Power of Positive Thinking in Recovery

The strongest predictors for recovery are a positive attitude and motivation to overcome addiction.

According to researchers who reviewed 16 studies that looked at patient’s attitudes toward health; motivation and optimism were key factors for those who experienced faster and more sustainable recovery.  The study also revealed that people with a positive attitude about treatment stayed longer in treatment and were more committed to staying sober.  As a result, they had less completed suicide, relapse events and ultimately, a better quality of life.

Power of Positive Thinking in Recovery

Although often overlooked, suicide is a hidden risk of chronic drug and alcohol addiction that is typically prompt by feelings of hopelessness and despair. People who are unable to counter these negative emotions are at greater risk of severe depression.  Surveys have also shown that men with an alcohol or drug addiction problem are 2.3 times more likely to die by suicide than non-substance abusers. Women with the same substance addictions are 6.5 times more likely to commit suicide.  In fact, the power of positive thinking in recoveryis in direct contrast to the negative characteristics of addiction that cause people to want to end their lives.

For years, the medical community has been exploring the mind body connection.  Today, there is no doubt that negative mental states such as stress and fear are powerful accelerators of disease including addiction.  Conversely, through a variety of systematic verifications, medical science can now validate the contribution of positive thinking in the recovery process.  Even so, drug and alcohol addiction wreak havoc on so many different levels of a person’s life that it can be difficult to achieve the dynamic shift from despair to having a positive mindset that recovery is not only possible but sustainable.    

For people who are actively engaging in addictive patterns of behavior such as drinking and using drugs, anxiety, depression and moments of self-hatred are not uncommon.  As long as these emotional states remains unchanged, the person will not be motivated to seek help or derive the maximum benefits of treatment.  In most successful addiction stories, the turning point occurs when the desire to change aligns with the hope, however shaky, that recovery is possible.  Once an individual recognize their need for change, drug addiction treatment provides the vehicle through which hope for recovery can be realized.  

Helping people in addiction to get beyond the stage of despair and hopelessness is critical to preventing overdose and drug related suicides. A well planned and executed drug intervention can be the starting point to enabling the person in addiction to evoke the power of positive thinking. During this process, family and friends help their loved ones to envision the possibility of a drug free life through the power of positive suggestions.  Once the individual catches a glimpse of recovery, it is more likely that they be motivated to do whatever it takes to stop the destructive substance abuse behavior.  For most, that means going into a long term treatment program.  

Treatment for addiction has two primary components

  1. To halt the progress of addiction which is achieved through detoxification and medical stabilization.
  2. Restore a state of mind that is efficient and adaptive to the well-being of the individual through various therapeutic interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, one-on-one counseling and other alternative remedies.  Intervention models like the SMART Recovery program also reinforce the positive philosophy that addiction is a very human condition that can be corrected.

The power of positive thinking in recovery is designed to help people in addiction to stop unhealthy self-talk, improve their self-image and envision a healthy and happier future.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.