Is Depression or Anxiety Causing Your Drug Addiction?

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Is Depression or Anxiety Causing Your Drug Addiction?

When you’re struggling with anxiety and drug addiction, you may wonder if they are connected. In fact, you may ask yourself if depression or anxiety is the cause of your drug addiction.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

Those with anxiety disorders may find that alcohol or other substances can make their anxiety symptoms worse. And they are two to three times more likely to have an alcohol or other substance abuse disorder at some point in their lives than the general population.

Understanding this fact is essential, and so is keeping some considerations in mind.

Know the Statistics on Anxiety and Drug Addiction

While your situation is not exactly the same as another person’s, knowing the statistics of the general public can help you to understand how possible it is that your depression or anxiety is leading to your drug addiction.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America also provides the following statistics and facts on the issue:

  • “About 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder such as depression have an alcohol or other substance use disorder, and about 20 percent of those with an alcohol or substance use disorder also have an anxiety or mood disorder.”
  • “Alcohol or drugs often cause panic attacks, and having a panic disorder is a risk factor for relapse among people with a substance abuse disorder.”
  • PTSD and substance abuse commonly occur together.”

This information cannot give you an actual diagnosis. These notes show that connections can exist, but they don’t in every scenario. Also, you have to speak with your doctor and mental health professional to obtain a diagnosis for your specific circumstances.

Understand Triggers

While you will receive a diagnosis only from professionals, it is important to recognize that while your anxiety and drug addiction may not be caused by a mental disorder, some aspects of the condition might act as your triggers. Triggers can lead you to abuse drugs.

For example, you might have specific situations that make you feel extremely anxious. As a result, you use drugs because you feel as though the drugs help to eliminate your anxiety. When you are feeling depressed, you may respond in the same manner. Therefore, depression and anxiety could potentially act as triggers for your drug addiction.

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Realize the Reverse is Possible

Right now, you may feel that your depression or anxiety is causing you to abuse drugs and has, as a result, led to your addiction. Keep in mind that the reverse is possible too. In other words, your drug addiction may lead you to feel anxious or depressed in certain scenarios or for a majority of the time. While the two may be connected, it could be in a way that is opposite of what you think. Working with professionals can help you to determine which issue is causing the other.  Either way, addiction and anxiety need a professional assessment.

Evaluate Your Medications

When people think of drug abuse, they often imagine illegal drugs that are traded in transactions on the streets. However, addictions to medications are possible. For example, your doctor may have prescribed you medicine to treat your anxiety or depression. It is possible that you have started to abuse this medication. If that is the case, you must speak to your doctor about the issue. You may discover that a different form of treatment is available.  Or, maybe your physician can prescribe a medication that does not lead to addictive tendencies.

Seek Assistance

Trying to combat these various issues by yourself can prove overwhelming and challenging. When you seek the assistance of professionals in the field, you can seriously increase your chances of succeeding.

By procuring treatment, you can discover if and how your depression or anxiety is connected to your drug addiction. Whether they are related or not, you can receive treatment for both. By the time you finish the program, you can have a seriously improved perspective on life and yourself.

Express Honesty

Seeking treatment can bring all sorts of feelings to the surface. In fact, you may feel as though you want to express openness and honesty about only one of the issues, either the anxiety or depression. Or, you may only want to address the addiction when you’re at your first meeting with representatives.

Keep in mind that hiding information prevents you from obtaining the help that you need. An excellent treatment facility is going to offer you assistance and guidance; the professionals are not there to judge you. When you are honest about your situation, you can get started on the best treatment plan for your needs as soon as possible.

However your anxiety and drug addiction started, you can obtain assistance. The only way to know for sure which caused the other is to obtain professional help and to work with the experts.


  • – Substance Abuse Disorder

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