Are You Avoiding Worry Through Substance Abuse?

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November 14, 2012

Your brain is doing an infinite number of jumping jacks. You feel like you have extra energy with no outlet. Excessive worry is present but you are not sure why. And then it gets worse: You can’t focus at work, school or at home. You just want to escape and hide. These are all characteristics of anxiety.

You look for relief, which usually comes in a bottle and after a while alcohol doesn’t seem to work. You find a doctor to prescribe Xanax to take the edge off. You increase the amount you take as the strength of the pill wears off over time. Eventually you can’t function without it. Now what?
Going to a substance abuse program is scary. You leave your friends, family and loved ones behind. Top that with anxiety and you have a disastrous mix that may prevent you from getting the help you need. (See below for tips to manage anxiety.)

Dual Diagnosis: Anxiety and Addiction

Almost everyone who has a mental health issue finds a way to get rid of symptoms or cope. But if you have a family history of addiction, you are predisposed to choose drugs or alcohol as your vice. Some people may find that substance abuse dulls the symptoms of anxiety. In both scenarios, a pattern of dependence develops and you become addicted. This becomes a dangerous game of self-medication–using drugs and alcohol to counteract symptoms of anxiety.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists anxiety symptoms as:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance

Detox and dual-diagnosis drug rehab can eliminate anxiety and substance abuse at the same time.
The more you give in to your anxious symptoms, the more your anxiety will grow stronger. If you are using drugs and alcohol and have anxiety, you may have a dual diagnosis disorder. Substance abuse makes your mental health problems worse. Going to a detox and dual-diagnosis drug rehab can help stabilize your mood and eliminate addiction.

Proper Anxiety and Addiction Treatment

Treating your anxiety and addiction at the same time is your best option. They both affect one another and an integrated approach must be used to increase your chances of success. At Lakeview Health, we know how to treat your anxiety and addiction, making you as comfortable as possible during your treatment.
After the drugs have left your body, doctors will be able to properly treat your anxiety without addictive medications. At Lakeview Health, our staff specializes in working with dual diagnosis and we effectively treat anxiety and addiction.
A Few Anxiety Management Tips from Lakeview Health:

  1. Stay in the present.
  2. Remember the feeling will pass.
  3. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

 

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