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Breaking the Cycle: Overcoming Anxiety in the Midst of Substance Use

Anxiety is a mental health disorder that induces worries and fears about various situations in everyday life. Simultaneously, it encompasses specific bodily symptoms such as palpitations, excessive sweating, agitation, or difficulties falling asleep, among others.

When anxiety manifests itself, it is important to find a way to channel it. Some individuals do so through the consumption of toxic substances, as these substances inhibit the emotional, behavioral, and mental responses caused by this disorder.

In other words, taking drugs alleviates the discomfort generated by anxiety; however, substance consumption comes at a high cost, as it harms the health of those who consume them regularly.

Why the anxiety?

Pathological anxiety, experienced by individuals in stressful situations, differs from drug-induced anxiety. The latter arises from the tension faced by a patient undergoing rehabilitation and attempting to overcome addiction to a specific substance.

However, the effects are pretty alike—related to breathing, feeling trapped, heightened stress levels, and, worst-case scenario, the urge to turn back to the substance you're working hard to quit just to find relief from these symptoms.

Of course, the solution cannot be the latter, and therefore we must look for new ways to leave anxiety behind without resorting to drugs, because this would completely ruin the rehabilitation treatment that is being carried out.

Moreover, it's important not to overlook that the knowledge of how to combat anxiety should extend beyond the individual undergoing treatment to include those around them who provide support on their journey.

Some strategies to overcome anxiety due to drug use could be:

  • Identify Triggers: To kick anxiety to the curb, it's super important to figure out what's triggering it. Whether it's stress, stuff around you, or emotional stuff, knowing these triggers puts you in the driver's seat to tackle them head-on.
  • Building a Support System: You don't have to be on this journey by yourself. Having a solid support crew is key. Dig into why linking up with friends, family, or support groups who get what you're going through is important for getting the encouragement you need to make positive changes.
  • Mindfulness and Coping Techniques: Mindfulness tricks can really pack a punch against the anxiety struggle. Check out some hands-on practices and coping techniques that amp up self-awareness and make dealing with anxiety way more doable.
  • Seeking Professional Help: Sometimes, you just need a pro on your team to break that cycle. Reaching out to mental health experts, therapists, or counselors who know their stuff about anxiety and substance use is a game-changer.
  • Creating a Positive Lifestyle: Get down to some real-life tips—things like keeping active, eating right, and getting enough shut-eye. These changes are your ticket to feeling awesome and breaking out of the anxiety cycle.


Navigating anxiety with substance use is a real challenge, but trust me, you've got what it takes to make it through.

Get to know the connections, figure out what sets you off, build up your support crew, practice some mindfulness, and don't shy away from reaching out to the pros.

Throw in a sprinkle of positivity with lifestyle changes, and remember, you're the boss of your journey—ready to crush those challenges that come your way!


  1. The American Psychological Association (APA)
  2. The Mayo Clinic
  3. NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health


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