Anxiety and Drug Abuse
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States. In fact, it has been reported that 18% of adults suffer from anxiety disorders in the U.S. Interestingly, only about a third of that 18% seek and receive treatment for their anxiety. Drug abuse and addiction can be made worse when anxiety disorders are involved.
An important thing to consider when seeking treatment for both anxiety disorders and drug abuse is a facility that focuses on dual-diagnosis cases. In these types of programs, individuals will treat the underlying problem as well as the drug abuse, as they go through detoxification, rehab, and are possibly prescribed medicines to help them.
There are specific anxiety disorders that most often occur with drug abuse. These include: social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agoraphobia, acute stress disorder, panic disorder, specific phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Each of these anxiety disorders is defined briefly below:
- Social phobia. An anxiety disorder consisting of fear of public embarrassment or humiliation.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD) An anxiety disorder caused by any event that results in psychological trauma. The most common events that lead to PTSD are exposure to death or the threat of injury.
- Agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is when someone has anxiety in environments that may be difficult to escape from. Usually, the individual believes getting help or getting out of their difficult situation many be hard or impossible, and this can set off an attack
- Acute stress disorder. When someone is exposed to a traumatic event, acute stress disorder can develop within about a month, causing severe anxiety or stress.
- Panic disorder. When an individual has panic disorder, they may have behavioral changes lasting up to a month and experience severe panic attacks.
- Specific Phobia. This anxiety disorder is characterized by having anxiety about specific objects or situations. When exposed to these things, people with specific phobia experience irrational or unreasonable fears.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Signs of people with OCD may include repetitive behaviors such as: being compulsively clean, checking locked doors again and again, hoarding, or having nervous rituals, like turning a lock back and forth before several times before leaving the room. This anxiety disorder is related to a feeling of uneasiness and nervousness or fear.
- Generalized anxiety disorder. Constant fear, worry and anxiety, is what makes up GAD. Women are more prone to this anxiety disorder and it is the most common of the anxiety
Treatment for anxiety and drug abuse together can be done in an inpatient or and outpatient setting. However, most agree that more progress is made in these cases when individuals use inpatient therapy for recovery. Many facilities utilize anti-anxiety medications and if patients are being monitored and watched in an inpatient facility while adjusting to medications, there is a higher rate of successful recovery in relation to anxiety and drug abuse.