The Connection Between Anxiety and Addiction

For those suffering from anxiety, a desperate need to try to solve or cure their ailment is a common want. Many go to therapy, use prescription mood stabilizers, mediate, and so on in order to try and gain control over their emotions and physical responses. Unfortunately, this desperate want not to feel anxious in their everyday life has the potential to lead them down a path of substance abuse. According to the ADDA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), 20% of Americans who suffer from an anxiety disorder or mood disorder also suffer from a substance abuse disorder. 

So why do so many who already suffer from anxiety also have an addiction disorder?

The odds of someone developing an anxiety disorder, addiction, or both, is affected by the following:

  •     Environmental or outside factors
  •     Genetics or family history
  •     Psychological factors
  •     Neurological factors

And in some situations, substance abuse disorder cases abusing those substances can lead to developing anxiety and vise versa. 

Many who already suffer from anxiety try to self-medicate by misusing alcohol or drugs in an attempt to find a way to try and cope. But in the end, abusing alcohol or drugs will only enhance the effects of anxiety. The result is a never-ending cycle: the more they misuse alcohol or drugs, the more the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety strengthen, which makes them increase their drug intake to function normally. This results in developing tolerance to the drug and ultimately a cycle of substance abuse that leads to physical dependency and addiction.

Treating these disorders. 

If you or someone you know is currently struggling with alcohol, other substance abuse, anxiety, or both, we recommend that you seek professional help. These disorders will not resolve on their own. However, the quicker you or they start treatment for their anxiety and substance abuse, the easier their recovery and maintaining that recovery will be. American Treatment Network is a clinic that specializes in treating substance and alcohol abuse. With locations in Havertown, PA, and Wilmington, DE, American Treatment Network is there to help you or your loved one through this time. Give us a call today to discuss if partnering with us would be the best thing for your recovery. 


Schedule Now