Free Relapse Prevention Worksheets

14 relapse prevention workbooks from US Drug Rehab Centers

Table of Contents

Guilt, Shame And The Addiction Lifestyle

Guilt and shame are negative emotions. Guilt is an acute awareness of having done  wrong, accompanied by feelings of regret. Shame includes feelings of dishonor, unworthiness, and embarrassment. We all have secrets in our lives, things we are embarrassed about, that make us feel shame or guilt; things we have done to ourselves or others; or things that were done to us by others, although we were not responsible (Potter-Efron, R., & Potter-Efron, P., 1989). Addiction may have resulted in you doing things that left you feeling guilt or shame.

Guilt and shame often exist together. When you are addicted to crack, you feel guilty for falling into this trap. To support your addiction, you sell yourself for sex or steal and you feel shame, because you know you have done something demeaning. You are still addicted and continue to feel guilt over it. Guilt and shame exist together and are sometimes indistinguishable.