Anxiety, Depression and Substance Abuse
Alcohol or drugs abuse often begins when people discover that drugs or alcohol can temporarily dull unwanted feelings like anxiety.
Many addicted individuals initially started using drugs and alcohol in an attempt to feel more relaxed or sociable around other people, or to cope with feelings of anxiety about work, school or relationships. Over time, people discover that drinking or using makes the original problem even worse, with even more unpredictable negative consequences.
The same is true of prescription medications that are sometimes overprescribed by GPs for the treatment of anxiety. They may relieve unwanted symptoms in the short term, but they prevent the individual from learning the necessary skills for coping with the feelings in the long term, and have high rates of physical dependency, ultimately becoming less and less effective.
How Rehab Can Help Treat Drug and Alcohol Problems Based in Anxiety, Depression or Trauma
There are many coping skills that an individual can learn and practice for coping with anxiety without the use of drugs, alcohol, or medications. See rehab.
For example, trauma therapy helps patients engage with traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment by learning to gently work through trauma-related feelings instead of trying to bury or avoid them through substance use. Mindfulness meditation is also highly effective in assisting individuals identify and overcome the unpleasant feelings associated with cravings and triggers, without the use of substances.
A comprehensive addiction treatment program helps patients identify the root causes of their substance abuse habits and teaches them healthy and constructive coping skills to manage those feelings and experiences without the use of drugs, alcohol, or medications.
At Castle Craig we use cognitive behavioural therapy, trauma therapy, grief therapy, family therapy and other evidence-based complementary therapies to treat addiction problems alongside other dual-diagnosis such as anxiety or depression.
Page published: August 7, 2019. Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 25, 2022