Fear is one of the primary emotions, which can motivate a person to behave in specific ways. Fear can hinder the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs).
What specific fears create barriers, and how can a person move past them into drug detox?
This blog will touch on how to overcome some of the most common fears involved in the addiction healing process.
Fear of Withdrawal Symptoms
If a person wants to keep themselves from SUD treatment, they need only read the list of possible withdrawal symptoms. The number alone can overwhelm a person.
Though it is unlikely that a person will experience every fear, it is typical to experience many symptoms at once. Due to individual differences, it is impossible to predict exactly how someone will feel during withdrawal.
Additionally, the withdrawal period lasts anywhere from days to weeks depending on the specific drugs consumed, the potency, the length of use, and any underlying health conditions. Then, there is the possibility of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS can prolong the symptoms past the normal withdrawal period.
All of this uncertainty surrounding withdrawal creates a fairly reasonable fear of the experience.
A person must push past this fear to start their sobriety journey. Luckily, medical detox programs administer medications to mitigate the distressing symptoms and make the withdrawal process as safe and comfortable as possible.
People do not need to be afraid of pain and suffering during withdrawal. Doctors and nurses closely monitor patients, adjusting their treatment plans as needed. If a person starts exhibiting symptoms partway through the process, they can be addressed medically and immediately.
On top of the medical care, mental health professionals may offer emotional support for symptoms that cannot be managed through meds during detox.
Fear of Change
Humans find comfort in perceived truths. It is in humans’ evolutionarily programming to look for patterns. Consistent cause and effect bring comfort. The more something occurs, the more likely humans are to accept it. This applies whether the experiences are positive or negative.
Yet, this natural love of consistency can breed a fear of change and make people stagnate.
The deep-rooted fear of change explains why people do not seek out help for addictions. SUD may wreck interpersonal relationships, work lives, and mental health; however, people know what to expect in active addiction. They know how it will make them feel, physically and emotionally. They know how loved ones will react. They know how drugs or alcohol will impair their system.
Meanwhile, the road to sobriety is entirely unfamiliar. A person might fear succeeding in recovery because it requires whole-life change.
There are two major ways to get past the fear of change:
- Radical acceptance
- Seeking guidance
Radical acceptance is the practice of acknowledging reality without trying to control it. A person must release judgment so they will not create more emotional distress than is already present. In terms of addiction treatment, people can accept that they are afraid of change without judging themselves. They can honor the uncertainty of the future without building up extra anguish. They can then move forward with their recovery, making a conscious effort to see situations as they are.
Seeking guidance is a tenet of 12-Step programs. They encourage people to connect with others who have been through treatment. Even outside of 12-Step environments, guidance can assist a person in overcoming their fear of change. They simply need to find a support system of people who have gone through addiction.
This often comes in the form of group therapy or connecting with facility alumni.
Fear of Fallout
SUDs create large messes. They alter the lives of everyone in a social system. A person in active addiction may lose their:
They may have also gotten into legal trouble. People with SUD often use drugs and alcohol as an escape. The substances can numb emotional turmoil. These individuals allow themselves to push off any complicated dilemmas, pretending they do not exist. Pursuing recovery requires people to face their problems.
The fallout from addiction can cause fear. It can prevent anyone with addiction from seeking treatment. The best way to overcome this fear is to internalize this message: problems still exist whether a person faces them or not.
People cannot avoid issues forever. They will become worse the longer a person runs from them. Things cannot remain unaddressed. It is better to address the fallout head-on. Yes, things may get worse when first handling the situation. Over time, though, with help, they can get better. Individuals who love a person with SUD often come around after seeing dedication to sobriety. They are more willing to hear the addicted individual out and mend rifts when they see the work they have done.
Find Your Detox Center Now With DetoxNearMe.com
If you are coping with SUD, fear may be stopping you from seeking treatment. You must find a way to move past your fears if you hope to change your life path.
Doctors in detox facilities have your best interest in mind when you are under their care. They will not simply let you suffer. You might just have to face your problems directly, knowing that it gets worse before it gets better.
When you are ready to overcome your fears, DetoxNearMe.com can assist you in finding a detox center that meets your needs. With our carefully curated listings, you’ll be able to find a detox center for you that matches your needs, budget, and location.
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