Overcoming Fear When a Loved One Enters Detox

in Addiction
Published Apr 13, 2021
overcoming fear

If someone close to you is entering detox for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may find yourself overcome with intense, sometimes conflicting emotions. Your desire to help see them through this difficult time may be tempered by a fear of conflicting values or opposite ideas about how intensive a recovery they may need. You may be concerned for their wellbeing through withdrawal or worried about their ability to stay sober. If you’ve been witnessing or supporting your loved one throughout their addiction, you may have already suffered a great deal.

It’s essential to recognize that effective treatment for substance use disorders must consider its impact on the patient’s family. You influence your loved one’s environment, for better and worse, and are in turn influenced by them, overcoming fear is a crucial step in this. Even if you are fearful of your loved one entering detox know that you can help by contributing significantly to your loved one’s recovery and future success by supporting this step.

When Overcoming Fear, It’s Normal to Be Afraid

Detox is the gateway to recovery, beyond which lies the great unknown of a new life in sobriety. It is quite normal for anyone to feel fear and trepidation when starting to make changes of such magnitude. It’s just as normal for you to experience the same emotions.

You may be worried about:

  • The effects of withdrawal upon your loved one
  • Whether they will retain the resolve to get sober and stay sober in the long run
  • How their behavior might change
  • Whether they’ll fall onto hard times while trying to put their lives back together
  • How much they’ll ask of you
  • What the future holds for your relationship


These are all valid concerns, and it’s worth taking the steps you must to find peace and clarity as you continue to support your loved one. Keep in mind that stress has been decisively linked to higher rates of addiction and relapse. If you find that the experience of dealing with your loved one’s recovery is too difficult for your own mental stability, get help or find a way to process before adding your fears onto their plate.

Choose Your Role in Your Loved One’s Recovery

Your loved one needs you; having the support and trust of even one person can make a world of difference to the success of one’s recovery journey. It’s important to give yourself the time and prioritization to address your fears and concerns, and it’s just as crucial that you do what you can do for the person you love.

If you’re afraid that their new lifestyle will impact yours, that they’ll try to “convert” you, or that you’ll have to spend a great deal of your time and energy looking after them, be sure to practice open communication and set healthy boundaries. If you want to help create a positive environment for your loved one, it may be worth considering modifying your behavior around them. Let them know the extent to which they can rely on you and in which circumstances. Although these may be uncomfortable conversations to have, they’ll pave the way for mutual respect and support in the near future.

There are also support groups that regularly meet to provide encouragement and solidarity for people whose loved ones struggle with addiction and recovery, such as Nar-Anon, Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA), and Al-Anon. Like other forms of recovery groups, family support groups are anonymous and serve to help you better understand what your loved one is going through and how you can relate to it in a way that is most healthy for both of you.

How You Can Help a Loved One with Overcoming Fear

Family therapy can help your loved one, and you navigate the process of their changing lifestyle and your changing relationship with one another. It’s been long-established that treatments for addiction and substance use, which include family therapy, are more effective than treatments that do not. Whether you wish to be as supportive as possible, retain your personal relationship with substance use, or simply find some guidance for adjusting to these new circumstances, family therapy can help you and your loved one as individuals and as a unit. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, once your loved one is nearing the end of their detox stay, we can help them find the resources they need to obtain family therapy.

Practically speaking, the most helpful thing you can do for a loved one going through detox is to be there for them. Open, honest communication is your biggest asset here and should form the foundation of your relationship going forward on both sides. When overcoming fear, you have the power to use this opportunity to help someone you care about to transform into a healthier version of themselves and strengthen your relationship in the process.

Entering detox marks the beginning of a life-changing transition, and it can be nothing short of terrifying. You can play a significant role in the healing process of someone close to you, even when circumstances can pose challenges to both of you. If you or a loved one are looking for support and security as you move through the process of recovery, reach out for professional guidance. Gallus Medical Detox Centers provides services beyond our effective, highly successful detox programs. We know that the early stages of recovery are a tumultuous time, which is why we offer comprehensive access and networking to resources and medical experts who can help you get through and make the most of this critical chapter of your life. From unparalleled detox treatment plans to individualized assistance, we’re there for you. You don’t need to face recovery alone. Contact Gallus Medical Detox Centers at (866) 296-5242 to learn more.