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Many people with substance use disorder (SUD) experience low self-esteem. Confidence building can make it easier for those individuals to manage their sobriety long-term. According to MedlinePlus, “A stressful or chaotic lifestyle and low self-esteem” are common risk factors for substance abuse and mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. West Coast Recovery Centers uses evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies to help clients build self-confidence and self-esteem during treatment. 

How Does SUD Affect Self-Confidence?

Substance abuse affects psychological well-being by influencing thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. How a person feels mentally can directly affect the physical symptoms of SUD. According to Frontiers in Psychiatry, “[S]hyness, self-esteem, and shame were found to be associated with substance use cravings.” Treatment programs provide clients with the resources, skills, and tools they need to overcome challenges in recovery, including low self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Substance abuse reduces self-confidence by doing the following: 

  • Increasing negative self-talk
  • Reducing a person’s ability to function 
  • Increasing negative self-perceptions 
  • Reducing a person’s capacity to think clearly and objectively 

SUD impacts all areas of a person’s life. Often, self-confidence increases as clients participate in treatment and begin to address the aspects of their lives affected by substance abuse. West Coast Recovery Centers uses psychoeducation and other tools to help clients better understand their own thoughts and reactions. Increased self-awareness also improves self-confidence and self-esteem.  

Treatment for Substance Abuse Improves Mental Health

Internalized stigmas, untreated trauma, and other mental health issues profoundly affect a person’s ability to focus on recovery. Treatment for SUD must address underlying issues affecting a client’s mental health in order for them to be prepared to maintain sobriety independently.  

Some of the most common treatments used to address both SUD and mental health issues include: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) 
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • Adventure therapy
  • Activity therapy 
  • Experiential therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Somatic experiencing

Evidence-based therapies provide a solid foundation for future changes. However, many people also benefit from alternative therapies. West Coast Recovery Centers uses holistic therapies to support positive mental health and build self-confidence, including: 

  • Yoga
  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • Sound bath therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy

Treatment for SUD improves mental health by providing clients with the tools to address underlying issues affecting their thoughts and behaviors. Clients often feel more confident about managing symptoms and fully recovering if they participate in professional treatment programs. 

How Does Self-Talk Impact Self-Confidence?

A person’s internal monologue (i.e., “self-talk”) impacts feelings about themselves and their circumstances. Self-talk can be positive or negative and either contribute to improving mental health or cause emotional distress. According to Scientific Reports, “Self-talk with positive contents can help with promoting positive psychological states and regulating cognitions, whereas self-talk with negative contents is associated with emotional ill-being.”

People recovering from SUD may have difficulty overcoming guilt, shame, regret, or other negative emotions. Self-talk is one way to make beliefs and thoughts more positive. Individual and group therapy often improves self-esteem by increasing positivity and reducing negative self-talk. 

Building Confidence During Treatment for Substance Abuse

Improving self-confidence takes time and patience. Clients have an entire team of clinicians and support staff at their side to help them find healthy ways to improve their self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Making positive lifestyle changes is an excellent way to build self-confidence. Some changes people often make during treatment include:

  • Returning or starting school 
  • Building positive connections with peers
  • Learning life skills to ensure healthy eating habits, exercise, and quality sleep 
  • Achieving recovery goals 
  • Practicing self-care to improve overall mood and emotional stability

Individuals in treatment benefit from spending time doing things that make them feel good about themselves. Many clients continue working or attending school while in outpatient treatment. Meeting personal, professional, or recovery goals helps clients feel more confident in their ability to maintain sobriety independently.

The Impact of Self-Confidence on Recovery From Substance Abuse

How people feel about their abilities impacts how they approach treatment and long-term recovery. According to the Journal of Drug Issues, “The qualities of an individual’s self-perception have been repeatedly associated with substance use.” Low self-esteem and decreased self-confidence increase the risk of relapse, while the opposite is also true. Clients in treatment feel comfortable in their sobriety and are less likely to relapse if they are confident in their ability to use coping skills effectively. 

Individuals who feel confident in themselves and their support system benefit from the following: 

  • Decreased stress levels and reduced pressure to achieve goals 
  • Increased motivation to continue making positive lifestyle changes
  • Reduced need for external support to manage everyday stressors 

The dedicated clinicians at West Coast Recovery Centers help clients navigate treatment and recovery. Clinicians use empathy and compassion to guide clients through developing healthy coping skills and building routines to support positive mental health. 

Individuals who struggle with substance abuse often have low self-esteem caused by the effects of their condition or underlying mental health issues. Some clients may feel extreme guilt, shame, and regret about their inability to stop misusing alcohol or drugs on their own. Treatment programs allow clients to identify and process these feelings in a safe and constructive way. Rehabilitation programs help people increase self-confidence and self-esteem. West Coast Recovery Centers uses psychotherapy, peer support, and alternative holistic therapies to help clients heal and grow. Individuals with improved self-confidence have an easier time making essential lifestyle changes to support long-term sobriety. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
DHCS Licensing and Certification Division