Get Help Now 760-492-6385

Fear impacts people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) may experience fear for a wide range of reasons. According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, “Fear is a common negative thinking pattern in addiction . . . A basic fear of recovery is that the individual is not capable of recovery.” West Coast Recovery Centers helps clients face their fears using psychotherapy, peer support, and other evidence-based methods

Facing Your Fears During Early Recovery

Fear is a normal human experience and helps people avoid unsafe situations. However, trauma and other unaddressed mental health issues may cause people to feel afraid even in situations where they are not in any danger. For example, a person with a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may feel scared to put their trust in authority figures, including clinicians. Facing those fears allows people to get the help they need to recover from the effects of substance abuse. 

How Does Facing Your Fears Enhance the Effects of Treatment?

Treatment is only effective if people feel comfortable and able to engage with their care team actively. Fear may stop some people from fully participating in their recovery or making necessary lifestyle changes. The clinical team at West Coast Recovery Centers helps clients identify fears and address them using healthy coping skills, positive self-talk, peer support, and psychotherapy.

According to the previously mentioned article by the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine:

These are some of the categories of fearful thinking: 

1) fear of not measuring up;

2) fear of being judged;

3) fear of feeling like a fraud and being discovered; 

4) fear of not knowing how to live in the world without drugs or alcohol; 

5) fear of success; and

6) fear of relapse.

People in recovery overcome these fears by actively participating in evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies. Clinicians at West Coast Recovery Centers collaborate closely with clients to help them develop effective and appropriate methods for managing or avoiding fear. 

Facing Your Fears Reduces the Risk of Relapse

Many people diagnosed with SUD experience a relapse at some point. More specifically, the publication titled Addiction Relapse Prevention by authors Guenzel and McChargue states, “Many studies have shown relapse rates of approximately 50% within the first 12 weeks after completion of intensive inpatient programs.” Fear of experiencing a relapse is one of the most common reasons people avoid getting help for chronic substance abuse. However, avoiding change out of fear only causes people to remain in an unhealthy holding pattern, causing steady physical and emotional damage. 

Early intervention and treatment reduce the risk of severe health issues and relapse. Fear does not have to stop people from participating in treatment. The care team guides clients through developing essential relapse-prevention strategies. Clients who feel confident in their ability to manage stressors feel less fear and have a reduced risk of relapse during early recovery. 

Facing Your Fears at West Coast Recovery Centers

Clients in treatment do not have to face their fears alone. The care team has decades of experience helping people navigate recovery from substance abuse. Clients are provided with the support and tools they need to recognize the cause of their fears and find positive solutions for overcoming them. Many treatment services are available to help people manage or eliminate fears related to recovery.

Meanwhile, below is additional information on some of the most helpful services and treatment options for individuals struggling with fear or negative emotions:

Individual and Group Therapy

Therapy provides clients with context for their fear and other strong emotions. The therapist leads clients through self-discovery and skill development during individual or group therapy sessions. West Coast Recovery Centers uses many evidence-based and holistic therapeutic modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-based therapies.

Peer Engagement and Support

Researchers have reported significant positive outcomes for individuals who make positive peer interactions during treatment for SUD. According to Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, “Historically, peer support has been shown to be a key component of many existing addiction treatment and recovery approaches.” Additionally, studies have “demonstrated the importance of valued social roles in maintaining abstinence, which is the foundation of the peer support relationship.” Fortunately, clients in treatment have many opportunities to engage with peers and build healthy relationships. 

Developing a Support System and Facing Your Fears

A strong support system ensures clients have people to help them navigate challenges during long-term recovery. West Coast Recovery Centers uses family therapy and other services to help clients develop a healthy support system in treatment and at home. 

Some of the most common individuals incorporated into a support system include: 

  • Friends and family
  • Case managers
  • Therapist and counselors 
  • Doctors and other medical professionals
  • Nutritionists and other individuals who provide support services 
  • Mentors and sponsors 

Clients do not need many people to create a strong and effective support system. The quality of the relationships is more important than the quantity. West Coast Recovery Centers assists clients in identifying supportive relationships and incorporating them into a healthy support system. Fear is easier to overcome when a reliable group of people can help someone manage their condition. 

Everyone experiences fear; sometimes, it is a healthy response to unsafe situations. However, fear becomes a problem and a barrier to recovery when it stops people from getting treatment or making the changes they need to heal from substance abuse. Negative emotions like fear may cause some people to refuse treatment or avoid engaging fully in recovery. West Coast Recovery Centers helps people overcome fear by using cognitive-behavioral therapy and other forms of therapy to guide clients through identifying and addressing the root cause of the fear. Clinicians ensure clients feel comfortable and safe during treatment. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.