Your recovery starts with the decision to help yourself.

Making the decision to get help and starting the road to recovery is a brave step and you’re not alone. We’re here to help you.

understanding addicition and recovery

Before starting its important that you understand how addiction works and how your emotions, actions and thoughts influence your decisions and what to expect when going through withdrawal.

Dependency can vary between substance users. Not everyone who takes drugs becomes dependent and the length of time for someone to develop a dependency can vary. For those who develop a compulsive dependence the cycle of addiction can be a harrowing seemingly never ending cycle of highs and lows physically, mentally and emotionally.

Each person is different and the time it takes to completely break free of the addiction cycle can vary from months to decades. The important thing is to try and keep trying until you succeed.

People with a compulsive dependency often engage in behaviors that go against their core moral values and beliefs as addictive behavioral patterns escalate. 

If you’re reading this you probably get what we’re talking about. You find yourself crossing one line and then another until you don’t know who you are anymore resulting in feelings of shame, guilt and remorse.


Shame is the more “public” emotion arising from exposure to disapproving others. Shame can lead to addiction and maybe the core feeling that leads to many other co-dependents’ symptoms. A few of the symptoms that are derived from shame include:

  • People-pleasing
  • Perfectionism
  • Low self-esteem
  • Guilt


Guilt is the more “private” experience represented by internally-generated pangs of conscience. It is a right or wrong judgment about your behaviour.

Guilt motivates you to want to correct or repair the error.


Feelings of remorse and regret are central to the phenomenology of guilt.

When feeling guilt, people are inclined to ruminate over the misdeed, wishing they had behaved differently.

Starting recovery is not easy. Making the decision to not use drugs is a courageous step; however the hard part is still to come. Before getting better, your body needs to detoxify and re-adjust to working without drugs. 

Your body may have developed a physical and/or psychological dependence on the substance with withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the type/s of drugs taken, your age, length of drug use, your physical and psychological health and the method of withdrawal. The diagram outlines what you can expect over the first three months from your last drug use.

By challenging your thoughts, your emotions will change. This will influence the behaviour you display and the consequences that follow, changing your beliefs.

Our emotions are the source of our psychological energies whereas our behaviours are a choice we make - the exercising of our own free will.

The decisions we make and the behaviours we act upon can have consequences socially, relationship wise, career wise, legally, financially and physically.

By learning from the consequences of our decisions and behaviour we reinforce our own belief systems.

habz tools to help you

You can download, print and use the tools below to help you identify, assess and manage your cravings and urges as well as those circumstances that may encourage you to use again. For a more detailed reference and workbook you can download the Recovery Support Guide and Workbook here

assessing my cravings and urges

My contingency plan: how to say no

cut out cards for planning ahead