Anxiety and Substance Abuse in Arizona

Stress and worry are common, normal emotions that afflict everyone at some stage. We all experience a level of concern about providing for our families, performing well at work, managing finances, and maintaining relationships. Those with an anxiety disorder, on the other hand, are constantly worried for reasons that aren’t entirely rational, and this anxiousness manifests itself not only mentally, but also physically.

Anxiety and substance abuse disorders are ubiquitous; three percent of adults in the United States display symptoms of anxiety, and 32.3% of them have severe symptoms of diagnosable Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Only half of those suffering from GAD get treated, which suggests that this group is self-medicating instead of receiving the professional help they need. 

Today, 20% of people with a diagnosable anxiety disorder also have a substance abuse problem, according to the Addiction Center. These people find comfort in a bottle of wine or in an extra dose of prescription medication because, for them, it’s one of the only ways they can think of to ease their constant dread. The sad reality is that this habit only heightens the problem and aggravates the anxiety disorder. Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center provides a healthier and more effective alternative for gaining control over anxiety and addiction in Arizona.


What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Recovery from anxiety and substance abuse begins with a clear understanding of anxiety disorders. GAD is characterized by constant worry that interferes with daily life and negatively impacts relationships, professional performance, social interactions, and so much more. An anxiety disorder isn’t spurred by any specific event; it’s constant and never fully resolves.

People with chronic anxiety describe it as a feeling of floating from one worry to another. For example, someone with GAD may start out feeling worried about their health and then get anxious thinking about how to pay their medical care deductible. From here, they might start thinking about hypothetically losing their job and not being able to see a doctor without insurance benefits, which could lead to further concern about how being unemployed would affect other aspects of life, such as their marriage. More often than not, these anxiety-induced fears are not grounded in reality.

The American Psychiatric Association has stated that, if you have been in this state of mind for six or more months, you need to get professional help. 


Who Is at Risk of GAD?

Anyone can develop an anxiety disorder, but there are certain factors that put some people at a higher risk than others. For example, gender plays a role — females are twice as likely to be affected by GAD than men. Anxiety can be inherited, and some people are biologically predisposed to it. Those with chemical imbalances in the brain are also at a higher risk, as are people who have experienced trauma and those who abuse addictive substances or take certain anxiety-causing medications.


Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder

An anxiety disorder negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts. Common anxiety disorders like GAD can last for months and be mentally and physically exhausting without treatment. Fortunately, it’s easy to detect. A general practitioner can pinpoint it in your annual physical exam or a questionnaire. You might have an anxiety disorder if:

  • You expect the worst-case scenario to happen
  • Worry has taken over your life
  • Your body aches from constant muscle tension
  • It is hard to relax
  • You’re always stressed about something
  • You aren’t sleeping well at night anymore
  • You get headaches frequently


Anxiety and Addiction

These symptoms have a way of driving people straight into the clutches of addiction. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary sense of relief from anxiety, but this coping mechanism contributes to heightened GAD symptoms and a decreased ability to function normally each day. Adults with anxiety and a substance abuse disorder are more likely than adults with anxiety but no addiction to have trouble with relationships, day-to-day responsibilities, and concentration.


Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

The good news is that those caught in the cycle of anxiety and substance abuse can break free with the right help. At Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center, we specialize in treating co-occurring disorders and emphasize the importance of addressing anxiety and addiction dual disorders together to prevent relapse. This is done through a variety of treatment methods:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy/psychotherapy: Our mental health professionals work closely with patients to identify and modify harmful behaviors. CBT and psychotherapy reduce anxiety and the chances of a relapse. 
  • Medication: GAD symptoms can be eased with the help of prescription medication. We often use anti-anxiety medications in conjunction with therapy to stabilize a patient’s mood and help them relax.
  • Family therapy and support: We believe in including families in our therapeutic approach to ensure long-term recovery and support. 
  • Peer support groups: We connect patients with individuals facing similar struggles and give them the opportunity to support and uplift each other throughout the healing process. 


Our Holistic Treatment Approach

Proper treatment for addiction and substance abuse involves more than just the treatment of the symptoms alone. That’s why Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center takes a holistic approach that concurrently heals the mind, body, and soul. In our experience, holistic methods ensure results that last and give patients a better chance of success in the future. 


Why Choose Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center?

If you’re ready to restore peace and balance to your life, it’s time to take the first step to recovery. Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center is ready to help you achieve a happier and healthier life in Arizona. Contact us today for holistic care that will instill the positive change needed for lifelong wellness. We are prepared and happily anticipating becoming a key part of your healing journey to sobriety.