Treatment for Addiction and Anxiety
What is Addiction and Anxiety
Twin Rivers Rehab works closely with a high number of clients who suffer with an addiction and a mental health disorder such as anxiety. We fully appreciate that one way well exacerbate the other creating a vicious cycle as depicted above. Substance abuse promotes anxiety and anxiety creates addiction and once a person gets stuck in this cycle it is difficult, not impossible to get out of. Anxiety is mostly about a feeling that something is going to go wrong creating nervousness-apprehension-concern-fear and worry. A sense of ‘doom’ can be all-consuming and can lead to GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) whereby the person is pretty much anxious about everything. Addiction to drugs or alcohol, for example, could be as a result of debilitating amounts of anxiety which then means this person has a Dual Diagnosis.
Recovery Programme for Addiction & Anxiety
Twin Rivers approach is holistic in that we treat the addiction and the anxiety at the same time. A client may become anxious about stopping drinking alcohol or abusing drugs but this is perfectly normal. It is our job to work out the client’s pattern of thinking and behaviours to ascertain if the anxiety was around prior to substance abuse or visa versa. This will help the therapy team to develop a treatment plan that will assist the client in learning to manage their anxiety and addiction more effectively. Medication may well play a role as some clients require medication that reduces anxiety which in turn improves therapeutic outcomes for the client.
A panic attack is a result of a sudden overwhelming feeling of acute anxiety. This can be triggered by the loss of a loved one loss of a job-financial concern or caused by a medical condition. Episodes such as this can be addressed in a calm way by assisting the sufferer to focus on a picture, for example, and ask them to describe the contents of the picture as this will aid a reduction in palpitations and improve breathing. Anxiety can vary widely in intensity and can last a long time and a panic attack is normally quite sudden and unexpected yet can pass by fairly quickly.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process