woman sitting on floor feeling depressed and considering going to addiction treatment

How to Handle Your Fear of Recovery

Self-motivation definitely plays its part in admissions to addiction treatment, but many who seek care for drug or alcohol addiction are externally motivated. Whether due to court order or a family-issued ultimatum, a large number of clients are initially resistant to giving up their old lifestyle. In time, however, many come around to seeing the benefits of sobering up and overcome their fear of recovery.

You can undergo a similar transformation, provided that you are willing. If you have a fear of recovery or reservations about entering sobriety, do not feel discouraged. You are far from alone. Many of our recovering staff members felt the same way when they first became sober, yet are now strong enough in their recovery to help others. To overcome your fear of seeking help and adopting a new lifestyle, you must begin by simply opening your eyes to the urgent need for radical change.

Fear of Recovery and Deciding to Seek Help

Far too many people who need addiction treatment for substance use are not receiving it. In fact, survey data shows that while approximately 21 million Americans aged 12 or older were in need of treatment in 2016, only 3.8 million were actually given the help they need.

Fear of recovery and denial of the need for help have led to millions of lost jobs, shattered relationships, and even fatalities. An excess of 64,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdose in 2016, according to CDC calculations. Some believe that this number will only increase over time. Alcohol statistics published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimate a further 88,000 deaths caused by drinking each year. These numbers may seem small in comparison to the number of untreated substance users, but it becomes clear nonetheless that those who fail to seek treatment are gambling with their lives.

The risk is especially high for those addicted to heroin and opioids, as laced products have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Counterfeit opioids made from the synthetic W-18, or doses of heroin laced with highly potent drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil, are greatly responsible for recent increases in drug-related deaths. If there was ever a moral code governing drug dealers, it appears to have diminished. Addicts must seek help today if they wish to live to see tomorrow.

Overcoming Your Fear of Seeking Addiction Treatment

Fear and denial take many forms, and those who resist treatment may do so for any number of reasons. For instance, you may feel that addiction treatment centers require you to be religious, due to the emphasis on faith seen in many 12-step programs. These programs are used often in treatment due to the anecdotal evidence supporting them. While they do not tell you how to define your Higher Power, they certainly advocate the need for one.

There are, however, other options available. Aspire Health Network teaches clients who wish to forgo the 12-step model about other programs such as SMART Recovery, which focuses on science rather than the faith-based approach to which many are accustomed. In this way, our facilities accommodate those of all faiths, whether they be religious, agnostic, atheist or still questioning.

Some clients have a fear of recovery because they worry they may lose social support if they admit to their problem. In reality, most friends and family members tend to recognize problematic substance use before the user themselves. We cannot always see our own mountain of problems while we are standing on top of it, but others can. Rather than abandon you, many of your closest supporters will be grateful that you finally sought help. As for those who do turn their backs, it can hardly be said that they supported you much to begin with.

Of course, some simply fear change. More specifically, you may fear that you are incapable of truly changing. Refusing addiction treatment for fear of relapse may therefore seem pragmatic. Why would you risk spending time and money on a pursuit that may not bear fruit?

Unfortunately, however, we cannot achieve something without trying. If you know that substance use is hurting you, then you must try to get better. Furthermore, you must put your faith in a facility that will help you focus on long-term sobriety and relapse prevention, taking an approach tailored to the recovery methods that work best for you.

Do not put off change any longer. The key to overcoming your fears is within you. All you need is to take the first step. Reach out for help today, and we will assist you with the rest. Change may be scary, but the end result is well worth facing your fears.