Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. When a person is in active addiction, all they care about is getting and doing their drug of choice. Addicts will also surround themselves with other addicts as another way to remain comfortable with their existence as an addict. Drug cultures and lifestyles all have the same goal, to get drugs and remain high for as long as possible.
What is Fear?
Fear is defined as an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. For many addicts, leaving their drug-fueled lifestyle as well as being asked to stop doing drugs is why so many people never get help. They are simply afraid of taking the leap into the unknown; into the world of recovery. The disease of addiction is insidious; addicts live in a state of fear and are unaware of it. When an addict is high, all of their uncomfortable feelings disappear. Take that away, and they are often paralyzed with fear.
The fears that addicts have about going to treatment include fear of withdrawal symptoms, loss of friends or relationships, fear of change, fear of rejection, fear of how to handle life without the use of substances. Addicts also face the fear of consequences. When an addict gets clean and sober, they also return to reality. Facing legal matters, cleaning up physical damage they made to their house or another’s, needing to reunite with estranged family members, former employers, and accepting responsibility for all the actions they took while under the influence.
Another fear that prevents many addicts from getting help for their addiction is judgment. Although the stigma that addicts receive from society has indeed lessened in the many years of the lasting opioid epidemic, substance abuse is still very looked down on. The fact is that addiction ruins lives and make addicts lie, cheat, and steal, even from loved ones.
Most addicts wreck their lives because of substance abuse and have to pick up the broken pieces afterward. The amount of fear that addicts have about going to treatment is extensive and yet, very normal. However, of all the fears that addicts have about going to treatment, there is one helpful one. The fears of remaining an addict forever and repeating the downward spiral of addiction until death or prison or worse, and yes, there is worse.
There is Good News
The good news is that quality drug treatment programs provide services and counseling that address all of these issues. For a person who is addicted to an opiate drug like heroin, they have every right to fear withdrawal symptoms, as do alcoholics and other types of drug addicts. Medications that diminish and eliminate withdrawal symptoms are now the standard in all professional drug treatment centers. A drug addict or alcoholic who uses to avoid withdrawal symptoms no longer needs to be afraid.
The types of counseling that a professional drug treatment center offers also address these common fears that addicts have about stopping using and going to treatment. Once a person enters recovery, counselors are educated and experienced in how to help walk them through fear and anxiety about the wreckage of their past.
Pick the Right Type of Therapy
Specific types of therapy that are recommended for addicts and alcoholics that teach coping methods and new ways of thinking and behaving which are being applied in recovery programs are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and relapse prevention. Each of these types of therapy target deep-rooted emotions and thoughts that cause addicts to struggle and experience fear. With comprehensive drug treatment that utilizes numerous methods of treatment along with medications prescribed by a medical doctor who specializes in addiction recovery, the fears that addicts have about treatment quickly lessen and usually disappear.
All addicts and alcoholics have fears, and this often is the reason they became addicted to their drug of choice because it temporarily masks these feelings of fear. However, all recovering addicts will eventually realize that their addiction and lifestyle was never positive. All addicts can recover, that is the great truth about recovery. The first step is to rely on the expertise of the professionals who have made addiction recovery their life’s work. They are there to care, protect, help, and guide addicts towards complete freedom from their substance abuse.