Excel Treatment Center is a high-quality outpatient recovery service provider for those suffering from addiction and co-occurring disorders. People struggling with conditions such as chronic, persistent anxiety can be prone to using substances like alcohol, cannabis, and sedatives to self-medicate. While these drugs may provide temporary relief, over time, they can make the condition worse and lead to addiction in the long-term.
According to results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders are closely linked. The nervousness, hypervigilance, and deep discomfort characteristic of anxiety can be exhausting. For those suffering, body and mind-altering drugs can be seen as a means of escape from these feelings. However, this escape is only temporary.
If the condition is left untreated, the symptoms will return when the effects of the substance wears off. This may lead the person to continue using the substance, ultimately putting their physical and psychological well-being at risk.
Over time, as substances are used more frequently and in higher doses due to increased tolerance, dependence and addiction can develop, and the person finds they need the drug to function properly. Addiction is a downward spiral and can make any co-occurring disorder much worse.
Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders
At Excel Treatment Center, our client-centered treatment approach considers both conditions when seen together, and we place equal focus on recovery from both. We offer comprehensive treatment programs to help those suffering from anxiety and addiction manage their conditions and eventually return to full health.
Therapy can be effective in managing co-occurring addiction and anxiety. Symptoms of both must be treated with the same level of care and focus so that one condition does not perpetuate the other. Treatment at Excel involves a broad range of evidence-based modalities and services. We offer comprehensive treatment programs to our clients, and we understand that treatment need to be approached with full focus and understanding.
We don’t just manage the condition; we help clients to understand why and how it happened. We offer a range of therapies to teach clients practical coping skills, boost self-esteem and confidence, and instill a sense of hope for a future free from addiction and debilitating anxiety.
Understanding Anxiety and Addiction
According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health disorders worldwide.
Anxiety-related conditions generally fall under the following five categories:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Specific Phobias
All the conditions above are characterized by intense and sometimes uncontrollable symptoms that can significantly disrupt a person’s life. The anticipation of anxiety itself can even bring on anxiety.
Living with an anxiety disorder is not easy. For those suffering, it can feel as though everyone else is living a carefree, comfortable life and that they are alone in their suffering. However, the truth is they are far from alone. While we know anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues worldwide, we also know that facts and statistics don’t always help when anxiety symptoms take over.
The symptoms of anxiety can be debilitating. Many of those suffering may want to use substances to self-medicate and find relief from their anxiety. However, the use of substances will not prevent symptoms from surfacing.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Specific Phobias
- Muscle tension
- Substance use
- Obsessions and compulsions
- Social withdrawal
- Intrusive thoughts
- Excessive fear
Certain medications are available to help those suffering deal with the symptoms. However, to heal fully, anxiety must be dealt with at its root cause. Excel offers focused, client-centered treatment for anxiety, which includes psychotherapy and counseling. This gives clients the chance to explore their deeper thoughts and feelings in a safe and compassionate environment. From here, clients can learn more about anxiety and how it is a natural process but can become self-defeating if it is not managed correctly. Clients are taught about how substances, particularly alcohol, cannabis, sedatives, and illicit drugs, can make anxiety worse.
Anxiety and addiction treatment can make a massive difference to you, or your loved one’s life. At Excel, our addiction and mental health experts can help you overcome the challenges brought on by these co-occurring disorders. We are a dedicated team of psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and recovery specialists who can help you understand your condition and ultimately overcome it.
Co-occurring Anxiety and Alcoholism
Current Neurovascular Research tells us that alcohol acts on the central nervous system by slowing down its activity. Substances that slow down activity in the central nervous system (CNS) are known as CNS depressants. Those suffering from an anxiety disorder might use alcohol to achieve temporary relief from their condition.
Mild to moderate alcohol use may not cause too many problems for someone with anxiety. However, when used in excess, alcohol can significantly increase levels of anxiety. If a person regularly consumes alcohol to influence their mood and feelings, they will eventually build up a tolerance. This means that more alcohol is required to achieve the desired effects.
With increased alcohol consumption comes dependence, where the person may not feel ‘normal’ unless they drink. Eventually, dependence becomes an addiction, and they will suffer from difficult withdrawal symptoms if alcohol isn’t available.
Once alcohol becomes a regular part of life, an anxiety disorder is likely to get worse. As tolerance builds, alcohol becomes less effective in alleviating anxiety symptoms. The onset of dependence and addiction can cause further anxiety, and it becomes a vicious cycle of abuse.
Treatment for co-occurring anxiety and alcoholism is required if the person is to return to full health. Excel’s evidence-based approach to anxiety and alcoholism can provide clients with the tools and skills necessary to overcome their co-occurring conditions and achieve lasting sobriety.
Co-occurring Anxiety and Cannabis Addiction
Cannabis is used both medicinally and recreationally for relaxation purposes and can be appealing for those suffering from anxiety disorders. It is also generally ‘softer’ than other drugs and can now be bought legally in many states across the U.S. However, SAMHSA explains that frequent use of cannabis carries a risk of psychological dependence.
As a person continues to use cannabis, tolerance builds, and people can go on to develop an addiction. While there are some pleasurable effects to cannabis use, it can also exacerbate anxiety and, in some cases, lead to psychosis.
If you find yourself struggling with cannabis use, Excel Treatment Center can help. We offer comprehensive therapies, and our addiction specialists can help you recognize and understand your problematic use of cannabis and provide healthier, alternative approaches to anxiety management.
CO-OCCURRING ANXIETY AND SUBSTANCE ADDICTION
Stress, discomfort, and low self-esteem are common feelings for those suffering from an anxiety disorder. Understandably, a person may engage in avoidant behaviors such as substance abuse and social withdrawal to escape from these feelings.
These actions are common among those suffering. However, avoidant behaviors can have damaging consequences to a person’s professional, social, and general well-being. As these areas of life diminish, anxiety progresses.
To deal with the pressure of job and relationship loss, loneliness, and isolation, those with anxiety issues might use illicit substances like cocaine, MDMA/ecstasy, or even opiates to alleviate the constant worry and anxiety fatigue. Stimulant drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy can foster a false sense of confidence and self-esteem that can be highly appealing to an anxiety sufferer.
Regardless of the drug used, substance misuse is a dangerous method of alleviating anxiety. Higher doses in greater frequency can lead to serious health complications, and even coma, and death.
Anxiety and Addiction Treatment
At Excel Treatment Center, our comprehensive anxiety and addiction treatment and recovery services can make a huge difference in your life or the life of your loved one. Our therapists and clinicians work in collaboration with clients, so they achieve as much benefit as possible from our treatment programs.
The road to recovery begins with the decision to reach out for help. As soon as you contact us, we can arrange an initial appointment to assess the severity of your addiction and check for the presence of co-occurring disorders. If necessary, treatment may begin with a medically assisted and supervised detox. This is an essential step in healing the body from the damage that has been caused by prolonged substance abuse.
When we stop using drugs, the body enters a withdrawal phase, which can vary in length depending on the nature of the addiction. Withdrawal symptoms are one of the biggest obstacles to recovery. This is a time when people face increased anxiety, depression, and other physical and psychological difficulties, and the body needs time to adjust to life without substances. During this time, there will be feelings of deep discomfort and anxiety, along with intense cravings.
Once detox is completed, and withdrawal symptoms are under control, rehabilitation treatment can begin. We use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other psychotherapies in conjunction with mind-body therapies to identify and work through the root cause of anxiety and promote full recovery.
Addiction has many causes, but very often, its origins lie in past traumas. Our therapists offer safe and compassionate support to clients as they explore their past experiences and uncover the origins of their present-day issues.
After the primary treatment program is finished, clients will be supported with comprehensive aftercare, which is important for those in recovery to prevent relapse. Sobriety is a commitment and can be hindered without the right support after treatment. Aftercare at Excel involves the continuation of therapy and prescribed medication if necessary.
Why Choose Excel Treatment Center?
At Excel, we aim to provide you with the most appropriate recovery program for your specific needs. We offer individually tailored programs and consider all aspects of our clients’ lives to create treatment programs that maximize the benefits for each individual.
Our team is compassionate and non-judgmental. We understand that addiction and anxiety can turn a person’s life upside down, and we aim to create the straightest line from sickness to health and remove any obstacles along the way. Our recovery specialists are also happy to provide any advice or guidance to families or loved ones of those affected at every step of the way.
If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety and addiction, know that help is available. The first and most important step is reaching out, so please contact us today.