A negative self image and the poor self-esteem that it causes is the primary cause of drug and alcohol addiction. The problem is not the drugs or alcohol, it never has been. For way too long we have believed that the cause of drug and alcohol addiction is either the drugs and alcohol themselves or something physical, that is, our brain.
The real cause of drug and alcohol addiction will not be found in any other person, place or thing but only inside the individual, within his thinking. When a person consciously decides to focus on transforming his self image, on how he thinks about his value and worth as a human being, then and only then will he start to find an authentic solution to his drug and alcohol addiction problem.
Until the individual learns to heal the relationship with the man or woman in the mirror things will continue to be the same and he will continue to use drugs and alcohol to numb himself of the negative thoughts that haunt his mind. Individuals who authentically come to respect, accept and love themselves will not use drugs and alcohol.
The real solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to help an individual learn how to respect, accept and love themselves as they are now, to let go of their belief that they are not good enough and as a result of this work they will come to stop using drugs and alcohol forever. Drug and alcohol addiction is not a physical disorder so much as it is primarily a thought disorder, a thought disorder that constantly tells the addict or alcoholic that they are not good enough.
The real addiction is not to drugs and alcohol but to a way of thinking, a way of thinking that tells you that you are not good enough, that you are inferior, that you do not matter. Transformation and recovery is about learning that you are good enough, that you are perfect, whole and complete and that you do matter!
Dr. Harry Henshaw
The benchmark for your recovery from drugs and alcohol is not whether you are clean and sober. The true indicator of your recovery program from drugs and alcohol has to do with your relationship with the man or woman in the mirror.
The problem with your relationship with the man or woman in the mirror and your recovery is that you think you are not good enough and there is a lack of self love and self esteem. Your only problem is that you do not authentically love yourself. The problem is not the drugs or alcohol.
The true solution to your recovery and to having an authentic relationship with the man or woman in the mirror is that you have to learn how to respect, accept and love yourself just are you are in the present. The trajectory of your life will change when you learn to love yourself.
Once your learn how to truly respect, accept and love yourself you will only do things that will honor your existence and health and will immediately stop trying to self execute yourself with drugs and alcohol. Learning to love yourself is the real solution to drug and alcohol addiction.
Dr. Harry Henshaw
The missing link in the recovery process is learning to accept, respect and love yourself. The way that a person comes to authentically love himself is by changing his thinking, by changing his thought process.
Most individuals are not aware of the importance and power of their thinking. What is important is for us to fully understand that our point of power for changing our life is always in the present moment, in the Now. What we think in the present is important, it does matter.
Every thought we think is creating our present reality and our future experiences. Most people suffer from self-hatred and guilt. The fundamental thought that affects if not determines all of our thoughts and thinking patterns is that "I am not good enough."
When we think that we are not good enough we source or attract negative experiences into our lives, including the use of drugs and alcohol. As we are always choosing our thoughts and are totally responsible for them, we can change what we think and as a result what we experience and the trajectory of our life.
This process is what our Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program is all about, that is, helping you to change your thinking so that you can end your addiction to drugs and alcohol forever and learn to authentically respect, accept and love yourself as you are in the present, in the Now.
Dr. Harry Henshaw
Self Esteem and addiction go hand in hand. Low self esteem is considered the number one factor for causing a drug and alcohol addiction!
There is a concept in my profession referred to as co-occurring disorders indicating a connection between substance abuse problems and mental health conditions. It is my opinion that both of these disorders exist with the addict and alcoholic. I believe that all individuals who suffer from a substance abuse or dependency problems have a mental health condition. I believe further that the mental health condition is the primary or fundamental problem for the addict or alcoholic.
It is also my belief that both of these conditions have to be treated, the substance abuse issue and the mental health problem. Many people in the drug treatment industry minimize or deny the existence of a mental health condition. What happens when this is done is that the client will become abstinent from drugs and alcohol only to relapse quickly after treatment because the underlying mental health condition was not adequately dealt with and treated. The treatment of the mental health problem is something that is absolutely necessary for the well being and recovery of the addict and alcoholic.
While many addicts and alcoholics experience a great deal of anxiety and the underlying emotion of fear, I believe that depression and dysthymia are the primary mental health conditions and diagnoses that form the cornerstone of their drug and alcohol problem. One of the symptoms of major depression and dysthymia is poor self esteem. It is my opinion that poor self esteem is the root of the substance abuse and dependency disorder. It is also one of the symptoms that is not given a great deal of importance or even acknowledged in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
It is also my opinion that until we recognize, acknowledge and begin to treat the problem of poor self esteem that addicts and alcoholics will continue to relapse and in many cases even die. At the basis of the addict and alcoholic's poor self esteem is a negative self image, negative thoughts and beliefs about their worth and value as a human being. It has been my experience that every addict or alcoholic that I have worked with have serious issues with their self image even if in the beginning of their treatment they deny its existence.
It is my recommendation that if you are looking for a treatment program for someone who has a substance abuse and dependency problem that you insist that there are master's level, licensed and trained therapists on staff to adequately counsel and treat mental health problems. This particular requirement is crucial to the addict and alcoholic receiving appropriate care and treatment. When researching a potential residential or outpatient treatment center simply ask the administration of the center for the qualifications of the therapists and counselors that provide all of the counseling services to addicts and alcoholics.
Dr. Harry Henshaw
I believe that a negative self image and the poor self esteem that is caused by our negative perception of our value and worth as a human being is the primary cause of drug and alcohol addiction. It is not the drugs or alcohol that is the problem, it never has been. The real cause of drug and alcohol addiction will not be found in any other person, place or thing but only inside the addict or alcoholic.
When we consciously decide to focus on helping addicts and alcoholics to transform their self image, then and only then will be we start to find authentic solutions to the drug and alcohol problems and epidemic that we are experiencing today in this country. Until we help the addict and alcohol look inside and learn to heal their relationship with the man or woman in the mirror things will continue to be the same.
Individuals who authentically respect, accept and love themselves will not use drugs and alcohol. The real solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to help addicts and alcoholic learn how to respect, accept and love themselves as they are now, to let go of their belief that they are not good enough and as a result of this work to stop using drugs and alcohol.
Drug and alcohol addiction is not a physical disorder so much as it is primarily a thought disorder. The real addiction is to a way of thinking, a way of thinking that tells you that you are not good enough, that you are inferior. The solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to be found only in a transformation of the addict and alcoholic's thinking and specifically in their thinking about who they believe they are as a human being.
Dr. Harry Henshaw
The death toll from drug overdoses continues to rise all across our country as a result of the epidemic we are currently facing. Authorities project that the problem will continue to escalate with no end in sight. The shocking statistics and heartbreaking stories that are coming out leave one asking, “What is being done to begin to stop this epidemic?”
We must stop blaming others for the drug epidemic that our society is currently experiencing.
It is not the physicians, or even the drug dealers, that are the cause of the problem.
The cause of the problem is not even the drugs. It never has been and never will be.
Blaming people, places or things will not help us to find the true cause, and without the true cause we cannot reach real solutions. Searching for people to blame keeps us from asking the right questions, and allows individuals to hide from their personal responsibility.
So how do we ask the right questions?