Managing Anxiety and Substance Use During Coronavirus
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: April 13, 2020

The last few weeks have brought about a head-spinning set of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s hard not to feel increased stress amid uncertainties – from finances, to jobs and even our own health. For someone who suffers with substance use disorder, these added stressors can easily magnify anxiety and increase a substance use dependency.

On top of this, with social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place, the normal areas we would go to relieve anxieties – restaurants, theaters, gyms, self-care locations, etc – are not open. With all of this going on, the added stress of working from home and feeling confined to a small area can increase the risk of more and more people facing increased anxieties and substance use issues.

While now many no seem like an ideal time to get help for substance use, it is quite the contrary. A substance use treatment center is a healthcare facility that can handle substance abuse and, choosing a high-quality center like Lakeview Health, can also address any underlying mental health disorders as well.

Anxiety Disorders Defined

Pre COVID-19, many Americans struggled with anxiety. In fact, it is one of the most common mental illnesses – sometimes seen as panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, or other phobias. You may already recognize some of the symptoms of anxiety. They include:

  • Nervousness, irritability
  • Feeling the onset of danger, panic or doom
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Weakness; fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Diarrhea, constipation or other gastrointestinal problems

Anxiety disorders are different from the stress we might feel before an important meeting or giving a speech. Those feelings become a disorder when we are struggling with symptoms for several weeks straight, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Anxiety treatment can help prevent these feelings from getting out of control.

How Anxiety Influences Substance Abuse

An estimated 40 million adults face anxiety disorders each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association. Those with anxiety could turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self medication. What’s interesting about this is that while anxiety causes substance use, substance use can have the same effect on anxiety and increase someone’s feelings of anxiety and worry.

Co-occurring anxiety and substance abuse can make recovery much more challenging – especially if the treatment you are seeking does not provide adequate help for the anxiety as well. At Lakeview, we offer an integrated treatment approach that addresses the physical substance use as well as any underlying psychological mental aspects that may be driving your addiction.

Anxiety and Substance Abuse Treatment

You do not have to suffer permanently from anxiety disorders or substance use disorder. A high-quality treatment center will provide you with tools to help alleviate the pressures of life, allowing you to build coping skills to deal with your emotions more productively. In doing so, you become more capable and less likely to feel the need to turn to drugs or alcohol.

Treatment for substance use can often include psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and mindfulness training. Each of these are designed to help you understand your past and confront some of the drivers that may be causing your anxiety.

Calm Amid Concern

COVID-19 has left us all feeling nervous, uncertain, and on edge. The anxiety is magnified for individuals struggling with substance abuse and can lead to a further downward spiral. It’s more important than ever to be more attuned than ever to feeling overwhelmed. Seek anxiety treatment before symptoms get out of hand. Keeping yourself mentally healthy will put you in a position to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and come out the other side stronger, happier, and healthier. Contact Lakeview Health today at 866 704 7692 to learn about anxiety treatment and how we are keeping our clients safe during this time.