The Connection Between Anxiety And Addiction
Table of Contents
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is often a healthy and normal release of emotion; however, persistent, high levels of anxiety are indicative of a real health concern. The positive aspects of anxiety help keep people alert, careful, and cautious. Anxiety is crucial for survival until it keeps you up at night, making it difficult to pay attention to and carry on with daily activities.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The Connection Between Anxiety and Addiction
Anxiety and addiction are linked in several ways. Some people may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and cope with their symptoms of anxiety, resulting in dependence and addiction. Others may develop anxiety from their addiction, as side effects of many substances can cause anxiety disorder symptoms.
Dual diagnosis means having two conditions simultaneously, usually characterized by a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, such as social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder. These conditions are common as an average amount of people with an anxiety disorder also suffer from addiction and vice versa.
One study examining the onset of substance dependence and anxiety disorders found that substance dependence occurred prior to anxiety disorders far more often than anxiety disorders developing before substance dependence.
For instance, data shows that 80.16% of participants developed drug dependence before the onset of panic disorder, 71.84% developed drug dependence before generalized anxiety disorder, and 67.24% developed drug dependence before agoraphobia.3
Why Anxiety May Trigger the Need to Misuse Substances or Vice Versa
Common Substances Associated With Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety can cause feelings of panic, restlessness, and nervousness when not in danger. Symptoms of anxiety can sometimes surface due to prescription medications for other medical issues or illicit drugs for recreational use. These substances can either increase existing anxiety or develop new anxiety symptoms.
Here are the common substances linked to anxiety disorder:
Multiple studies have shown a link between anxiety disorder symptoms and cocaine. These symptoms often surface during excessive cocaine usage or withdrawal, with evidence showing that cocaine usage leads to panic disorders.
Treatment Options for Anxiety and Addiction
Residential or Inpatient Rehab
The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous formed the program to create procedures to help combat alcohol addiction. Those procedures are known as the 12 Steps and are now key foundations to a variety of programs to help people successfully overcome addiction.
Aftercare and Support
Tips to Control Anxiety When You’re Recovering From Addiction
Take Deep Breaths
Get Plenty of Sleep
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Client-Specific Treatment Opportunities
Get Help With Ripple Ranch Recovery
Do not give up on your journey to a life free from anxiety and addiction. At Ripple Ranch Recovery, we help people achieve their health aspirations through evidence-based and holistic treatments specially curated for their needs.
Contact us at Ripple Ranch Recovery today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you begin your journey to a higher quality of life.
- 4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5403071/#__sec7title