Fear is the first hurdle to overcoming addiction. It’s a powerful emotion that can stop you from even contemplating recovery. Common fears in recovery reflect those we all know fear of change, abandonment, sickness or pain and loss of identity or purpose. Facing these fears while removing a substance you’ve come to rely on is a scary prospect.
Many addicts deal with the same fears. Fortunately, it’s possible to face fear and find addiction treatment. Recovery takes work, but the end result is worth it. You deserve happiness and success, and a good treatment center will help you get there.
Recovery at the Crossroads wants to let you know rehabilitation for addictions isn’t something to fear—it’s a path to a new beginning, one that starts with taking only a very small first step. Before those steps are taken, let’s discuss some of the fears you or a loved one may have when seeking treatment.
The Fear of Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms in the early stages of addiction recovery are known to sometimes be unpleasant. Suddenly stopping an addictive substance causes both physical and mental symptoms. Your body has come to depend on the drug addiction, and it won’t immediately function well without it.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood changes
Your brain relies on the addiction as well. Psychological dependence is when you think you need narcotics to function and feel you can’t without them. The combined stress of physical and mental withdrawal in recovery is a scary thought.
Thankfully, withdrawal is manageable with a rehab specialist. Participating in detox treatment helps ease you off addictive substances safely and healthily. Recovery at the Crossroads offers three primary modalities for withdrawal treatment: Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Therapy Programs, Partial Hospitalization Program in New Jersey and Residential Rehab for Addiction Treatment.
Modern medical treatment options can reduce symptoms, sometimes to levels of just mild discomfort. A licensed counselor will help with the psychological aspects of withdrawal.
The Fear of Rejection
It’s not uncommon for people to hide their addiction. In these cases, they fear rejection from their friends and family members if found out. Those with “use buddies” or others who support their addiction might also fear losing them when they get treatment.
If a friend or family member is unhappy about you starting treatment, it’s time to reevaluate that relationship. Surround yourself with supportive people who want you to achieve success. Most recovering addicts find they need to sever ties with the people from their life of addiction. They won’t help you in your addiction recovery and may actively discourage it.
Therapy can help you get past your fear of rejection. Night Time Addiction Treatment can be particularly helpful, as it connects you with others going through the same addiction struggles after work or when the kids are put down for bed. Forging new connections will ease the pain of losing old ones.
The Fear of Boredom
Addiction affects how you experience pleasure. It actually changes the pathways in the brain, making it hard to feel happiness without addictive substances. Drugs and alcohol cause bursts of dopamine in the reward center of the brain, which leads to feelings of euphoria. The neural transmitters adapt to this and build up a tolerance, gradually needing more and more. The dopamine flow is cut off and the reward center stops lighting up when you stop using.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never experience joy again. Your brain just needs to heal. Just as it was trained to receive dopamine from narcotics, it can be trained to receive dopamine from more conventional methods. Medical treatment and therapy will aid in this.
The Fear of Relapse
The possibility of a future relapse stops many people from seeking treatment. Rehab takes a lot of work, and the thought of going through it just to fall into old habits is daunting. You may not believe you can succeed at all. Everyone faces the fear of failure, but it’s worse when the stakes are so high. Here are some routines you can implement to help get over this fear and promote sobriety.
In reality, returning to substance abuse isn’t a sign of failure. About 40%-60% of all recovering addicts relapse, with 90% of those doing so in early recovery. There are many factors behind relapses and learning them is part of healing. Repeat attempts are normal and treatment plans can be adjusted as you learn.
The Fear of Facing Emotions
There are often underlying mental health issues that contribute to addictive behavior. Drug use often starts as a way to self-medicate difficult feelings. Stress, depression, anxiety and trauma are dulled by drugs or alcohol. Without them, you’re forced to deal with the full brunt of these feelings.
While suffering from addiction, people often cause further damage to their mental and physical health. Personal relationships usually suffer as drugs and alcohol become a priority. This means further emotional distress to deal with on top of the original reason for using.
Therapy is the best option to aid in facing feelings. It also helps to maintain a positive mindset and learn stress reduction techniques. Clear goals will motivate you to make it through the toughest mental spots.
The Fear of Change
After long-term use, addiction becomes a comfort. It seems like a safe space where bad feelings are dulled and consequences don’t matter. It’s difficult to imagine leaving this comfort. Fear of change often causes self-sabotage.
Drugs and alcohol also tend to become a large part of your social life and identity. In these cases, people are often scared of who they’ll be after they stop abusing narcotics. A lot of their relationships may be based on procuring or using substances. They don’t know who they’ll be once they’re living a sober lifestyle.
Everyone is afraid of change. However, it’s the only way to move forward and improve yourself. Remind yourself why it’s important and what you want out of life. A strong support team will be key in helping you enforce changes and focus on the present moment.
Overcoming Recovery Fear
Finding the right addiction treatment provider is integral in helping you overcome fear. A private and convenient solution will help you face reality and find a sober life. While overcoming fear takes a lot of work, your future happiness and quality of life will be worth it.
Sometimes fear will get the best of you, but when you work with a dedicated team, like Recovery at the Crossroads, we project confidence, promise and the path to overcoming addiction. Contact our team today at 888-342-3881.
Staff Writer, Recovery at the Crossroads