4 Common Fears of Going to Rehab — and How to Overcome Them

Drug abuse group counseling at Roots Recovery
Do you or someone you care about have concerns about starting rehab? If so, you’re not alone.

As any of our alumni can tell you, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little anxious and fearful before entering an addiction treatment center. Embarking on any journey to a completely new life brings forth challenges and uncertainty, and addiction can make it seem too complicated to work.

Deciding to go to rehab isn’t easy, and neither is getting sober, but don’t let the fear of recovery hold you or your loved one back from seeing treatment. In this blog, we’ll address some of the biggest anxieties about recovery, and how to move past them into a brighter future.

The Most Common Questions About Recovery:

What if I Fail?

One of the greatest fears of going to rehab is relapse — a sign of “failure.” However, relapse is so common that it’s considered a part of lifelong recovery for some people.

Contrary to popular belief, relapse isn’t a sign that you’re “weak.” It’s important to recognize that achieving sobriety is not as simple as flipping a switch, and that breaking the chains of addiction is a process full of many triumphs and setbacks before sustaining an entirely new lifestyle.

Remember: Setbacks are part of recovery, and often a series of “falling seven times and getting up eight.” Approaching relapse as an opportunity to learn, and to commit to recovery, can help clarify what works and what doesn’t, reminding those in recovery that they can overcome this or anything else.

What if I Succeed?

For some, the thought of detoxing, working through rehab, and succeeding at recovery scares them. The fear of success may sound like a paradox, but getting sober means replacing your primary coping mechanism — drugs and alcohol — with new, unfamiliar ones, not to mention losing the thing you currently hold as the most important in your life.

Will all of the hard work be worth it? Will sobriety be boring or sustainable? Staying stuck in this fear generally means staying stuck in addiction, but there’s much more to life on the other side of rehab.

Remember: Fear is an emotion based on something we can’t control: the future. Instead of fretting over what might be, one can practice being mindful of the present. Sobriety is far from boring and opens up many opportunities, such as rediscovering interests, having more money and energy, and strengthening relationships with the people who matter most.

What if People Judge Me?

It can feel scary when it comes time to admit your shortcomings to family members, friends, co-workers, and loved ones, especially when you’re unsure of how they will respond. Although overcoming addiction is a tremendous feat, there is still a stigma when it comes to discussing and addressing addiction. But being scared of what other people will think is no reason to stop you from going to rehab.

More importantly, getting help could mean the difference between life and death, and your life is far more important than what others think of you. The right people will understand, after all.

Remember: Addiction is one of the most misunderstood and misjudged issues. The fact is, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to go to rehab, and that deserves respect. What other people think about addiction really doesn’t matter, as they haven’t walked in those shoes. Distancing yourself from those who judge for going to rehab is almost always the best thing to do.

Doctor helping a patient recover from drug abuse

What if I Lose My Identity?

Substance use is deeply rooted within the social arena and is, in some circles, considered a “lifestyle.” The idea of letting this habit go can cause overwhelming fear and anxiety of loneliness to arise and make you turn away from recovery.

You may have thoughts about losing all that is good in your life, losing all friends, being boring, and feeling lost without the use of the substance. This fear is common, but by looking at the sober community, you can see that those thoughts are not true.

Remember: Recovery is a unique opportunity to redefine boundaries and rediscover one’s self and interests. It’s normal to feel lost and confused when newly sober, but over time, those in recovery recall what they like and dislike, what they stand for and what they don’t, and ultimately find their voice.

Overcome the Fear of Recovery

There’s no reason to let the fear of going to rehab stop someone from seeking the help they deserve. At Roots Recovery, we understand how difficult initiating recovery can be: that’s why we make starting the process easier.

We provide a safe and welcoming environment where clients are given the knowledge, and support, they need to maintain sobriety throughout their entire lives — from individual substance abuse counseling, all the way to our sober living homes, which help residents get used to fulfilling their responsibilities.

We take the time to work with each and every individual to help them overcome their biggest anxieties about recovery, address their concerns honestly, and provide them with the tools they need to stay sober. Contact us today to get started!