Anxiety disorders can be difficult to handle when their symptoms are combined with drug or alcohol abuse. With the help of certain medication for anxiety, both conditions can be managed.


Generalized Anxiety Disorders:

Anxiety and anxiety-related disorders cause significant clinical and physical distress on the sufferer. They also have an adverse impact on an individual’s occupational, educational and social functioning. Addicts find relief from anxiety through the use of drugs and alcohol. Dual diagnosis treatment can help an addict find healthy coping skills for anxiety management. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders.

The symptoms for Generalized Anxiety Disorder include:

  • Nervousness
  • Inability to control worrying
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Fear of unknown disaster

Some of these symptoms are related to Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Symptoms of these disorders are grouped as a subcategory of anxiety-related disorders and have their own diagnostic criteria, which can be found in separate sections of the DSM-IV-TR.

Medications used in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for the dual diagnosis treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and addiction include:

Social Anxiety Disorder

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety or social phobia is an intense fear of social situations and interactions with others that can result in feelings of inadequacy, judgment and negative self-evaluations. Real or imagined fears can be paralyzing for the individual who suffers from social anxiety. Anxious thoughts and feelings are constant and found in almost all circumstances of an individual’s life.

Examples of Social Anxiety Disorder include fear of:

  • Being criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Meeting new people
  • Social encounters with strangers
  • Speaking in a social setting
  • Using public bathrooms
  • Eating in public

Medications for the Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder

An individual with Social Anxiety Disorder will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol when anticipating or experiencing social anxiety. Oftentimes, intoxication will help symptoms temporarily subside. In dual diagnosis treatment, the addict will be given medication for anxiety to help decrease symptoms, thereby decreasing his or her need to use drugs and alcohol.

Some medication for anxiety caused by social interactions are:

Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

What is a Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder?

An addict’s choice of drug will produce specific symptoms related to anxiety. For example, a stimulant will increase nervousness and induce sleep problems. Furthermore, both intoxication and withdrawal can cause substance-induced anxiety, panic attacks, obsessions or compulsions. With substance-induced anxiety, the specific criteria necessary for diagnosis of a true anxiety disorder will not be met because the existence of anxiety is based on substance abuse.

Symptoms of a Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder:

An addict develops symptoms of anxiety during or within one month after intoxication or withdrawal from a drug known to cause anxiety. In the case of a substance-induced anxiety disorder, an addict has not been previously diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Symptoms of substance-induced anxiety are similar to the symptoms of other anxiety disorders.

Some of these symptoms are:

  • Excessive worry
  • Restlessness
  • Fearfulness
  • Vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Slurred speech

Medications Used to Treat Substance-Induced Anxiety Include:

Looking For Treatment?

You have been seeking relief from your anxiety and you thought you found the answer in drugs, alcohol or both. Now, you find you have an addiction as well. If you are sick and tired of being sick, call Recovery Connection at 866.812.8231 and let one of our trained coordinators help you find treatment.

24/7 all conversations are confidential

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