Anxiety and Addiction Treatment in Port St. Lucie, FL

It’s a heartbreaking situation when an individual dealing with anxiety turns to drug or alcohol abuse as a way of managing their symptoms. At first, it may seem like alcohol is providing relief, but over time dependence can take root and cause even more distress for the individual.

Anxiety and addiction have a complex relationship, making it essential to address both issues at the same time for successful recovery. While substance use can provide temporary relief from anxiety, it can lead to increased anxiety and addiction.

Fortunately, Amethyst Recovery Center’s dual diagnosis program in Port St. Lucie, Florida builds a strong support network and incorporates mindfulness practices, which are key strategies for managing anxiety during alcohol and drug abuse treatment.

Defining Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect around 31.1% of adults in the United States at some point in their lives. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most frequent mental health issue in the United States.

Anxiety disorders are a global problem, often causing intense fear and uneasiness which impede normal living. These mental health conditions can take different shapes such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, or social anxiety. Acknowledging the signs of these issues of various anxiety disorders is paramount in seeking help from professionals to tackle them effectively with a treatment program that best suits individuals’ needs.

Types of Anxiety

We all react differently to stressful events. Most of us will experience anxiety symptoms such as stress, uneasiness, concern, or fear at some point in our lives until the event or stressor passes. It’s a perfectly typical biological reaction.

However, if your symptoms become persistent and overwhelming, or if they interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from an anxiety condition.

In this instance, you will most likely have an overpowering sense of anxiety, which can be extreme and persistent even when no stressor is present. The symptoms are chronic and might cause disruptions in daily living.

Anxiety disorders have characteristics with other mental health issues. Post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder are two examples. There are various types of anxiety including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Phobias
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia

Read on to learn about the different types of anxiety disorders, how they’re diagnosed, and which treatment methods are available.

anxiety and addiction treatment
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Typically, individuals who have generalized anxiety disorder experience some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Sleep problems (i.e. difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Headaches, muscle aches, or other unexplained pains
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can cause people to feel a “persistent feeling of anxiety or dread”. This constant feeling of worry can interfere with a person’s daily life. For more people with generalized anxiety disorder, these intense feelings of worry and dread can last for months (if not years) at a time.

Social Anxiety Disorder
Individuals living with social anxiety disorder experience some of the following symptoms when in social situations:

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Stomach aches
  • Severe self-consciousness
  • Racing or pounding heart

Social anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of social situations. Going to work, school, or any other social gathering can be terrifying for people who have a social anxiety disorder. This can certainly interfere with everyday life, making it difficult to interact with others.

Panic Disorder
Individuals who have panic disorders typically experience panic attacks frequently and unexpectedly. These panic attacks are characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Feelings of dread or doom
  • Feelings of loss of control
  • Trembling

According to the NIMH, panic attacks can occur several times a day or just a few times per year for those who have panic disorders. But, not everyone who has a panic attack will develop a panic disorder. So, it is essential to monitor how frequently these attacks occur and seek professional mental health care if needed.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders most often begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. The symptoms of anxiety disorders differ depending on the type. Anxiety disorder symptoms in general include:

Physical symptoms
  • Hands that are cold or sweaty.
  • The mouth is parched.
  • Palpitations in the heart.
  • Nausea.
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands or feet.
  • Tension in the muscles.
  • Breathing difficulty.
Mental symptoms
  • Experiencing panic, fear, and unease.
  • Nightmares.
  • Recurring thoughts or flashbacks to tragic events.
  • Thoughts that are uncontrollable and obsessive.
Behavioral symptoms
  • Inability to remain quiet and steady.
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeatedly washing one’s hands.
  • Trouble sleeping.

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of an anxiety condition. They will begin with a thorough medical history and physical examination.

Causes of Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety disorders are similar to other types of mental illness. They are not the result of personal defects, character flaws, or parenting issues. However, researchers are unsure about what causes anxiety disorders. They believe a mix of variables is at work:

Chemical imbalance
Prolonged or severe stress can alter the chemical balance that regulates your mood. A lot of stress over a lengthy period of time might contribute to an anxiety condition.
Environmental factors
Experiencing a traumatic event may precipitate an anxiety disorder, especially in someone who has a predisposition to develop one.
Anxiety disorders are passed down through families. If someone in the family has an anxiety disorder a person is at risk for also developing one.

The Complex Relationship Between Anxiety and Addiction

The connection between anxiety and addiction is complex, comprised of stressors, social context, past traumatic experiences, and hereditary susceptibility. It can be an intricate problem to tackle, so it’s critical to understand this link for successful healing.

Self-medication also plays a role here. Acknowledging the relationship between these two co-occurring disorders is key when aiming for success in rehabilitation efforts.


Individuals struggling with anxiety disorders may self-medicating by using drugs or alcohol to soothe the symptoms of their anxiety disorder. Although this may provide temporary relief from distress, unfortunately, it can be counterproductive. Self-medicating with substance abuse can lead to an unsustainable dependency on alcohol or drugs that could develop into a full-blown substance use disorder (SUD).

Illicit substances have also been known to ignite panic attacks and manifest troubles such as relationship issues, unemployment, or legal problems, all largely outweighing any potential short-term benefit of self-medication.

Genetic and Chemical Factors

Self-medication may contribute to both anxiety and addiction, but genetic predisposition, as well as a chemical imbalance in the brain’s chemistry, can also increase a person’s vulnerability to developing either one of these disorders.

Recognizing the role played by these factors is essential when it comes to treatment for anxiety and substance abuse. This understanding guides clinicians to choose treatment plans with long-term recovery goals. Familial histories involving such mental health challenges increase the risk for an individual experiencing co-occurring disorders themselves.

The Impact of Substance Use on Anxiety Disorders

Substance use and its relation to anxiety levels is a topic worth exploring. We know that alcohol, marijuana, and certain medications can have an impact on these symptoms. In some cases, using one of those substances may bring temporary relief. In other situations, they could end up making the individual’s anxiety worse over time. Let us now look more closely at what effects each substance has on people with anxiety issues specifically.

Alcohol and Anxiety Disorder
When anxious people start relying on alcohol to help them feel relief, they may initially succeed in calming themselves down and enjoying a period of relaxation. The reality is that this only leads to long-term anxiety issues as the body requires greater amounts of alcohol for it to have any significant effect again. It can also lead to exacerbated feelings of unease and withdrawal symptoms can arise from sustained reliance on alcoholic beverages.

This highlights why seeking proper medical advice or assistance when dealing with both addiction and its related anxieties should be done. Rather than self-medicating by using drugs or alcohol, which could easily lead one into an increasingly damaging cycle over time.

Marijuana and Anxiety Disorder
When seeking to address anxiety disorder symptoms, marijuana can sometimes provide short-term relief and promote relaxation. Individuals with anxiety issues need to be wary of using this substance as its excessive use might increase their distress levels instead. Plus there could be a risk of developing an addiction problem over time. Accordingly, getting professional help should always come first to properly manage the condition while avoiding any potentially harmful outcomes due to cannabis consumption.
Prescription Medications and Anxiety Disorder
When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, prescription drugs can often be a successful solution to manage anxiety symptoms. Benzodiazepines for example are prescribed to help alleviate anxiety symptoms. But these medications have been known to lead to dependency and, eventually, abuse or addiction when misused in any way.

Those dealing with these conditions must work closely with their healthcare providers to put together an effective plan and make sure both the issues of substance use disorder and anxiety are addressed – ultimately helping people on their path to long-term recovery.

Dual Diagnosis: Treating Anxiety and Addiction Together

anxiety and addictionDual diagnosis treatment is the key to effectively dealing with co-occurring anxiety and addiction. This method ensures that both issues are addressed at once while taking into account all aspects of a person’s mental health. Here we’ll review some critical components of this type of approach.

Dual diagnosis programs offer an integrated strategy for individuals suffering from co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. These treatment programs evaluate each area separately to guarantee effective intervention to promote overall well-being and improve one’s mental health status.

The purpose is not only to treat those particular afflictions but also to maintain them by providing personalized help when necessary so as not to trigger a drug or alcohol abuse relapse.

Integrated Treatment Approaches
When it comes to treating dual diagnosis, evidence-based therapeutic approaches are often integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can help individuals gain insight to better cope with co-occurring anxiety as well as addictive behaviors that have been identified by the dual diagnosis treatment process.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be prescribed during this period of care for supporting an individual’s mental health needs while they confront their underlying issues related to both conditions simultaneously. Together, these methods provide clients suffering from co-existing disorders access to valuable resources which allow them to improve emotional regulation skills and develop healthier coping strategies for managing symptoms associated with each condition on an ongoing basis.

Challenges in Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Mental illnesses that co-occur with drug or alcohol addiction are quite challenging to treat. Problems like misdiagnosis and difficulty accessing care may arise. Some medications used to treat anxiety or other mental health disorders can be addictive too, leading to an additional complication in the treatment process.

Despite these issues, effective therapy is essential for long-term recovery due to its ability to address both substance abuse-related and anxiety-related elements associated with a person’s mental well-being, resulting ultimately in positive results. Dual diagnosis programs provide comprehensive support while taking into account all factors so that individuals benefit from the positive outcomes of treatment.

Strategies for Managing Anxiety During Substance Abuse Recovery


It’s important to handle anxiety effectively. During addiction treatment in South Florida individuals can adopt mindfulness practices and make necessary lifestyle changes while building a reliable support system for themselves. This will help them effectively manage their stress during the recovery period.

Mindfulness helps people become more conscious of their emotions and thoughts. They learn how to accept these sensations without judgment or resistance so that they can control unhelpful responses associated with anxiety better (such as irritability or negative thinking patterns) making progress towards improved well-being easier than ever before!

Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation can be of great help when dealing with stressors linked to the recovery journey. Mindfulness is a technique that trains one’s thoughts, allowing them to slow down, and let go of negative feelings while calming their mind and body. Engaging in regular meditation may foster positive effects on your brain, building up new neural pathways which equip us with greater capabilities for coping better emotionally and handling anxiety efficiently.

Including mindfulness practices in daily life during this time offers an effective tool for managing anxiety encountered during addiction treatment helping people create mental resilience naturally through healthy methods instead of relying only on drugs or alcohol.

Lifestyle Changes
Creating and maintaining healthy habits can have a huge effect on an individual’s mental health, including lessening the intensity of their anxiety symptoms while in recovery from addiction. An improved sleep schedule, a healthy diet, and exercise are all necessary parts of establishing a beneficial lifestyle regimen. Adding certain foods to one’s meals has been known to lessen anxious feelings. In this way, people can foster good mental well-being throughout their therapeutic journey.
Building a Support Network
Having a supportive environment is important to those who are struggling with addiction and anxiety disorders. Friends, family members, counselors, or therapists can offer motivation during the recovery journey. Groups such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide understanding for people dealing with these issues while providing a safe place to talk openly about their experiences.

Seeking professional help from an accredited mental health and substance abuse treatment center like Amethyst Recovery Center will give individuals access to the specialized care that they need to achieve lasting results in overcoming this issue. Having trustworthy professionals around them throughout their healing process gives people going through recovery the strength they require on the road back to health.

Amethyst Recovery Center Offers Anxiety and Addiction Treatment

At Amethyst Recovery Center, we are aware of the complex issues associated with dual diagnosis and those fighting both anxiety and substance abuse. Our tailor-made treatment plans provide treatments and therapeutic interventions backed by empirical evidence to help those struggling with co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and substance abuse. The team here at our Port St. Lucie rehab center understands the intricate bond between mental illness and addiction, and vice versa.

We strive to build a healthy atmosphere where our clients can get past their co-occurring disorders such as substance use disorders paired with anxiety. Transforming into individuals living content and healthy lives.

Our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

Those who need help overcoming anxiety and addiction can get the help they need here at Amethyst Recovery Center’s drug and alcohol rehab in Florida. Our mental health and drug abuse rehab programs offer comprehensive approaches to help people work through the recovery process and prevent relapse.

Medical Detox
When ending substance use, individuals typically experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be moderate or severe. In many instances, the physical symptoms of withdrawal can be life-threatening. Thankfully, medical detox services can help those ending drug or alcohol use.
Residential Treatment

Also known as residential inpatient treatment for substance abuse, inpatient care offers an intensive approach to treatment. It allows recovering individuals to live at our rehab center for the duration of their treatment. This ensures round-the-clock access to medical and emotional support.

Therapy Services
Therapeutic interventions are essential in the treatment of mental health disorders and drug addiction. Individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and other methods can help people develop the coping skills they need in recovery.

Contact Us Today

We are passionate about providing integrated dual diagnosis treatment for individuals who suffer from both conditions to help them create meaningful change and progress toward a healthier future. By utilizing mindfulness practices, lifestyle changes, and developing social support networks, those recovering from addiction will be able to manage their anxieties with greater ease.

To learn more about how we treat anxiety and substance use problems, reach out to us today. We look forward to walking with you on the road to recovery!

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