Addictions and the effects of long-term substance use are scary and dangerous. Still, for people struggling with substance abuse, the fears of entering rehab can be even worse, and enough to keep them from finding recovery. While this may seem unreasonable to somebody who’s never struggled with addiction, people have many common fears that prevent them from getting help.
Understanding the most common fears of entering rehab can help make sense of a loved one’s behaviors, which will make it easier to come to terms with the choices they’re making.
1. The Fear of Failure and Success
Although it is contradictory, the simultaneous fears of both success and failure frequently keep people out of rehab. There are two possible outcomes to treatment: relapsing and getting sober. Sometimes people fear rehab because while they 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 people 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 severe 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 people can’t bear the thought of going through detox, though this may be difficult to understand for someone who’s never been addicted to a substance.
3. Not Wanting to Be Sober and Miserable
For many people, being high or drunk is a way to self-medicate, especially if they’re using it 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 without drugs or alcohol.
People 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, this is their perspective.
4. Being Afraid to Admit There’s a Problem
Going into rehab means owning up to having an issue with drugs or alcohol, which can be a terrifying proposition. Many people who use drugs and alcohol are in denial about the extent of their use or are trying to keep their friends, family, or employer in the dark about it. Getting treatment, therefore, means admitting to themselves and the world that they have a problem; this is tantamount to admitting defeat.
5. The Fear of Losing Who You Are
After an extended period of substance use, people begin to identify 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 rely on and give up a part of your identity.
It can be difficult to understand the fears of entering rehab, but these fears are common and comprehensible when thinking about them from another’s perspective. If somebody struggling with addiction is expressing fear or resistance to treatment, it can help to be aware of these common fears and empathizing with their concerns. Call 877-284-0353 or contact us anytime for more information.