“Fear is what kept me from getting the treatment I desperately needed for a long time. When I was in active in my addiction there were countless times when all I wanted was to stop using drugs, but fear of the unknown is what kept me from doing anything about it.”
To overcome your fears of going to inpatient treatment, you have to first identify those fears individually and take action when your desire to be free of addiction is at its strongest. Here are some of the main reasons why most addicts are afraid to go to treatment.
- Withdrawal Is Going to Be Painful and Uncomfortable
Having withdrawals is all part of the process, your body has to purge all the harmful substances from your body and adapt to your new clean lifestyle. There are many vetted treatment facilities that offer medically supervised detox that will ensure you are comfortable during the withdrawal period. Alleviate this fear by contacting rehabs and asking them questions about their detox protocol.
– Will their physician prescribe you comfort meds?
– Can you watch TV, read or do other things to distract yourself?
– Can you bring comfort items from home such as a favorite pillow or blanket?
– Will medical staff regularly check your blood pressure and heart rate and treat you accordingly?
You have the right and frankly the responsibility to your body to ask these questions before choosing a treatment facility. Keep in mind, the worst part of withdrawal will be over in just a few days to a week. Look at detox as one week of discomfort that will bring you a lifetime of health, you’re investing in your future and this is necessary for your growth. It may not be easy in the present, but it will most certainly be worth it after it’s done. Withdrawal isn’t as bad as our minds make it out to be. It is the mental part that is most difficult. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the geographic location of where you detox. Being in a place away from home where you cannot get to drugs will make it easier to bear because you know there is nothing you can do.
A few things you can do to help cope with withdrawals:
- Stay hydrated – Drinking lots of water will help to flush out the substances from your body faster.
- Get your sleep – During the process of withdrawing, your body is going to be using a lot of energy and you’re going to be exhausted. Get as much sleep as you can and let your body recover.
- Stretch – Stretch your body to relax it, while stretching make sure you are taking long, deep breathes. Both stretching and breathing will improve your circulation and slow your heart rate which will help you relax.
- I Won’t Know Anyone There So I’ll Be All Alone
Remember when you were nervous about your first day of school? You stayed up the night before with jitters, worried about fitting in with a group that understands you. You might not know anyone in treatment and that may be scary, but in treatment you will be surrounded by people who understand the disease of addiction from a personal and clinical standpoint. You will also be with other addicts who understand exactly what you are going through. Friendships and bonds made in rehab are usually formed fairly easily because you lean into each other for support and understanding on the most intimate levels. This will help you to not feel you are all alone. It’s always helpful to remember that you’re not the only one going through what you are dealing with and if they can get through it so can you.
- I Don’t Know What Will Happen There
This one is easy to change. Call any treatment facility and ask them for their daily schedule. You have the right to ask questions. Ask them to explain:
- Their intake process.
- How long does detox usually last?
- What will be expected of you.
- What types of therapy will be available to you.
- What kind of physical and recreational activities they offer.
- How many and what kind of process groups they have.
- How much downtime you will have.
- What makes their facility different from all the others.
- How and when meals are prepared and served.
- When family can visit.
- And anything else you might want to know.
4. They’ll Make Me Work
Most rehabs will expect you to do basic household chores, clean up after yourself, go to group therapy, meetings, etc. This may seem like a lot to take in at first but you will want to keep busy to keep your mind off using. Activities of Daily Life Skills (ADLS) are meant to teach you the tools you need for after you’re done with treatment. This can be as small as cleaning up after yourself, or cooking yourself a nutritious well balanced meal.
Doing the work expected of you in rehab will make you feel so much about yourself. It will make you feel productive, and independent of your addictive habits. Even though these are small wins, when you consistently rack up consecutive little wins, you are accomplishing everything you set out to do one step at a time.
Trust that they know what they are doing. If you are still unsure, ask them if the things they require you to do are evidence based treatments for addiction. This means they have been researched and found to be effective.
5. I’ll Start to Have Feelings Again.
Yes, you will start to feel again. The good and the bad, and that is what makes us human and feelings can be a wonderful thing, when you learn to understand why you’re feeling a certain way and how to be mindful of those feelings and how they affect your overall perspective.
In treatment you will learn how to break down those emotions on an individual level so you can cope with them. Plus, all feelings are based on your interpretation. You can choose to see all emotions as serving a purpose and therefore not “negative.”
You can also change how you perceive some feelings. For example, you can interpret the same feeling as excitement or anxiety. This type of mindfulness of your emotions is so empowering. All of the sudden you can apply mindfulness to simple everyday conversations and interactions that will yield the most positive of results. Your relationships with your loved ones and anyone you come into contact with will be filled with true substance, understanding and be strengthened each time you apply mindfulness to them.
When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, you will be ready to overcome these basic fears. It is important that you act on that feeling immediately, and remember to separate yourself from your addiction. Those are two separate entities. When you reach out for help, we at Altus will be here ready to help you free yourself from your addiction.