Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction in Los Angeles

Anxiety affects everyone from time to time, but for some people, anxiety affects their ability to thrive in everyday life. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with anxiety end up turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms–a dangerous habit that can lead to addiction.

This article discusses what to expect when seeking treatment for anxiety and addiction in Los Angeles. You will learn:

  • The symptoms of anxiety
  • The types of anxiety disorders
  • The connection between anxiety and substance abuse
  • How co-occurring anxiety and substance use disorder (SUD) is treated

If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, substance abuse, or any other mental health issues, please contact Invigorate Behavioral Health today. A team member can assess your needs, verify your insurance, and help you get the treatment you deserve.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body’s natural response in reaction to stress or perceived threats. While it’s normal to feel anxious in certain situations (such as before a big presentation or when faced with a major decision), anxiety becomes a concern when it persists over time, becomes overwhelming, or interferes with daily life.[1]

Anxiety can have physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Excessive worry
  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Jittery
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Stomachache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Trembling

Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and they can range from mild to severe.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

When anxiety is persistent and severe enough that it begins affecting your daily life, it may be an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are extremely common, affecting more than 301 million people worldwide and over 40 million Americans.[2,3]There are several types of anxiety disorders. The ones that most commonly affect adults are:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – GAD is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry about various aspects of life, such as work, health, and relationships. People with GAD often anticipate disaster and may have physical symptoms like muscle tension, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating on a near-daily basis.
  • Panic disorder – This condition involves recurrent, unexpected panic attacks—intense periods of fear or discomfort that peak within minutes. Panic attacks can include symptoms like palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, and feelings of impending doom.
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD) – Also known as social phobia, SAD causes intense fear or anxiety about social situations where the person may be scrutinized or judged by others. People may take extreme measures to avoid social gatherings or performance situations to the point where their daily lives and relationships are affected.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – PTSD can develop after a person has been exposed to a traumatic event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, intense emotional reactions, and emotional distress.
  • Specific phobias – Phobias are intense fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (such as heights, spiders, or flying). The fear is larger than the actual danger posed and can lead to avoidance behavior.
  • Agoraphobia – People who have agoraphobia experience fear or anxiety about being in places or situations where escape might be difficult or embarrassing or where help may not be available in case of panic-like symptoms. This can lead to avoidance of situations such as public transportation, open spaces, or crowded places. In extreme cases, people will avoid leaving their homes.

Regardless of the type of disorder, anxiety disorders can significantly impact daily life, relationships, work, and overall well-being if left untreated. Seeking professional help is important for managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

The Link Between Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Many individuals with anxiety disorders may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to reduce anxiety symptoms temporarily. Substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, or illicit drugs can initially provide relief from feelings of anxiety or stress.

While drugs and alcohol may be able to temporarily relieve anxiety, substance abuse can actually worsen anxiety over time and lead to deterioration in mental health. People may find themselves unable to deal with anxiety without using drugs or alcohol as a crutch, leading to a dangerous pattern of substance abuse.

An estimated 20% of Americans with an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.[4] When anxiety and substance use disorders co-occur, treating one condition without addressing the other may lead to poorer outcomes and higher rates of relapse. As a result, effective treatment involves addressing both anxiety and substance abuse.

Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety and addiction are closely linked, and they share many of the same risk factors and triggers. As a result, the conditions can be treated simultaneously in a dual-diagnosis treatment program.

Assessment

Treatment begins with an in-depth assessment. The clinical team will evaluate your physical and mental health, learn the details about your substance abuse, and gather a complete medical history. This information is used to create a personalized treatment plan based on your needs.

After your assessment, you’ll transition to detox, where you can safely detox from drugs and alcohol and begin your treatment program.

Therapy

To effectively address co-occurring disorders like anxiety and addiction, it’s essential to eliminate harmful behaviors through therapy. Therapy can help you learn strategies to prevent relapse, manage anxiety effectively, and cultivate healthier habits. It also addresses the root causes of your anxiety and substance abuse. Therapy provides practical tools and support tailored to promote overall well-being.

Therapies used to treat anxiety and addiction include:[5]

When it comes to anxiety, major goals of therapy include introducing relaxation techniques, confronting fears, and encouraging peer support.

Medication

In some cases, anxiety can be managed with medication. Medications that can help treat anxiety include antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or beta-blockers.[6] Combined with therapy and lifestyle adjustments, these medications can mitigate anxiety and reduce the potential for a relapse.

Aftercare

Long-term care is crucial in dual diagnosis cases, as it takes time and commitment to master coping skills and establish a healthy routine with positive habits. At Invigorate Behavioral Health, we’re committed to your well-being, and we want to help ensure long-term results. That’s why aftercare is a key part of our anxiety disorder treatment program. Clients receive resources and support through our aftercare program in the weeks and months after being discharged.

Find Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction in Los Angeles, CA

Our admissions counselors can help you get started with a customized dual-diagnosis treatment plan today. All it takes to get started is a phone call. Whether you’re ready to begin with a confidential, risk-free assessment or you’d like to learn more about our anxiety and addiction treatment program in LA, please contact us today.

References:

  1. American Psychiatric Association (APA): What are Anxiety Disorders?
  2. World Health Organization (WHO): Anxiety disorders
  3. Forbes: Anxiety Statistics And Facts
  4. Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA): Substance Use
  5. American Psychological Association (APA): How psychologists help with anxiety disorders
  6. National Institute of Health (NIH): Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options

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