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Depression and Anxiety: Their Part
In Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

With all the technological advancements we have right now, I would have thought that we would have much less to worry about. I am definitely wrong. As we advance and progress into the beyond, it seems like we become more overloaded with everything that is happening in our lives. We are like sprinting on a treadmill, running as fast as we can to avoid falling on our backs. We need to stop that machine, but we cannot seem to find the button to switch the thing off. Thus, we become worn out, overmatched and exhausted.

With this overwhelming turn in the pace of our lives, we become prone to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. What’s more, these debilitating conditions are often associated with chronic drug abuse and alcoholism.

What is the connection?

Alcoholism and drug addiction plague people with mental health problems because most of these mentally depressed and anxious patients self-medicate through drugs and alcohol. When people suffer from emotional problems, they tend to drown themselves in these substances to forget their problems. These substances serve to console them in their grief and unhappiness.

For them, a bottle or a pill is the closest thing they got to a friend. Unfortunately, such substances pretend to be just their friends. In the long run, these worsen the exact symptoms of depression and anxiety they initially try to cover up. Moreover, these sharply amplify the symptoms of their mental illness or trigger new symptoms.

What is the treatment plan?

To successfully treat alcoholism and drug addiction, as caused by depression and anxiety disorders, an integrated approach where both the mental health disorder and substance abuse problem are treated simultaneously must be implemented.

1. Detoxify

The first step to recovery is detoxification. This process of “getting clean” is necessary. For without this, successful rehabilitation is in question. Primarily, the objective of this alcohol and drug detoxification is to help rid the body of the toxins one has accumulated as a result of alcohol and drug use. These toxins need to be eliminated because any residue left will produce addictive cravings for the substances again.

While other can detoxify on their own, there are those cases where patients need to be properly observed and supervised in order to prevent complications. Withdrawal symptoms, the body’s reaction to the removal of substances it has become dependent on, can be dangerous and fatal. Hence, to ensure detox is safe, hospitalization is the best alternative.

2. Drop "using" friends

For a successful alcohol and drug detoxification, patients have to avoid their using friends. The presence of “unclean” company will hinder them from successfully continuing with the program. With people reminding them of their addictions and cravings, they will be tempted. This will compromise their situation.

Patients must surround themselves of people who are sober and clean and who will help them stay on the right path. Support from family and friends will significantly help them in their fight against addiction and mental disorders. Knowing that there are people who care and love them provides affirmation that they do not need to go down that road. They have someone to turn to and confide.

3. Go to therapy

The chances of a complete recovery are highly improved when people participate in therapy or social support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Listening to other people’s experiences and struggles, which may be completely similar to their own, will help them realize that they are not alone. They may also get some inspiration from people who have sobered up and have completely recovered themselves.

Techniques on how to combat the cravings and temptations as one continues to recover may also be learned. Encouragement from sponsors, friends, and counselors may also help them escape the temptation of using again.

4. Adopt healthy lifestyle changes

Changing lifestyle habits for the better will help better one’s recovery. Hence, start the day right with a healthy bowl of breakfast and continue it with frequent but small portions of meals and snacks throughout the day. Provide your body with its needed energy requirements so that it can carry on stressful tasks and activities.

Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation. This can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression and can boost feelings of emotional well-being and relaxation. Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes, as well. This will help increase levels of endorphins in the body, creating a sense of euphoria that will bust stress and anxiety. Get enough sleep as well. A lack of sleep can aggravate mental conditions.

Depression and anxiety disorder are two debilitating conditions that can lead to substance abuse. Seeking immediate treatment for these cases is essential to prevent exacerbation of symptoms and progression to irreparable complications.

Guest Author Ryan Rivera is no stranger to anxiety and depression. His story, including his recovery techniques, can be found on

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For further reading on the topic of depression and anxiety linked to alcoholism or addiction, these articles may be helpful ...

Many people that suffer from Depression and Alcoholism don't realise that you can be treated for co-ocurring disorders at institutions qualified to treat both. And having both seen to at the same time is a far more effective way of doing things.

Knowing where to start when it comes to finding an appropriate Alcohol and Depression Treatment Program is often the hardest part, so it's important knowing what your options are.

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