Without a doubt, fear is a complicated emotion, and it often compromises our ability to make the best choices. How can you muster the courage to move past your fears? Let’s look at some of the common reasons why people are fearful of addiction treatment, and what you can do to beat the odds.
Typical Fears About Addiction Treatment
There’s not one quick answer that identifies why it’s so challenging to simply decide to start treatment. After all, despite what’s often depicted in entertainment, you don’t have to hit rock bottom first to begin your recovery journey. But here are some factors that contribute to our fears.
Fear #1: Myths About Addiction
Many stigmas and myths invade our perception of substance use disorder (SUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD), and these are often the origin point for many people to delay seeking the care they deserve to make their lives better.
For example, maybe someone told you, “If you just focused your willpower, you’d be able to quit.” Now you worry that you don’t have it in you to complete treatment. Since addiction is a brain disease, aspects of motivation and willpower are actually compromised as a result of SUD and AUD. However, once sober, willpower might actually be a viable force to help you avoid relapse in the future.
Additionally, perhaps you’ve heard that addiction is a choice, and this clouds your self-esteem and makes you doubt your ability to recover. Yes, while it’s true that we make a conscious decision to use drugs or alcohol, we don’t set out to develop an AUD or SUD. But once alcohol or drugs changes brain processing and bodily functions, this creates a pattern of compulsive use. Does this excuse your actions? No, but it helps you understand behavior patterns and follow a plan for progressive change.
Or maybe you believe that you have an addictive personality, so recovery simply isn’t possible. But addiction as a characteristic isn’t a psychiatric diagnosis: addiction is caused by a mix of biological, psychological, and environmental factors, including trauma. What medical research supports is that some behaviors and characteristics may coexist with addiction. These might include personality traits such as nonconformity or impulsive behavior, as well as co-occurring mood disorders, mental health conditions, or process addictions.
Fear #2: The Detox & Rehab Process
Think of almost any movie or TV show involving addiction, and it’s no wonder that people have these fears, and are genuinely concerned about detoxification, withdrawal symptoms, and side effects associated with purging toxic chemicals from the mind and body.
Many factors affect the intensity of medical detoxification, but three primary factors are type of substances, length of addiction, and overall health. Each person experiences withdrawal differently, so it’s critical to have supervised detoxification by board-certified medical professionals. For most people, detox takes about 10 days, but certain withdrawal symptoms might take a few months to eliminate completely. Your continuum of care plan should address these specific needs and provide effective management solutions.
Will you be uncomfortable during detox? It’s possible. But knowing what awaits you on the other side and that you’ll be supported by a care team dedicated to your needs helps alleviate concerns.
Addiction rehabilitation methods vary by facility, but at Twin Lakes Recovery Center, we believe you’ll be better prepared to make the right decision for your health if you know what to expect. So we’ve detailed the inpatient rehabilitation treatment process for you in these two articles:
How Rehab Works, Pt. 1
How Rehab Works, Pt. 2
Fear #3: Entering & Paying for Treatment
Choosing a treatment facility that can care for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health takes time, and often requires a lot of steps in the decision-making process. It can be overwhelming at first, but please don’t let this be a deterrent to addiction treatment. Ask a family member or friend to help you draw up a list of pros and cons, including whether to stay close to home for quality care or go to a center elsewhere, and what questions to ask about treatment philosophy, the experience of the staff, and other concerns.
Regarding cost, remember this: you have a right to invest in yourself and your future well-being. You deserve to be healthy and to have a rich, fulfilling life. So while treatment isn’t free, there might be ways to make it more financially accessible.
- Check with your insurance company, and review your policy to see what stipulations it has about addiction treatment. Here’s a helpful checklist.
- If you’re a member of the military or a veteran, it’s important to note that Twin Lakes Recovery Center accepts VA benefits as part of the Community Care Network.
If you’re curious about other ways to fund treatment, one of our admission specialists should be able to answer your questions.
Life Will Be Better With Treatment
Moving past your fears into a new way of living is a courageous choice. Yes, change is often challenging and frightening at first, but if you’ve read this far, you know you’re ready for recovery. Fortunately, you’ll have the support of both Twin Lakes’ staff and our vast alumni network to guide you. Use the contact information on this page to learn more.