Making a big life change is fearful for most people. It can feel incredibly uncomfortable to enter into new territory, especially without the right tools and support. When a person gets sober, they are not only ending the use of substances, they are changing their life in significant ways. In fact, person who has chosen to get sober might feel the big task ahead of them but also feel excited about possibly ending a difficult way of life.

In many cases, fear gets in the way of a person getting the right treatment. He or she might recognize that they need help in ending their addiction. However, the fear of the unknown might keep them stuck in the cycle of addiction. In fact, there are many fears that might keep someone from getting the treatment they need. And even those who have already gone through treatment might find that they continue to face fears of change. Some common fears having to do with recovery include:

  • -Fear of losing a relationship, especially if the other person is still using
  • -Fear of facing physical pain that substances masked
  • -Fear of dying
  • -Fear that sobriety will require too much effort and not be worth it
  • -Fear of failing
  • -Fear of the unknown
  • -Fear of not being able to repair the relationships that were harmed during the addiction
  • -Fear of not being able to move forward in one’s career now sober because of past mistakes
  • -Fear of not being able to take care of financial problems because of the addiction
  • -Fear of facing legal problems that resulted from the addiction
  • -Fear of facing one’s mental health issues while sober


If you realize that you are fearful of getting treatment, it’s important to find someone who can assist you. You might know the saying that the only thing to fear is fear itself. This means that fear can be a major obstacle in moving forward in life, and this is true for any major life endeavor.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction and has fears about going into treatment, a mental health provider can help. In fact, a therapist or drug counselor can facilitate a discussion in which the pros and cons of treatment versus addiction are weighed. Weighing one’s options can help make clear the path to take. Also, this kind of discussion might demystify some of the ideas that a person has about entering treatment and the kind of life he or she will have when sober.

In fact, one of the most successful therapies for those who are struggling with an addiction is Motivational Interviewing. It helps a person explore the various facets of their life so that they can put into perspective what is important to them. This therapy also aims to elicit one’s intrinsic motivation to change so that the choice to get sober feels authentic. Another advantage of this kind of therapy is that it helps one to see the path of treatment clearly so there is less fear of the unknown.

Although fear can keep someone from getting treatment and moving forward in their life, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle. With help, the fear that one experiences about getting treatment can be erased.

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