Coping With Anxiety Without Turning to Drugs and Alcohol
When it comes to treating drug addiction, alcoholism, and other forms of substance use disorder, it is not enough to treat the most obvious signs of abuse. In order for drug and alcohol treatment to be effective, counselors must delve deeper, uncover the root causes of the abuse and discover ways to cope with anxiety without drugs and alcohol.
In many cases, those counselors will find that anxiety, depression, and other underlying mental health challenges served as those root causes, forcing drug addicts and alcoholics to self-medicate and driving them deeper into their dependencies. That is the bad news, but the good news is that anxiety can be effectively treated without alcohol or drugs. In the end, these drug and alcohol-free anxiety treatments could be the key to long-lasting recovery.
What Is Anxiety?
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding psychological disorders and mental health challenges, including anxiety. Understanding what anxiety is and what it is not can be a complicated process, and a few definitions are in order. Here are some of the symptoms of anxiety everyone needs to know about:
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Shallow breathing
- Changes in brain chemistry
- Sweating and trembling
- Chest tightness
- Sleep disturbances
- Irritability and mood changes
- Getting trapped in a circle of negative thoughts and feelings
- Problems with concentration
Anxiety as an Underlying Cause of Substance Abuse
It is not unusual for physical problems like substance use disorder and psychological ones like anxiety to exist side by side. Addiction and alcoholism rarely arise out of a vacuum, and in the vast majority of cases, there are fundamental underlying causes, often including anxiety.
Anxiety can be a root cause for both drug addiction and alcoholism, and in many cases, those who suffer from this common illness may abuse both alcohol and drugs. Sometimes this use of alcohol and drugs is an unconscious reaction to an undiagnosed mental health challenge. Other times, anxiety sufferers may know they suffer from the disorder but feel that their own use of alcohol and drugs is preferable to the side effects of the medications they have been prescribed.
No matter the root cause, understanding the link between anxiety and substance use disorder is significant for effective treatment. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, we understand those connections and we work hard to reach the root cause of your dependency, so we can focus on treatments that will make a difference in your life to help you discover ways to cope with anxiety without drugs and alcohol.
5 Tips for Coping With Anxiety in Healthy Ways
Many people try to self-medicate their anxiety with alcohol and drugs, but they find their substance use disorder becomes a much bigger problem over time. The good news is that anxiety can be treated naturally, without the use of drugs, alcohol, or other potentially harmful substances. If you are ready to get clean and worried about your anxiety, we can guide you to these healthier alternatives:
- Biofeedback – This technique can be remarkably effective at treating anxiety and other mental health challenges. It helps you learn to recognize anxiety and react to stressful situations differently.
- Mindfulness and meditation – Learning to meditate is a great way to relax. You can practice mindfulness to calm yourself down in stressful situations and it can help you to feel less reactive in the first place.
- Yoga – Stretching and gentle forms of exercise are great ways to deal with anxiety in a natural and drug-free manner.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – There are many forms of therapy, but cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is one of the most effective when it comes to treating anxiety. It helps people learn new patterns of thinking and behaving.
- Smart lifestyle choices – Several lifestyle changes can make a big difference in treating anxiety, including things like getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, and getting more exercise
Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders at WhiteSands
In many cases, the use and abuse of alcohol or drugs is as much a symptom as it is an illness. Individuals may use these substances in an ill-advised attempt to self-medicate, reasoning that they are doing something positive when setting themselves up for some very negative consequences.
If you or someone you care about has been using drugs or alcohol, it is essential to seek quality treatment and do it as soon as possible. You may come to realize that this use of drugs and alcohol is a cry for help, one that stems from an undiagnosed mental health challenge. By addressing the underlying causes of substance abuse, the experienced staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab can manage the addiction and alcoholism at its source, designing an effective course of treatment that can last a lifetime. Please contact us today to help learn the ways to cope with anxiety without drugs and alcohol and live a better life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.