A couple glasses of wine is something that isn’t a real issue for most people. Those who have anxiety disorders may be different in this. Alcohol or other things that they take can and often do make their anxiety worse and they are 3 times more likely than the average person to have an alcohol or substance abuse problem. More than 20 percent of people who have anxiety or depression also have substance abuse disorders. About 20-25 percent of those who have substance abuse problems are also prone to depression. The fact that anxiety often co-occurs with alcohol abuse makes the need for treatment that much more important.
Anxiety or Substance Use Disorder: Which Came First?
Most of the people who use alcohol or other substances and suffer from anxiety disorders suffered them separately, but having both of them can be an unending cycle that makes it far more difficult to recover. In time they begin to ask, which came first, the anxiety or the substance abuse. The symptoms of one can make the symptoms of the other much more difficult to manage. Anxiety may lead to alcohol use and abuse or the abuse of other medications that are taken to alleviate anxiety and the symptoms it brings about.
Social Anxiety disorder is one type of anxiety disorder upon which alcoholism or other substance abuse is predicated. Those who have this disorder have reported repeatedly that alcohol helps to lessen the anxiety and can help them to cope, though it may in actuality make that anxiety worse. Very often after they use alcohol to cope with social anxiety, alcohol abuse develops.
Social Anxiety Disorder
The co-occurrence of substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, is common among people who have social anxiety disorder. People with this disorder report that alcohol helps lessen their social anxiety, although it often makes it worse. Alcohol abuse usually develops after the onset of this disorder.
Being treated for alcoholism or other substance abuse is not a guarantee that the problem is over or will be ended.
Treating the substance abuse very often isn’t enough. Those who have the anxiety disorder will often relapse and begin to treat their own anxiety by using the substance again. It’s necessary –if treatment will be successful– to treat both the anxiety disorder and the substance abuse. This is particularly necessary if you want to combat the chance of a relapse.
Most doctors will recommend therapy for both anxiety and substance abuse disorders and doctors often prescribe only medications that are mild in nature and will be safe for the client if a substance abuse relapse does take place. For more information about substance abuse and how it can be treated as well as the potential for relapse and treatment, visit our self-help pages on OpenForest.net, which includes anxiety and problem drinking reduction programs.