Freedom From Addiction is one of Canada's most innovative addiction recovery homes.
We are passionate about creating and providing individualized and holistic treatment approaches geared to guide clients towards a life of healing and sobriety. We take pride in our team of qualified healthcare professionals and addiction specialists who are equipped with the impressive knowledge and expertise to develop personalized concurrent disorder treatment plans for clients who struggle with anxiety and addiction.
How Anxiety Affects Addiction
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders worldwide. In 2017, approximately 284 million people around the globe experienced an anxiety disorder. This condition is characterized by feelings of persistent irrational fear, nervousness, and worrying that is beyond control and interferes with daily functioning.
Individuals with anxiety disorders are always on the edge and may seek refuge in drinking alcohol or self-medicating with recreational or prescription drugs to calm their nerves and soothe their emotions. The intoxication can make them feel good initially, however, substances like alcohol have depressant properties that can eventually make their anxiety symptoms worse, causing irritability, misery, and depression when they wake up the next day.
More importantly, these unhealthy coping mechanisms heighten the risk of developing addiction as a concurrent disorder. In Canada, people with a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, are twice as likely to have a substance use problem compared to the general population. At least 20% of people with a mental illness have a co-occurring substance use problem.
Types of Major Anxiety Disorders
- Social Anxiety Disorder – Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder is the excessive fear or concern about being judged or evaluated negatively by others in a social situation. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 20% of people with a social anxiety disorder also suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – This type of anxiety is a debilitating mental health disorder that affects individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. This can be a natural disaster, fatal accident, terrorist attack, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault, such as rape or physical abuse, or other life-threatening events. Individuals with PTSD often turn to alcohol or drugs to forget traumatic memories. PTSD anxiety and addiction are often treated together because its symptoms, which include intrusive thoughts and sleep disturbances, are risk factors for substance abuse relapse.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – People with GAD experience excessive worrying or anxiety most days for at least six months about everyday routine, personal health, work, or personal relationships.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – People with OCD have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. This affects their everyday life, work, school, and personal relationships.
The Importance of Treating Anxiety During Addiction Recovery
Clients with co-occurring disorders, or who have been diagnosed with a concurrent mental disorder, such as anxiety, and addiction or alcoholism should be treated simultaneously to reduce the possibility of relapse and ensure a successful recovery.
Without proper intervention, individuals struggling with anxiety may find themselves in the pernicious cycle of substance abuse, increasing frequency and dosage of alcohol drug intake as their anxiety symptoms worsen. Hence, the treatment of concurrent disorders is necessary to truly make a difference.
How Anxiety Is Treated
Treating anxiety and addiction is a delicate matter. Many healthcare professionals do not automatically prescribe medication because individuals with anxiety disorders are at an increased risk of abuse and may cause adverse reactions that can affect them emotionally. For anxiety treatment, doctors usually recommend prescriptions with low abuse potential to supplement holistic evidence-based approaches to co-occurring disorders.
At Freedom From Addiction, we recognize that everyone’s anxiety and addiction story is different from one another. We have seen tremendous success in getting to the root cause of addiction versus doing a drug detox alone as well as creating a customized treatment plan depending on each client’s individual circumstances.
Our concurrent disorders treatment plans include:
For people struggling with co-occurring anxiety and addiction, quitting alone is not safe, as these individuals are prone to experiencing extreme withdrawal symptoms once they stop using drugs or alcohol. Freedom From Addiction offers safe, effective, and medically guided drug detox programs that help the body flush out trace amounts of alcohol and drugs while providing necessary support for the patient to manage the withdrawal symptoms as comfortably as possible.
We offer different types of drug addiction treatment programs tailored to fit the client's personal needs. We have residential treatment, in-house or hospitalization, outpatient programs, and behavioural counselling. We also have an impressive team of medical professionals and addiction specialists who are qualified to treat all types of addiction to illicit drugs, including:
- N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
- Prescription medications
- Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
Individuals with an anxiety disorder are at significant risk of developing alcohol dependence or alcoholism. For clients with co-occurring anxiety and substance use disorders, our alcohol rehab and alcohol addiction treatment services are designed to provide support at every step of the way. These include:
- Helping families and friends stage interventions
- Providing detoxification and psychosocial support designed to address drinking problems
- Conducting individual and group counselling for maintaining abstinence and relapse prevention
- Giving family therapy and emotional support for loved ones who may have been hurt or want to be involved in the healing process.
The core of our concurrent disorder treatment at Freedom From Addiction is our mental health treatment program. It effectively helps pinpoint potential risk factors, past trauma, and potential triggers that may have resulted in the clients' anxiety and addiction. But more importantly, they are also designed to teach them how to unlearn negative thinking patterns, emotions, and unhealthy coping mechanisms by replacing them with positive behaviours.
Our mental health treatment involves integrative therapies, such as:
- Anger management therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Individual counselling
- Group counselling sessions
- Relapse Prevention
- Continuing Care
Our Integrated Anxiety and Addiction Treatment Approach
Despite its undeniable prevalence, drug rehabs are only beginning to see the valuable benefits of concurrent disorders treatment. Unfortunately, it’s not something that’s readily available in most addiction treatment facilities. Individuals who have co-occurring anxiety and addiction are left with no choice but to complete their addiction program. Without an available treatment for the concurrent disorder, the least these drug rehabs can do is provide a referral for separate anxiety treatment, neglecting the possibility of relapse, suicide, or another anxiety attack.
Freedom From Addiction is an addiction recovery home based in Aurora, Ontario. Our co-occurring disorder treatment programs are backed by years of extensive scientific literature review regarding addiction and co-occurring disorders. We have a team of experts that implement evidence-based concurrent disorder treatment plans and a continuing care program to provide clients with all the support they need.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with anxiety and addiction? It’s never too late to get your life back. Contact Freedom From Addiction today