Addictions and the effects of long-term substance use are scary and dangerous, but for substance abusers, the fears of entering rehab can be even worse, and enough to keep them from getting clean. While this may seem unreasonable to somebody who’s never struggled with substance use and addiction, there are many common fears that addicts have that prevent them from getting treatment.
Understanding addict’s most common fears of entering rehab can help you make sense of a loved one’s behaviors, which will make it easier for you to come to terms with the choices he or she is making.
1. The Fear of Failure and Success
Although it’s contradictory, the simultaneous fears of both success and failure frequently keep addicts out of rehab. There are two possible outcomes to treatment: relapsing and getting sober. Addicts fear rehab because while they do want to get better, getting sober presents the possibility of relapsing, and this would be a failure in their eyes.
Nobody likes to fail, and the same bodes true for substance abusers. However, the alternative, getting sober, is equally frightening for some addicts, because they don’t believe that they deserve success. Since rehab presents the possibility of success, they shy away from getting treatment.
2. Being Worried About Withdrawal
Withdrawal is unpleasant, painful, emotionally taxing, and in some cases, it can even be life-threatening. Many people compare the experience of withdrawal to a nasty flu, and it’s understandable why someone would be averse to subjecting themselves to this pain.
Not only that, but the cravings for certain drugs can be so intense that many addicts can’t bear the thought of going through a detox, though this may be difficult to understand if you’ve never been addicted to a substance.
3. Not Wanting to Be Sober and Miserable
For many people, being high or drunk is a pleasurable experience, especially if they’re using to escape or cope with personal problems, mental illness, or the effects of trauma. As such, the idea of giving up that crutch can be unthinkable, as can the thought of having to face life sober.
Many addicts in this situation see it like this: “If I was miserable before the drugs, why would I willingly give up the one thing that’s making life tolerable?” While it may not be true, that’s certainly how they see their predicament.
4. Being Afraid to Admit There’s a Problem
Going into rehab means owning up to being addicted, and this can be a very scary thing. Many addicts are in denial about the extent of their addiction, or are at least trying to keep their friends, family, and employer in the dark about it. Getting treatment, therefore, means admitting to yourself that there’s a problem and disclosing to the world that you’re addicted, and for many people, this is tantamount to admitting failure.
5. The Fear of Losing Who You Are
After an extended period of substance use, people begin to redefine themselves based on who they are when they’re high or drunk. When this happens, the prospect of being sober means having to be somebody you aren’t. Getting sober means having to give up your friends, give up the things you like doing and give up a part of your identity.
It can be difficult for non-addicts to understand the fears of entering rehab, but these fears are common and comprehensible when you think about them from the perspective of a substance user. If somebody in your life is an addict and is expressing fears or resistance about treatment, it can help to know these common fears, and hopefully, it will help you understand your loved one better. Call 877-284-0353 or contact us anytime for more information.