In most cases, addiction is not an isolated illness. It usually carries with it one or more mental illnesses related to emotions or mood that further complicate issues. One of the common dual diagnoses of psychiatric disorders is an addiction to alcohol and anxiety.
Addiction is commonly defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder that causes functional changes to the brain related to reward, stress, and self-control. The development of addiction is dependent on many factors such as environmental, social, genetic, and experiential. Whether or not a substance abuse disorder or a mental illness comes first is often difficult to identify. In some cases, both illnesses develop simultaneously.
Alcohol and Anxiety
The development of both an addiction to alcohol and anxiety has been extensively researched because of its prevalence in coexisting. Using a substance or alcohol as a method to soothe stress or anxiety is a common pathway that leads to chemical dependence. In other words, as a substance is taken in order to achieve a state of calm, the more the body’s tolerance builds up and more of the drug or alcohol is needed in order to produce the same effect.
One of the ways this self-soothing mechanism effects recovery is that since the body has long relied upon the substance to reduce anxiety, establishing effective alternatives can be challenging. Some care providers may offer anti-anxiety medication, while others might offer nonmedication alternatives such as practicing mindfulness or deep breathing exercises.
Work Related Stress
Regardless of what your occupation is, work-related stress is guaranteed to happen. For people who hold high-ranking positions, like CEOs, business executives, attorneys, or doctors, work-related stress and anxiety can become an overwhelming hurdle, which in turn can lead to substance abuse as a short-term remedy.
Further, a recent study found that drug addicts carry many of the same key characteristics as successful CEOs, suggesting that there is a thin line between struggle and success. The similarities stem from an inherent muting of dopamine leading a person to chase after more and more extreme stimuli to induce a rush.
Statistics Among High-Earning Professionals
- 29% of attorneys in their first decade of practice reported a drinking problem
- Around 10% of health care professionals abuse drugs
- Surgeons who were feeling burned out or depressed were at high risk for alcoholism
Treatment for Dual Diagnosis: Addiction to Alcohol and Anxiety
In the case of addiction, anxiety, and work-related stress, dual diagnosis treatment is recommended. Rather than treating addiction and co-occurring illnesses separately, dual diagnosis identifies all mental illnesses and treats them simultaneously. Oftentimes, addiction and co-occurring illnesses manifest from the same roots. Because of this, treating all disorders offers the best chance of total recovery.
In addition to offering dual diagnosis treatment, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized treatment program tailored to meet specified needs.
We offer programs and therapies like:
- Residential Treatment
- Partial Hospitalization Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Dual diagnosis treatment center
Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Everyone deserves to build healthy relationships. First Step Center understands this sentiment and believes in offering integrated treatment that offers a holistic method in helping you or a loved one get well. To find out more about treatment for addiction, anxiety, or work-related stress, call us now at 866.832.6398.