Self Image

Self-Identity Issues for Teens in Recovery

One of the major factors in substance abuse among adolescents is low self-esteem. Some of other other contributing factors may include household income, domestic dysfunction, abuse or poor performance in school. Learn more about self-identity issues for teens in recovery from addiction and supportive services to offer a teen who is struggling.

Self-Identity, Substance Abuse and Addiction

Self-esteem is the sense of personal value which comes from understanding oneself. Teens with low self-esteem tend to believe he or she has little value and is not important. Humiliation and belittling behavior are common so others are expected to offer much the same. Abusing drugs and alcohol seems like a logical next step in the world of a child who is already dealing with self-identity issues. Teens with addiction may attach meanings to experiences which condition behavior and beliefs towards negative experiences and further damages self-esteem.

How to Help

A dual diagnosis treatment program designed for adolescents with anxiety or depression and low self-esteem can focus on identity and belief issues. Often a teen needs help coming up with concepts of the self and underlying attitudes which led to the false beliefs in order to do away with addictive behaviors and thoughts. Counseling, family therapy and support networks are some great places to get started for teens who need help building confidence and self belief. Some of the other ways to support a teen in developing better self-identity include:

  • Family therapy to open lines of communication
  • Mental health counseling
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Support groups
  • Addiction treatment programs

Hope for Tomorrow

A teen who has hope for a better tomorrow is more likely to develop love and confidence required to move forward in life and away from addictive behaviors. Letting a teen know there is hope in recovery and a life on the other side is crucial to success. However, dysfunctional families are not always able to provide such support for the journey. It may take other role models, mentors or people in the teen’s life to build the support system necessary to bring change and hope to the forefront again.

A child is not born with low self-esteem, it is borne out of the environment and genetic factors which influence cycles of addiction to occur. When a teen is able to get the help needed, he or she is able to thrive beyond imagining towards building a meaningful and hopeful existence away from the ravages of addiction and into the future. Do not believe the lie that what is happening now must be the way it always is, in fact, things can change for the better. All it takes is seeking the right help and finding support for the journey back to self again.


If you know a teen who is struggling with addiction and identity issues, call us. Let The Villa help support you or your loved one with tools and information to guide their decision towards hope and healing from addiction.