As anxiety and depression medications lead to addiction to dangerous prescription drugs, so does substance abuse lead to anxiety disorders. Clearly, both problems are serious and need to be managed and treated.
Those who struggle with substance abuse, also face side effects of developing an anxiety disorder. For those who already struggle with anxiety disorders, substance abuse will further damage and strain the persons emotional health. Luckily, there is always hope. Both anxiety disorder and substance addiction can be treated, regardless of which one of them was diagnosed first.
Chemical connection between the two
The chemicals in substances such as marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, and prescription pain relievers, as well as substances that seem harmless like caffeine, may affect how the brain functions and cause symptoms of anxiety, such as:
- consistent paranoia
- worry and nervousness
- panic, as if about to die
- concentration difficulties
- memory loss
- vomiting, diarrhea, heartbeat acceleration, trouble breathing, sweating
These symptoms are not only found during the use of the substances but also weeks after the use of these substances has stopped. The cycles of depression and anxiety can be difficult to break, especially after the effects of the substances have worn off, the pressures of using again can be strong while seeming “comfortable”. Those struggling with anxiety disorders resulting from substance addiction may try to treat the problem with more substance abuse.
While, having just one of these disorders is hard enough, being diagnosed with both substance addiction and anxiety disorder can be even more complicating.
- counterfeit drug prescription
- inability to make good decisions
- unusually lethargic or hyper
- stealing prescriptions from family or friends
- doctor shopping
- irritation once prescription drug runs out
- taking prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes
Anxiety disorders and substance addiction are closely related. Those who struggle with anxiety disorders may turn to substance abuse in order to manage their anxiety disorder. In order to diagnose effectively and correctly, it’s important to understand the deep seed of the problem, whether it’s substance addiction or anxiety disorder that led to the given behaviors.
During the diagnose, mental and physical evaluations should be performed. The doctor will ask questions regarding symptoms, drugs or even alcohol, and other habitual actions. The evaluations and tests performed on blood and urine can tell the type and the number of substances left in your body, which will help determine whether or not if the problems arose from symptoms of anxiety.
Unfortunately for substance addiction, there isn’t a real cure for it, but there will always be a help. For substance-induced anxiety disorder, it should be easy to combat. Leave out the substance causing the anxiety and the anxiety will go away. This can’t be treated alone, substance-induced anxiety disorder needs professional medical attention. When they determine the substance causing the symptoms of anxiety, it would need to be taken away while being controlled.
Rodriguez, Diana. Medically Reviewed by Pat. F. Bass. MD, MPH. “When Substance Abuse Leads to Anxiety” Everyday Health June 2, 2009 http://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety/anxiety-and-substance-abuse.aspx [accessed January 28, 2015]
“Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction Effects, Signs & Symptoms” Mount Regis Center http://www.mtregis.com/prescription-drugs/effects-signs-symptoms [accessed January 28, 2015]