Addiction treatment and recovery doesn’t end when you leave drug rehab. While treatment at top drug rehab facilities such as those recommended by Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers are invaluable, it’s only the beginning. Many factors lead to an individual’s addictions and their entry into rehab. Drug rehab facilities help people identify and address these factors. However, rehab isn’t magic. It’s not some magic wand that automatically makes all of these problems disappear. But many individuals experience a difficult time overcoming fear associated with long term recovery.
Fear is an emotion that drives addiction and also stops an individual from being happy in recovery. Overcoming fear is one of the most significant challenges for people with the disease of addiction, and they have to learn how to do it. Fear is a natural emotion that all people experience. Fear exists so that individuals can protect themselves from danger. Sometimes, however, there’s a need to protect ones self against fear or else it may rule ones life.
Reasons Fear is Difficult to Overcome
One of the main reasons addicts get stuck in their addictions is they’re afraid. Strong fears can lead individuals to seek comfort in mind-altering substances. That comfort eliminates fear, but only for a moment and comes with a multitude of additional problems.
Men and women suffering from the disease of addiction are afraid of recovery because they don’t know how to cope with life without abusing drugs and alcohol. It is a vicious cycle; fear begets fear. It’s a double-edged sword.
Overcoming fear is difficult, but it’s necessary. Most addicts have a lot of the same fears ( like the fear of failure in recovery), and those fears are rational. People might have other fears, and their feelings might be irrational or not based on reality. It doesn’t matter if fear makes sense. No matter what fear one has, overcoming it is necessary to be happy and successful in recovery. And it is possible.
Overcoming Fear in Addiction Treatment and Recovery
Overcoming fear for men and women with addiction means deciding to get clean and sober. This includes actually following through with what it takes to succeed. Once substance abuse has stopped, fear becomes to subside. Continuing drug use exacerbates fear and makes it more difficult to stop using.
The first step is being willing to face all fears. Instead of trying to block them, acknowledge them and confront them. To face your fears, one must identify precisely what they’re are afraid of, which sounds easier than it is. If one is scared of failing, one must explore why this fear exists. Maybe an individual is terrified of not doing well enough in their classes or afraid of not getting a job that pays more. They could be afraid of being honest about their past or their feelings because of a general fear of judgement and/or abandonment.
It often helps to find and face fears by writing them down in a journal. Overcoming fear might only be possible with help. Therapists can help with overcoming fear, especially phobias or fear from trauma. Fellowships of other addicts (12 Step or otherwise) can help provide support and teach strategies for overcoming fear. Belief in a Higher Power (spirituality or religion) can help with overcoming fear.
Taking things “one day at a time” is a great way to cope with fear. Mindfulness is another tactic that offers an important insight for everyone to consider; overcoming fear is remembering that fear is just a temporary emotion. Individuals are in control of their fear, and not the other way around.
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Written by Recovery Advocate for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News, and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)
Edited by William Charles, Owner/Publisher
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.
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