self-esteem than others in the general population. This means that low self-esteem is linked to drug abuse as a cause and effect.

How low self-esteem starts

Low self-esteem makes an individual believe that they are always likely to fail; it causes them to be negative. Some people can be naturally less inclined to be positive but the actions of others often cause low self- esteem to spiral. Many of these actions start in childhood and include disinterest, disapproval or abuse from parents or other care-givers. If a person is never shown any support or attention, they can start to believe that they are not good enough and their self-esteem is adversely affected.

Low self-esteem and addiction

When a person has low self-esteem they often look for an escape from their negative feelings and a means of building their confidence. This can lead to the abuse of drugs. As an individual starts to take drugs more often so they can become addicted. They crave the feeling of confidence that taking drugs gives them and they want it again and again. The problem is that once the body gets used to the drugs so the effects are harder to achieve and the spiral of low self-esteem continues.

Drug abuse treatment and improving low self-esteem

Drug abuse treatment providers such as Granite Recovery Centers, help to address some of the factors that can cause low self-esteem, such as depression and anxiety. The programs that are used to help addicts to look at their own personal growth and to reflect on their own behavior. This helps to improve their self-worth and levels of confidence. This, in turn, helps to reduce the need to rely on drugs to feel good. Families and friends can also become involved in the ongoing recovery of a drug abuser, by ensuring that they promote a positive attitude and environment.

Not everyone who abuses drugs has low self-esteem and not everyone who has low self-esteem abuses drugs as a means of trying to deal with the situation. However, issues with self-esteem are definitely one factor that can lead to the abuse of drugs and addiction. Once a person begins to abuse drugs on an ongoing basis, their self-esteem can deteriorate further. This is why dealing with mental health issues and developing self-awareness and self-worth are all so important in aiding recovery from abuse and addiction.