Anxiety and Addiction
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. This is 18.1% of the population over age 18.
A recent case study on Generalized Anxiety Disorder found that it affects 3.1% of America. While these numbers may seem alarmingly high, anyone working in substance addiction will tell you it is no surprise.
Because anxiety is marked by extreme stress and worry, it is not uncommon for those suffering to turn to substances to “take the edge off.”
While the use of drugs or alcohol can provide temporary relief from anxiety, over time, the person will require more and more substances to achieve the same effect. This may lead to an addiction.
While occasional worry or fear is a part of the human condition, those suffering with anxiety disorders experience these normal feelings so intensely that they can interfere with their relationships, jobs, and day-to-day life.
The cause of anxiety disorders is still uncertain, though studies suggest they may be due to varying levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This imbalance likely results in an unrest of the psychological state.
Whatever the cause, anxiety disorders are a serious condition that, when left untreated, can result in even more severe mental or physical health problems.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms of Anxiety:
While not everyone will experience anxiety in the same way, some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- An elevated heart rate
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Quickened breathing
- Shallow breathing
As anxiety and addiction are regularly co-existing disorders, we know it is necessary to treat them both individually using Dual Diagnosis.
Dual Diagnosis is the treatment of a person suffering from both addiction and a mental health issue. Because our mission is always to lead our clients to recovery, treating the mental health disorders that have contributed to their substance dependence is an essential component of a successful treatment and recovery.
Anxiety is a disorder with a variety of treatment options, many of which our clients are able to implement after leaving our programs.
At Alo House, we have developed a treatment model designed for those experiencing both addiction and anxiety.
Anxiety Disorder Treatment and Addiction Often Includes:
- Interpersonal Mindfulness Based Self Regulation (IMBSR)
- Animal Assisted Therapy
- Nature Immersion
- and more
Through working with our therapists to learn many anxiety-relieving strategies, our clients are given the necessary tools to manage their anxiety after treatment and remain in recovery.