Anxiety And Addiction: How They Are Related

Addiction and Anxiety Treatment

Monday, May 18, 2020 | By Cooper Samp

It is important to understand how anxiety and addiction are related and the ways they affect each other. Recognizing this information is vital because it can give you the confidence and encouragement you need to go through treatment. And yes: it is possible to get treated for both of these conditions and regain a fulfilled life.

What May Be Causing Your Anxiety

The things that affect anxiety differ heavily depending on the person. Many people struggle with a generalized anxiety disorder which means they have a high degree of anxiety at most points throughout their lives. Nonetheless, you may also suffer from phobias (such as claustrophobia) that make life more difficult to manage. Other people struggle with stress problems that may influence their anxiety.

If you don’t suffer from any one of these medical problems, you can still experience anxiety based on life’s conditions. Difficult troubles pop up in all our lives and dealing with them can create anxiety. This is particularly true if these scenarios feel difficult to solve. Do you struggle with any of the following problems:

  • Addiction problems you can’t overcome
  • Social challenges
  • Concerns with academic work
  • Concerns with finances
  • A challenging work environment
  • Trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder

If you said “yes” to any one of these questions, you might be suffering from anxiety. This is especially true if you are fighting with drug addiction: no one wants to be addicted and the unfavorable perceptions surrounding addiction can create severe anxiety.

These sensations are understandable and it is necessary to know that you aren’t a failure for feeling anxious or falling into addiction. Both affect millions of individuals throughout the country and it’s more than feasible to find the support you needed to get better. Although what happens if your anxiety gets out of control?

Mental Health man standing next to lake

When Anxiety Becomes Panic

Individuals who don’t receive anxiety medications frequently look to drugs or alcohol to help alleviate the symptoms of their anxiety. Cannabis, heroin, and other sedating substances (alcohol) are all preferred for this very reason. They help depress the “mental racing” effect that anxiety triggers. However, anxiety is raised during drug abuse and addiction and can help add to a panic attack.

Panic attacks are a lot more common than you may realize. They occur when your anxiety gets so severe that your body causes a “fight or flight” response. Essentially, your body instantly feels like it is in danger and tries to protect itself by boosting your adrenaline, fixating your mind on the problem, and giving you a manic surge of energy. In fact, anxiety attacks often look like the effects of certain “upper” drugs and can also be triggered by excessive usage of those drugs.

The critical thing to keep in mind regarding panic attacks is that they are hardly ever, if ever, caused by a truly dangerous scenario. While they can be, many occur during relatively benign situations that don’t call for the sort of “amped up” physicality that an anxiety attack triggers.

What sort of scenarios trigger an anxiety attack? They may differ from one person to another. For example, if you are a parent with children, you might endure a panic attack when you see them playing near a street. Others experience panic attacks in social situations or in moments that can feel or be dangerous, such as driving a car, flying an airplane, riding an elevator, and even riding a bus.

Have You Ever Had A Panic Attack?

Lots of people have suffered an anxiety attack: as much as 75 percent of all Americans have struggled with at the very least one, according to Psychology Today. If you’ve ever experienced the following symptoms out of the blue, there’s a good chance you have suffered from an anxiety attack:

  • Paranoia
  • Heart conditions
  • Abrupt terror
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Uneasiness

The frightening nature of panic attacks typically makes individuals turn to drug use in order to avoid ever having another. Regretfully, they do not understand that drugs often contribute to anxiety and panic attacks. Beyond the anxious effect that several drugs trigger lies the impact that addiction has on anxiety.

The Way Addiction Triggers Anxiety

When you’re dependent on a substance, your mind focuses intensely on using and obtaining that substance. Failing to do so may cause you anxiety since you do not want to suffer from the pain of withdrawal. And even if you do acquire and use your substance, your anxiety is liable to increase as a result of your worry about the legal ramifications of addiction.

So what can you do? Quit cold turkey? It’s possible and lots of people do it successfully. Nevertheless, numerous others find the pain of withdrawal too difficult to manage. As a result, they feel anxiety about quitting and continuing use. But drug and alcohol use only triggers more anxiety, specifically if you’re using drugs that trigger symptoms similar to panic attacks, such as cocaine or amphetamines.

Co-Occurring Anxiety and Drug Abuse

Anxiety conditions are the most commonly identified type of mental disorders. There are 6 kinds of anxiety-related problems that mental health professionals can diagnose:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Phobias, Specific Phobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (previously called social phobia)
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder

Each of these conditions causes powerful and unmanageable anxiety signs in certain circumstances. The anticipation of such scenarios can trigger extra concern and distress to cultivate, making the anxiety disorder even more debilitating.

Many who manage overwhelming and relentless anxiety will try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

But alcohol and drugs will not stop anxiety from reoccurring. Anxiety temporarily suppressed by prescription medications, illicit drugs, or excessive alcohol consumption will continue to debilitate your happiness and stop you from accomplishing your goals.

Comprehensive anxiety and addiction treatment can make a profound difference in your life. At Coalition Recovery, our addiction and mental health experts can help you rise above the challenges your co-occurring disorders have brought to your life. Healing and recovery from anxiety and addiction are possible with our professional assistance.

Anxiety and Alcohol Addiction.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can help reduce feelings of anxiety in the short-term, offering those who have anxiety disorders a false peace of mind.

Individuals with anxiety disorders that consume alcohol moderately are not likely to run into problems. However if drinking to alter your mood ends up being a regular event, your brain may begin to develop a tolerance for alcohol’s effects. Increased alcohol intake can lead to addiction.

When alcohol addiction starts to disrupt every area of your life, your difficulties with anxiety will increase. Your ability to regulate the addiction and the anxiety condition on your own may decline. For many people, anxiety and alcohol addiction, treatment at a long-term facility provides the most effective opportunity for recovery.

Coalition Recovery’s evidence-based program for anxiety and alcohol addiction will supply you with all the resources you need to move past your battle with anxiety and accept long lasting sobriety.

Anxiety and Drug Addiction.

Anxiety afflictions cause feelings of worry, reduced self-worth, and psychological pain. Avoidance behavior becomes standard, and the attempt to steer clear of scenarios that might trigger a panic attack can harm your career, education, relationships, and ability to become successful. Depression also frequently comes with chronic anxiety issues, producing another difficulty people need to overcome.

Strained by incredible pressure and constant worry, many individuals with major anxiety problems look to drugs to alleviate their fears, change their mood, or just escape from the constant feeling of pain. Their choice of drugs can vary from those that have a stimulating effect to those that cause feelings of relaxation and moderate euphoria. However no matter the substance used, it is incredibly unsafe to take drugs as a means to escape from genuine feelings and emotions.

Illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy have powerful impacts on the mind and the body, and hazardous side effects. These can include major dependence and potentially even a fatal overdose. The abuse of habit forming prescription drugs, consisting of opiates or benzodiazepines, is every bit as risky and can produce damaging health difficulties.

Anxiety and Cannabis Addiction.

For individuals with anxiety disorders, marijuana could look like the perfect drug to use. It is milder than other drugs, can be acquired legitimately in numerous places, and does not carry the same high risk of addiction.

After a period of regular use, some people with anxiety issues end up being dependent on its effects and not capable to regulate their use. With marijuana, this dependency might be more psychological than physical, yet it still can dramatically disrupt your life. Escalating resistance to the neurological effects of marijuana use can put heavy users in a cycle of ever-increasing consumption.

If your marijuana use is lacking control, driven by a desire to manage your anxiety, we can help you turn around the self-destructive pattern that has taken control of your life. Coalition Recovery can identify and treat your co-occurring cannabis dependence and anxiety, with exceptional odds of success if you’re willing to strive to regain your health.

Obtaining The Help You Need With Dual Diagnosis.

If dual diagnosis sounds useful that’s because it is: few drug treatment methods are as effective. Why? It takes a two-pronged attack: one prong helps treat the mental conditions that trigger your addiction (in this instance, anxiety) along with the physical and emotional symptoms of your addiction.

  • Detoxification (if necessary)
  • Psycho-therapy
  • Talk therapy
  • An improved and healthy diet regimen
  • Health treatments to increase your strength
  • 12-step therapy

These treatments are designed to help address the conditions triggered by your addiction and to find the roof of its origin. And given that you suffer from anxiety, a treatment method will be carried out to help minimize these issues. As an example, you’re likely to get to know coping methods for helping lower your anxiety (such as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, meditation, or calling a good friend) and you might also be prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

These medications can help eliminate the negative pull that anxiety has taken in your life. Regular anti-anxiety medicines include:.

  • Klonopin
  • Celexa
  • Buspirone
  • Zoloft
  • Norpramin
  • Lorazepam
  • Effexor
  • Lyrica
  • Diazepam
  • Anafranil

Make sure you speak to your doctor and your addiction treatment specialist before committing to any kind of medical treatment. Some anti-anxiety medications may interfere with withdrawal medicines and can trigger a range of unsafe problems. And if you don’t think they’re doing the job, wait 4 to 6 weeks before worrying, as it can take that long for them to be effective.

Please Care For Yourself.

As you can see, dual diagnosis is just one of the most powerful methods to recover from the co-occurring conditions of anxiety and drug addiction. We are right here to help. At Coalition Recovery, we can provide you access to a variety of useful resources to assist in your recovery. From access to caring counselors to contact information on rehab facilities, we have the services you need to beat your anxiety and substance use disorder. Get in touch with us today!

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