There is something everyone needs to understand about drug and alcohol addiction. Nothing happens in a vacuum. There are always underlying reasons why people fall prey to insidious addiction diseases. That’s the exact reason why addiction sufferers need therapy. They have to find the whys to find a path back to normalcy.
In recent years, the addiction treatment community has come to understand a great deal more about addictions. This has led to addiction community innovators coming up with better treatment options that will deliver better results. It was only a couple of decades ago that the relapse rate for alcoholics was near 70%.
Good news. The numbers are getting better. This has led to other realizations. For instance, a lot of addiction sufferers enter rehab with significant mental health issues as well. In the spirit of innovating new ways to treat addiction, this has led to something the addiction treatment community refers to as “Dual Diagnosis Therapy.”
The premise behind dual diagnosis therapy is the treatment for both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition at the same time is necessary.
In the section below, we want to address how outpatient programs use dual diagnosis therapy and why it seems to make a big difference in treatment success rates.
Can Outpatient Programs for Alcoholism Address Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
It’s hard to imagine how difficult life must be for someone who lives with a generalized anxiety disorder and gets themselves caught up in the cycle of addiction. Indications are it’s horrible, and it happens a lot more than people think. You might be wondering what are some of the traits of generalized anxiety disorder. Look at this list:
- Difficulty relaxing and focusing on normal tasks
- Constantly overreacting to trials and tribulations
- Overthinking minor issues
- Fearful of making bad decisions
- Persistent worrying or anxiety about normal things
- Difficulty handling uncertainty
- Inability or unwillingness to let issues go even after resultion
- Physical signs like sleeping difficulty, fatigue, muscle aches, and nausea
After looking at a list like this, it becomes a little more understandable why someone might seek relief in the form of 1 or 12 bottles of beer.
At this point, you must understand just how addictions and mental health problems become entangled. It happens in one of two ways: the addiction becomes the source of the mental health issue or the mental health issues drive the need to self-medicate.
There are many cases where clients develop an addiction to alcohol, and it starts causing a bevy of other issues. Yes, the drive to constantly worry about drinking can cause someone to develop a generalized anxiety disorder as well as other mental health issues.
Looking at how mental health issues drive addictions, we have already seen a list of what someone with a generalized anxiety disorder has to deal with regularly. It’s not pretty. While it doesn’t justify destroying one’s life with alcohol, it’s understandable why someone might turn to alcohol to escape their mental health issues.
To restate, the premise behind dual diagnosis therapy is it’s necessary to treat both conditions at the same time. Why? Treating both conditions at the same time offers some level of assurance that an untreated condition won’t disrupt the recovery process. The good news is dual diagnosis therapy is deliverable in an outpatient setting.
Example: If an outpatient therapist was unaware that a client had a generalized anxiety disorder, they would likely go about their business of treating the addiction. Everything would be fine until the client leaves rehab and starts worrying about the same old things all over again. Can you see the potential they would eventually start drinking again as the anxiety disorder becomes unbearable again?
This happens all the time when clients don’t disclose or are unaware they have mental health issues that could be entangled with their drinking issues. To resolve this problem, rehab facility professionals such as ours take greater care when reviewing a client’s medical/mental health questionnaire. The last thing anyone wants to do is go through the entire treatment process only to experience chronic relapses because mental health issues aren’t getting proper attention.
We hope you have a better understanding of why the combination of addiction and generalized anxiety disorder is a serious issue. If you are in this category of addiction sufferer, you need treatment now. If you pick up the phone and call us now at 833-610-1174, we would be glad to discuss how we can help you in both areas.