Build a foundation for lasting recovery from addiction

How Addiction Can Worsen Anxiety

young woman meeting with her addiction counselor to discuss how addiction can worsen anxiety.

Addiction and anxiety are common mental health conditions that affect tens of millions of people every year. When these disorders occur at the same time, it can complicate the recovery process if the therapist or the person is not aware of the underlying condition. In most cases, patients are unaware that another disorder is fueling their substance use disorder.

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek is a fully accredited addiction treatment facility in Florida that supports individuals who need help overcoming their addiction and anxiety. Our team treats co-occurring disorders using a combination of behavioral and holistic therapies and medical support to ease troubling symptoms. This combination creates a whole-person recovery experience that includes unique coping skills, better self-esteem, and long-lasting sobriety.

To learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program and what it can do for you, drop us an email or call 866.693.3871 today to speak with our caring team.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders describe a condition where a person has a substance use disorder and a corresponding mental health issue, like depression or anxiety. This is widespread and affects over 21 million people yearly1.

Sometimes referred to as dual diagnosis disorder, the main characteristics of this condition include symptoms from each separate disorder. A person with a co-occurring disorder of addiction and anxiety will experience:

  • Drug or alcohol cravings
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Panic attacks
  • Racing heart rates
  • Obsessing over past or future events

Some of the more common co-occurring disorder combinations include substance use disorder and anxiety, depressive disorders, ADHD, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, or personality disorders.

The difficulty in overcoming this illness is that each disorder’s symptoms can become more severe than the other at different times. It requires a concentrated effort and a deep understanding of the underlying cause behind the disorders. During therapy, therapists will work closely with each patient to understand their condition and help them learn how to cope with their feelings instead of drowning them with drugs or alcohol. Additionally, they will be given medication to ease withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and other anxiety symptoms.

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek works closely with each patient to create a comprehensive dual-diagnosis treatment program that addresses both disorders simultaneously. Through group and private therapy sessions, patients will develop new coping skills to better manage their symptoms and prevent future triggers from causing a relapse.

Understanding the Connection Between Addiction and Anxiety

Addiction and anxiety are treatable disorders that require a lifetime commitment to healthy living and taking care of your mental health, especially when diagnosed with a co-occurring condition.

You should be familiar with the individual symptoms of these two common disorders to understand the connection between them.

Addiction Symptoms

  • Needing more alcohol or drugs to feel the same effects
  • Experiences withdrawal symptoms if they stop using
  • Intense cravings
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Aggressive mood swings
  • Multiple attempts at quitting without success

Anxiety Symptoms

  • Sweating, trembling, or shaking
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Tingling or “pins and needles”
  • An overwhelming sense of impending doom

A person with addiction and anxiety can experience a sudden panic attack when triggered, which causes them to drink or use drugs. At other times, they will experience addiction cravings and withdrawals, which can trigger their anxiety. It creates a never-ending loop where each disorder fuels the other, making it seem nearly impossible to escape the cycle.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Treating addiction and anxiety through a co-occurring disorder program uses a mix of proven therapeutic techniques. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the top therapies for treating substance use disorders and other common mental illnesses. In addition to CBT, medication-assisted treatment can help reduce symptoms of addiction and anxiety. The use of medication offers temporary support until their symptoms vanish or are more manageable.

Contact Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek Today for Dual Diagnosis

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek supports Florida residents who struggle with a combination of addiction and anxiety symptoms or other common co-occurring disorders. We have a number of beneficial treatment programs to support the recovery process, including a residential treatment program, partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, gender-specific men’s and women’s rehab, family program, and alumni and aftercare program.

If you or a loved one would benefit from a dual diagnosis program, contact Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek online or call 866.693.3871 today to speak with one of our caring team members.

1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – “Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Conditions”