You have started to recognize that your substance use is becoming problematic, and you are considering seeking treatment. You want to stop using substances and take back control over your life, but choosing recovery is a huge lifestyle change. Therefore, you may have some fear, but understand that there are ways to manage and overcome this fear.
Fear About Seeking Treatment
The first step in the SUD recovery journey is often seeking inpatient or outpatient treatment at a facility. Even when you know treatment is what you need, you, like many people, will probably have fears and apprehensions about treatment that may act as a barrier. Some extremely common fears you may have include:
- Job loss
- Childcare concerns
- Paying for treatment
- Fears surrounding stigma
Overcoming Fear Associated With Seeking Treatment
While your fear is legitimate, remember there are ways you can manage and overcome your fear. Some ways you can get started include:
- Notify your employer. Seeking treatment usually means you will have to tell your employer. It is natural to fear the loss of employment, but fortunately, some federal protections such as the Family and Medical Leave Act are in place to protect workers seeking help. Your company may also have an employee assistance program (EAP) that allows you to receive assistance from within the company.
- Find care for your children. Childcare can be a difficult area to address. Sometimes trusted family and friends will assist with caring for your children while you are seeking treatment. If a medical detox and residential treatment are not necessary, more flexible options for treatment are partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Some facilities even offer virtual outpatient programs. These outpatient options allow you to receive treatment without staying in the facility.
- Find out the cost of treatment. How you will pay for treatment can weigh heavily on you, but it helps to know that SUD treatment is covered under commercial insurance plans and Medicaid. However, you should check your plan benefits to ensure that your chosen level of care is a covered benefit. It is also important to see if the facility or provider you wish to use is in your insurance’s network, and if not, check to see if you have out-of-network benefits.
- Overcome stigma. You may fear that when you try to get SUD treatment, you will face judgment and experience being stigmatized. It is important to remember that attitudes toward SUDs and treatment have changed. While some people may judge you, you may be surprised to find that many people will be supportive and proud of you for taking this huge step.
Fears Surrounding Recovery After Completing Treatment
Once you break through the fears of seeking treatment and you get the care you need, you will be on the road to recovery. However, with this may come new fears and misconceptions about a recovery lifestyle. Some of these include:
- Recovery makes for a boring lifestyle. You might believe that life will be boring, and you will never have fun. While life will be different, it does not mean it will be boring. When you are free from substances, you may rediscover old interests or find new ones. You will also be more aware of your inner and outer worlds without the numbing effects of substances. This may allow you to derive much more pleasure from small things like a delicious meal, a cozy sweater, or the beauty of nature.
- Maintaining recovery is impossible. Recovery is not easy, and yes, it requires patience and persistence. However, there are resources and people who are available to support you when things get hard. You will also have learned some tools and skills from treatment to help you push through the difficult times. When recovery seems like too much work, look to support from friends, family, peers, and professionally. Always remember how far you have come.
- Experience difficult emotions. Without the effects of substances, you may feel things more deeply, and it may be scary to think about facing life’s ups and downs sober. However, by continuing to build on the skills you gained during treatment and attending appointments and meetings, you will develop additional coping skills that will help you overcome challenges.
- Loss of relationships. When you choose sobriety, you may lose friends with whom you once used substances, and it can be difficult to lose these relationships. Where there is loss, there will often be grief. Acknowledge your feelings without judgment. You may want to address these feelings with your therapist or a supportive friend.
If you have decided that you want to choose recovery and a life free from substance use, you may have some fears holding you back. At Sober Life, we understand those fears, and our expert staff is here to guide and support you to overcome any reservations you have about recovery. Our programs use evidence-based practices, and our resiliency model focuses on your strengths to build independence that will help you maintain sobriety as you continue in recovery after treatment. Many of our staff have been where you are now and understand your concerns and fears, and they can help you begin to live a full, joyful life free from substances. If you or a loved one needs help, don’t wait: act today. Don’t let fear hold you back any longer. To find out more about our programs, reach out to us and call (619) 542-9542.