Common Anxiety Triggers During Recovery and How to Avoid Them

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Common Anxiety Triggers During Recovery and How to Avoid Them

Many different factors trigger anxiety during drug rehabilitation, both physical and mental. While mental triggers are unique to the individual, several common physical triggers worsen the symptoms of anxiety. Identifying your triggers is the first step to overcoming fear and preventing further symptoms while in recovery.  Below are some of the common anxiety triggers a recovering addict must address.

More Common Anxiety Triggers

Food Sensitivities

Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities all cause symptoms that trigger anxiety. While food allergies usually cause noticeable symptoms that require prompt medical treatment, intolerances and sensitivities cause vague discomfort. Chronic symptoms will lead to a disconnection with the food you eat. Problems include breathing difficulties, sinus congestion, and digestive complaints such as GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and acid reflux. These can all be caused by food sensitivities and may trigger anxiety or panic attacks, especially during recovery. Keeping a food diary and monitoring chronic symptoms to see which foods cause problems can be helpful. Our specialists and doctors are present if severe reactions occur.

Anxiety from Dehydration

Research studies show specific links between drug abuse, dehydration and mood changes. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, muscle tension, irritability, confusion, and anxiety. Adequate fluid intake is essential for recovery and needed for the proper functioning of the brain. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive consumption of diuretics while in recovery. Our specialists will make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of liquid a day, although fluid requirements can vary significantly from one person to the next.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Low levels of some vitamins and minerals in the body from drug or alcohol addiction will affect the nervous system. Depressed mood, mood swings, irritability, and anxiety are all a result of nutritional deficiencies. B vitamins are essential for many different functions, including brain function and metabolism. Vitamins C and E are needed for the nervous system to function correctly, while selenium is necessary for normal processes associated with neurotransmitters in the brain. Also, deficiency of magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids causes anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Eating a balanced diet while recovering is the best way to prevent deficiencies, but supplements will be needed for some people. Some medications can prevent the absorption of essential nutrients.


Patients addicted to prescription medications suffer anxiety triggers during drug rehabilitation. Weight loss supplements, decongestant tablets, asthma medication, and painkillers are among the many drugs that often contain stimulants. Stimulants cause the heart to beat faster, increase muscle tension, and cause anxiety symptoms. Caffeine, found in tea, coffee, energy drinks, and some medications, can cause panic attacks in some people. Herbal supplements and alternative remedies are also common anxiety triggers. Certain medicines for recovery can also cause anxiety, so it’s essential to check with your doctor before using supplements.

Other Factors

Certain food additives are known to disrupt the nervous system and lead to anxiety. While some people are more sensitive than others to food additives, many notice a worsening of symptoms after eating certain foods. Foods containing high fructose corn syrup, mono-sodium amalgamate (MSG), and artificial sweeteners cause triggers for many addicts. Environmental pollutants and cigarette smoke are also common triggers for anxiety.

There are many different causes and triggers of anxiety, including food, medication, and environmental pollutants. However, emotional factors, such as suppressed emotions, anger, and grief, are also triggers for anxiety. It is crucial to avoid all triggers while in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction.

If you would like more information about common anxiety triggers during and after treatment, please contact us today.


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