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Drug Addiction Guilt and Shame

There are many emotions people feel as they continue through their recovery. Guilt and shame can be especially overwhelming emotions during early recovery, and even throughout sustained sobriety. At Faith in Recovery, we know that faith can help people overcome their feelings of guilt and shame. Our unique Christian programming is designed to help people find sobriety in the face of addiction, alcoholism, and other challenges. We offer personalized approaches to treatment, giving patients a faith based approach to treatment. With faith at the helm, recovery is truly possible.


How Guilt & Shame Begin

The feelings of guilt and shame are rooted in our early years, when we are all learning right from wrong. As struggles such as addiction or alcoholism take hold, many people lose sight of their moral compass in favor of getting their next fix. This leads many people to make poor choices when addiction and alcoholism are active. As they get sober, many people achieve clarity that allows them to finally perceive their previous actions. This can lead to guilt, shame, and other harmful negative feelings. In recovery, guilt and shame won’t help a person get or stay sober. But there are ways for patients at our faith based drug and alcohol treatment center to overcome their guilt, shame, and other difficult emotions.


Making Amends

One way to overcome feelings such as guilt and shame is to make amends to those who have been hurt by your addiction. Making amends isn’t just about apologizing for hurting another person, it also involves presenting solutions for the issues your addiction has created. This may include replacing stolen items, listening to a loved one tell their side of the story, and creating a path for future healing. Making amends can help many people overcome feelings of guilt and shame.


Studying Scripture

The Bible offers many perspectives on a variety of challenges in life, and scripture can provide insight into overcoming guilt and shame at any stage of recovery. Our faith based recovery programs incorporate scripture into many aspects of drug and alcohol treatment, helping patients make the most of their recovery.


Undergoing Therapy

Therapy is beneficial at all stages of recovery. With therapy, patients are able to accept the things they cannot change, and better address the things that they can change. In regards to feelings of shame and guilt, therapeutic approaches are ideal for reworking approaches to these and other emotions. Therapy can help patients better control feelings of guilt and shame, recognizing these emotions for what they are. This removes the control these emotions have over recovery.

At Faith in Recovery, our faith based drug and alcohol treatment center makes sobriety possible. We offer therapies and a variety of treatment options to best fit the individualized needs of each patient. We combine faith and successful treatments to help patients find sobriety, health and happiness.


Is shame an effective motivator for addiction recovery?

Shame is often viewed as a potentially effective motivator for addiction recovery, as it may lead individuals to confront their behaviors and seek change. However, the reality is that shame does not typically serve as a productive tool in recovery. It can be a destructive force, stemming from unrealistic expectations of perfection and a reluctance to acknowledge one's vulnerabilities. While shame might exert a strong influence, it tends to deplete valuable energy that could otherwise be channeled into positive actions towards overcoming addiction. Ultimately, the use of shame as a motivator in addiction recovery is not recommended due to its counterproductive nature.


How does shame affect the ability to let go of resentments?

Shame can deeply impact one's ability to release feelings of resentment. When shame becomes ingrained within an individual, it can serve as a barrier to letting go of the perceived wrongs and grievances they hold onto. The weight of shame may exacerbate the urge to clutch onto resentments, whether they are based on real events or merely perceived slights. Thus, addressing and overcoming feelings of shame is crucial in the journey to relinquishing resentments. By fostering self-forgiveness and self-compassion, individuals can not only free themselves from the shackles of shame but also develop the capacity to forgive others. This process illuminates a path towards active participation in one's recovery, creating space for healing and growth.


What is the difference between the productivity of shame and guilt?

Shame is a self-judgment where one internalizes a sense of being bad, while guilt is an acknowledgment of specific actions or behaviors that were wrong. The productivity of guilt lies in taking responsibility for one's actions and opening up the possibility of making amends. Guilt can lead to personal growth and improvement by recognizing errors and working towards rectifying them. Conversely, shame tends to hinder progress as it is a fixed belief about one's inherent worthlessness, making it harder to address and change problematic behavior. Ultimately, guilt provides an opportunity for self-reflection and growth, while shame often acts as a barrier to positive change.


How does shame contribute to an increased risk of relapse?

Shame plays a significant role in the increased risk of relapse for individuals dealing with addiction. Research published in Clinical Psychological Science revealed that feelings of shame connected to previous episodes of problem drinking can heighten the likelihood of relapse and lead to additional health complications. This study emphasized that shame mainly acts as a barrier to recovery, prompting individuals to bury their struggles, evade facing the issue, and overall hinder progress in addressing their addiction.


Contact us today to learn more about how our faith based recovery programs can help you overcome feelings of shame and guilt in recovery.