5 Ways Anxiety Leads to Substance Abuse and Addiction


Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress, which may be triggered by a number of different things, including financial issues, health problems, legal turmoil, interpersonal disputes, and the obstacles of daily life. Sometimes, addictive substances such as drugs and alcohol might be a rapid solution for some of the bad sensations that are caused by anxiety. But these substances should be avoided whenever possible. Regrettably, this pattern of conduct may lead to the development of an addiction.

According to figures provided by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around twenty percent of people who have been identified as suffering from anxiety disorders also have a drug use issue. Individuals who are forced to live with the mental anguish, emotional upheaval, and physical symptoms that are connected with anxiety may be more inclined to turn to the use of drugs that are addictive in order to find some sort of temporary comfort. Sadly, the symptoms of anxiety are sometimes made worse by the use of drugs and alcohol. People who suffer from anxiety may, thankfully, benefit from education on anxiety disorders and the ways in which these illnesses can raise the risk of abusing substances, which in turn can assist these individuals in breaking the cycle of addiction and go now for a rehab.

Ways of Anxiety that leads to Substance abuse

  1. Opioids and painkillers available by prescription may provide some short-term relief from the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Physical discomfort brought on by anxiety might include tight muscles, headaches, heart palpitations, shaking, shallow breathing, stomach pain, nausea, and migraines. Anxiety can also induce heart palpitations. A great number of people turn to painkillers obtained by medical prescription in order to alleviate the type of physical suffering that may be incapacitating and disrupt their normal life. However, abusing these drugs may lead to substance misuse, abuse, and unfortunately addiction even if the substances themselves are lawful.

  1. People who suffer from anxiety may have a compelling need to self-medicate their emotional anguish with substances like alcohol or narcotics.

 Anxiety disorders may cause individuals to feel as if they are living in a state of impending doom. Additionally, anxiety disorders can cause individuals to feel as though they have no control over their circumstances or any hope for the future, which can lead to drug abuse. At the same time, anxiety may create symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, all of which can lead to increased drug and alcohol use.

  1. Changes in the brain may be brought on by anxiety, and these changes might make a person more susceptible to drug abuse.

The amygdala, which is a little gland shaped like an almond and is responsible for regulating emotions and mood, actually becomes bigger when someone is always anxious. This almost always results in hyperactivity. The link that connects the amygdala and the prefrontal brain becomes more frayed when someone is anxious. When something like this occurs, it is difficult for people to think sensibly. These changes in the brain may make a person more vulnerable to the effects of substances like drugs and alcohol, as well as more impulsive overall.

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  1. Anxious people often look for ways to alleviate their emotional pain.

Individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders might suffer from a great deal of emotional pain. For instance:

  • People who are always on edge, irritated, or restless may turn to alcohol as a means of coping.
  • Inability to sleep at night may lead to usage of prescription drugs such as Xanax, Lunesta, Ambien, and Restoril.
  • Ketamine, PCP, LCD, and other hallucinogens may be used by those who want to fully escape reality.
  • Individuals who are tired and unable to focus may turn to energy-producing stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin.

After the effects of these drugs wear off, the transient comfort they provide is generally followed by a collapse. They may continue to consume the drug as a result of this revolving door. Addiction and abuse are both possible outcomes.

5. Care with a Focus on the Brain That Treats Anxiety and Other Mental Health Conditions

Both anxiety and drug addiction illnesses have their roots in the brain, despite the fact that anxiety is more prevalent. Because of this, we employ a strategy that focuses on the brain while treating mental health illnesses and difficulties related to addiction.

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