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Fear-Driven by Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

by James Heller 17. November 2009 13:28
Alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases that are typically driven by fear.  This is true whether these individuals are using their substance of choice or are in recovery.  Understanding this may help those in recovery, and help the loved ones of those still suffering to cope.

Fear paralyzes alcoholics and drug addicts.  Worry about the effect current actions will have on the future or how past actions have affected the present can cause great indecision.  Many thoughts flow through the mind at these times, and it stops individuals from even leaving point A to start toward point B.  

Without a program of recovery, alcoholics and drug addicts will reach for their substance of choice for relief.  The common reason will be to “clear their heads”, but it is really an attempt to escape from reality.  So, at its core, alcohol dependence and drug addiction drives sufferers to drink and use drugs by instilling fear in them.  It can be a deadly cycle.

This can seem foreign to those who don’t suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction because fear is often a motivator for them.  When it doesn’t motivate, fear is seen as irrational and forgotten.  This makes communication with addicted loved ones difficult because there is no natural way to relate.  Understanding the addict mind may help loved ones, but addicts need recovery to change.

Individuals learn tools in recovery to stop the fear before it starts.  12 Step programs teach individuals to “Let it go”, and take life “One day at a time”.  Sayings like these are repeated over and over because fear is deep-seated in newcomers to recovery.  When put into practice, these concepts slowly reduce fear, allowing individuals to face life instead of escape from it.

Knowing that fear drives alcohol dependence and drug addiction can help those in recovery to understand the usefulness of the 12 Steps and other programs.  It gives meaning to the words they hear and read, making a vital connection between the program and their lives.  And they must remember this every day of their lives.

Understanding the fear problem is just the beginning for loved ones of alcoholics and drug addicts.  Support groups, like Al-Anon, can help family members and close friends to start living their own lives.  Addiction is a family disease that drags everyone into a co-dependent, fear-based way of thinking, and they all need to recover.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides family services as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcoholism or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.