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Overcoming Fear as a Barrier to Recovery

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Fear is a very intense emotion, especially for those challenging their use of addictive substances in recovery. Even if an individual has identified the want or need to pursue rehab for their physical and emotional health, their fear can be an incredibly real and palpable barrier to acting on these needs. 

Not only can fear make it difficult to reach out for help or admit the need for recovery, but it can also cause an individual to attempt detox and recovery at home. This can prompt dangerous attempts to self-medicate and increases the chances for relapse. While fear is a major barrier for those seeking recovery, it can always be overcome for a truly transformative recovery. 

The Barriers Created by Fear

Fear is a difficult barrier to overcome for many reasons. Identifying how fear is preventing an individual from pursuing dedicated support can inform how they approach and overcome these barriers. The first way that fear may manifest is when an individual is preparing to reach out to family or friends to inform them they want assistance managing their use of addictive substances. 

Individuals will commonly realize the need for change and sobriety far before any such conversation takes place, and fear may prevent discussing their use with others. These conversations can be filled with uncertainties. The fear of being perceived differently by peers, judged for actions beyond their control, or even how others will react to words like “addiction” are all incredibly intimidating. 

Those struggling may also find it difficult to communicate their concerns, thoughts, or emotions when it comes to complicated emotional topics like addiction. Finding the right words to convey their needs while navigating feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, and more can be challenging. Individuals may be worried that they do not have the right language to effectively discuss their needs without being judged. 

The Fear of the Unknown 

For those suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, the use of these addictive substances affects every facet of daily life. From personal relationships to an individual’s professional career, drugs and alcohol can populate their mind from the moment they wake up. It can be a fundamental part of the day, and schedules and routines may have been constructed around their use. 

Depending on how long an individual may have been using these substances, it can be difficult to imagine a lifestyle devoid of such substances. Fear of what a sober change may mean for each person can be a difficult barrier for those considering recovery. Even if an individual is aware that their use of addictive substances is destructive, the unknowns that lay in sobriety can still be a difficult barrier to overcome. 

Changing social structures, relationships, and aspects of an individual’s identity are all difficult to process, but are necessary parts of recovery to embrace a truly transformed, healthy lifestyle. When individuals distance themselves from friends who may be negative influences on their use of drugs or alcohol and instead explore new outlets, hobbies, and identities, they may experience anxiety. It is common for those pursuing a sober future in recovery and detox to consider these changes before reaching out for help. 

Breaking Through the Barriers of Fear

An individual can create any number of reasons and excuses not to pursue a sober future. However, facing fears, isolation, and addiction is necessary to break through these barriers. While talking about an individual’s use of addictive substances is difficult, they do not have to confront everyone at once. Discussing their use with one or two trusted friends or family members can be a great way to approach these difficult discussions. 

There is also a stigma around words like “recovery,” and an individual may feel like they will have to give up all that they are in order to pursue a sober future. Recovery is a catalyst to help an individual pursue their personal goals beyond the use of addictive substances. Pursuing this identity and new interests is a personalized effort. 

Fear is something that is difficult to overcome until an individual proves to themselves that they are capable of change. For those facing fear as a barrier to detox and recovery, it is important to embrace a degree of change in order to combat feelings of fear. Trying a new hobby, talking to a single loved one, and calling a recovery facility to learn more about their programs are all small steps that can help individuals deconstruct their fears a bit at a time. This promotes the possibility of truly positive, transformative change. 

Breaking through the first barrier of fear and taking your first step into a dedicated detox program can be an incredible experience, lifting weight from your shoulders while beginning the journey to a sober future. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we understand the barriers of fear, but also the truly impactful and transformative nature of recovery. Our unique, personalized approach to your recovery plan is crucial for helping you best deconstruct the barriers you face. We personalize your time with us from detox and residential treatment through ongoing outpatient care, and we are committed to helping you establish your own goals and practices for a healthy, sober future. Located in beautiful Santa Ana, CA, we combine individual and group therapy with experiential approaches and personalized recovery strategies to create a wholly personal experience. For more information, speak with us today at (949) 426-7962.

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  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


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