Anxiety is the most common mental health illness in the country, affecting nearly 40 million Americans. Substance abuse and addiction can be made worse when combined with anxiety disorders, and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to approach both as a dual diagnosis treatment program.
Apex Recovery San Diego therapists deal with a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, acute stress disorder, social anxiety, and other issues. By getting to the root of patients’ anxiety, we can more easily treat both mental health and addiction issues as part of a holistic wellness program.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways. Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include physical responses like:
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty sleeping
Other mental/emotional reactions can involve panic attacks, becoming easily startled, racing thoughts, and difficulty concentrating.
Anxiety and Alcohol: A Frequent and Dangerous Alliance
Alcohol is frequently sought by anxiety sufferers because it is a depressant and slows down brain activity. Those who have an anxiety disorder might feel a little calmer after some alcohol. However, alcohol and any other depressant substance, like Benzos or opioid painkillers, will only make the individual feel better by masking worrying and anxiety.
With time, the person generally needs more and more alcohol or drugs to feel a bit more anchored and secure. This basically leads to both physical and psychological addiction.
Abstaining from alcohol or substances causes an onset of even more intense symptoms, making it quite impossible for the individual to break free from the vicious circle. They experience insomnia, paranoia, extreme irritability, and hallucinations. Alcohol withdrawal could even cause seizures. This reiterates the need for a physician during detox.
Studies and research suggest that less than half of people suffering from anxiety receive professional help, especially those who have a general anxiety disorder (GAD). This means that a huge number of sufferers self-medicate, most probably with alcohol and illicit or legal substances. It is also highly likely that they will not link their anxiety to their addiction problem.
The Relationship Between Anxiety and Substance Abuse
Like all dual diagnoses, anxiety and alcohol or drugs have a complicated and intimate relationship. Many factors are at play:
- History of trauma
- Brain chemistry
- Medications that produce side effects
- Substance abuse
It can be quite difficult to distinguish where anxiety stops and addiction begins. Sometimes, anxiety is the result of addiction and other times, it is vice versa. Cocaine, meth, marijuana, and alcohol can also bring about anxiety as a consequence of their abuse.
The problem is perpetuated by the fact that abusing alcohol or drugs causes manifold problems in the individual’s social, emotional, and professional life, which again makes the anxiety worse.
Dually diagnosed patients who suffer from anxiety require a comprehensive and personalized recovery program.
Getting qualified and competent help from addiction treatment centers in San Diego, such as Apex Recovery, is extremely beneficial and usually indispensable. The care Apex Recovery provides to dually diagnosed patients with anxiety is administered by a team of highly-specialized professionals who collaborate to produce the best results.
The Need For an Anxiety Treatment Program
The physicians at Apex Recovery San Diego are trained and licensed to treat addicted individuals and they will decide what medication is best for every individual case. Recovery treatment for anxious addicts generally works best if it is supported by the right choice of meds that will stabilize the patient and enable them to focus on psychological and other aspects of the treatment, like relaxation. A physician is qualified to determine which meds will support the rehabilitation without leading the patient into a new addiction.
Our psychologists and psychiatrists will decide which approach is best according to the patient’s type of anxiety. For example, those with social anxiety don’t feel comfortable working in group counseling. Normally, though, anxiety patients have been found to respond well to cognitive-behavior therapy which equips them with practical coping strategies that enable them to function better on a day-to-day basis without having to seek alcohol or drugs. These individuals also need to learn how to relax naturally and without the help of chemicals.
Other members of our team will also contribute to the recovery program with their knowledge and skills, all with the sole goal of supporting the patient on their road to complete recovery.
An Anxiety Treatment Program in San Diego Is the Answer
At Apex Recovery San Diego, we understand the complexity of dual diagnoses. We embrace a holistic approach that is tailored to each specific case so that all areas are addressed and there is an overall improved quality of life for our patients who struggle with anxiety and addiction issues.
Our commitment is to provide the highest quality care that enables individuals to reach long-term recovery without relapsing or compromising their well-being. Contact us today at 619.458.3435 and find out how we can help you or your loved one on the road to recovery.