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Anxiety and Substance Abuse Treatment in New Jersey

Understanding the Links Between Anxiety and Substance Abuse

There are a wide range of reasons as to why people begin drinking or using drugs in the first place. Currently, there’s a massive stigma around the disease of addiction, and this stigma prevents people from getting help. In New Jersey, thousands of people die each year from the disease of addiction, so it’s important that loved ones are educated about the causes. By better understanding how anxiety and substance abuse are tied together, you can help get your loved one the treatment they need.

What is Anxiety?

There’s a common misconception that anxiety is something completely normal that everyone experiences. This is only partially true. While millions of people in the United States struggle with anxiety each year, not everyone has an actual anxiety disorder. Fear is a completely normal response, and anxiety is a fear of something that hasn’t happened yet. Those who struggle with various anxiety disorders have a difficult time functioning because their anxiety doesn’t go away on it’s own. 

Some of the most common anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Panic Disorder

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Those who struggle with these types of disorders have difficult times in school, at work, and socializing with other people. They deal with racing thoughts, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and many more symptoms. This type of anxiety can be paralyzing and eventually lead to severe symptoms of depression as well. Without the proper treatment, people can begin self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.

Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people with anxiety disorders ever seek treatment, and many people never even get diagnosed. As you can imagine, dealing with all of these symptoms without knowing what’s going on can be extremely confusing and scary. In order to make these symptoms go away, many people turn to drugs or alcohol to get a bit of relief. Substances like alcohol and opioids (heroin, prescription pain medications, etc.) are depressants that slow down the central nervous system. 

Although these substances work in the short term, they can lead to a dependency that only makes the person’s anxiety worse. As a person continues to turn to these substances as a way to manage their anxiety, their brain begins to become conditioned to thinking that these substances are the solution. Over time, the person feels intense cravings to drink or use, but at the same time, their life is falling apart from getting drunk or high. Not only does the person’s anxiety get worse, but they’re no longer capable of stopping on their own

Treatment Starts with Detox

If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety and substance abuse issues, Enlightened Solutions can help. We treat people throughout Atlantic County, Camden County, Ocean County and more. Our professional staff helps people come off of the substances safely, and then we work on helping teach people how to manage anxiety without these addictive substances. Give us a call today at 833-233-7336 to learn more about our medical and holistic detox treatment services.


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