Anxiety and addiction are both conditions that can impact someone their entire life. Whether you or someone you know has struggled with either, it’s important to understand the connection between them to be better prepared the next time symptoms start appearing.
Even if you aren’t personally familiar with the co-occurrence of addiction and anxiety, nearly half of those who suffer from addiction also show signs of, or have a diagnosis for, an underlying mental health condition. Here’s what you should know to better protect yourself and loved ones should substance abuse become a concern.
What Is Anxiety?
Similar to the term “depression”, “anxiety” gets thrown around a lot when referring to stressful situations. Anxiety can manifest in different forms with the most common being generalized chronic anxiety. Feelings of impending doom and paranoia are common and without an obvious source. These feelings can make the individual sick to their stomach in addition to having trouble sleeping.
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is categorized by anxiety and panic caused by a traumatic event. Certain triggers can cause the person to relive parts of their experience and quickly lead to panic attacks. PTSD can also cause similar panic disorders where the individual is overwhelmed with feelings of pure fear and terror, creating symptoms similar to that of a heart attack.
Multiple anxiety disorders can be present at once, further increasing the number of symptoms commonly cited as the reason drugs or alcohol were first used to cope.
Connecting Anxiety and Addiction
Self-medicating with substance abuse isn’t new, but research and treatment options for co-occurring disorders has made it possible for these individuals to get help for both their mental illness and addiction under one roof. Whether anxiety prompts them to start drinking or using drugs, or their substance abuse has created a source of anxiety, proper treatment can help remove the practice as a coping mechanism.
Drug and alcohol use as a coping tool is the strongest connection between anxiety and addiction. When having a drink depresses the panic and racing thoughts, it’s easy to lean too heavily into routine consumption. Over time, dependencies form making quitting potentially dangerous if done without the assistance of medical detox treatment.
An Individualized Approach To Treating Anxiety and Addiction
America’s Rehab Campuses have helped countless guests overcome not only addiction, but their fears and mental roadblocks as well. By combining medication-assisted treatment that uses FDA-approved medication with comprehensive therapy and mental health exercises, we’re able to help you break free from dependencies on drugs and alcohol.
Our compassionate team of recovery specialists are committed to your success and we don’t consider the job done once you finish treatment. With alumni programs and a vast network of aftercare doctors who specialize in relapse prevention, we are here for you throughout your entire recovery. The goal at ARC is to make addiction treatment in Phoenix and Tucson as accessible as possible for those who need it most.
If you’re unsure about the cost of treatment, take a moment to verify your insurance online before scheduling intake. We accept all major insurance plans, including Arizona’s AHCCCS market plans. For any other questions or to ask more about treatment plans, you can reach out to our team directly to get started.