It feels like there’s a shadow following you around. No matter what you do, there’s an uneasy feeling you can’t seem to shake. The panic and fear start to build. And before you know it, you’re in quicksand. The more you struggle to dig yourself out, the deeper you sink into the anxiety.
Whether you have experience with it or not, anxiety can leave you feeling helpless and paralyzed. In fact, that’s why anxiety and substance abuse are so closely intertwined. Many people struggling with substance abuse are looking for relief from their anxiety, even if it comes with additional health risks.
Over the years, Ohio has seen in increase in heroin addiction. But how does anxiety come into play? In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the relationship between anxiety and heroin abuse.
Why People Use Heroin to Treat Anxiety
Is there someone in your life that drinks way too much coffee? Halfway through the workday, they’re already five cups in because without it, they wouldn’t have any energy. While this person could always improve their sleep schedule or try to lower their coffee intake, they choose the opposite. Instead, they maintain the status quo and drink coffee, even though they know caffeine isn’t healthy for them. This is because they see coffee as a quick solution to their energy problems.
The same logic can be applied to using heroin to treat anxiety. Anxiety triggers the natural fight or flight response in your brain. That urge can be so strong that you will do anything you can to escape from it. Heroin becomes an unhealthy way to cope, similar to leaning on coffee to keep you awake and energized. Unlike coffee, though, heroin comes at a much higher cost.
Can Heroin Abuse Cause Anxiety?
People with no history of an anxiety disorder can develop one through heroin abuse. If you regularly abuse heroin, over time your brain’s chemistry can change. Once thrown off balance, a chemical imbalance can form and trigger an anxiety disorder. While this isn’t guaranteed, the more you abuse heroin, the higher your risk. And that’s only one of the ways heroin affects your body.
Anxiety Before Heroin Use
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting around 40 million people. For those who have an anxiety disorder, heroin often becomes a form of self-medication to cope. While heroin can offer relief from your anxiety at first, there’s a cost that comes with it.
By using heroin to treat your anxiety, you have an increased risk of developing a heroin addiction. But that’s not all. While heroin can calm your nerves, it can also make your anxiety worse over time.
Anxiety After Heroin Use
As the effects of heroin wear off, it’s common for someone to go through periods of intense anxiety during withdrawal. This side effect is so extreme that people can develop anxiety disorders as a result. The anxiety caused by heroin withdrawal can trap people in a dangerous cycle of addiction.
The feelings of panic and fear can be so intense that it can drive people in recovery back to heroin. That’s why finding dual diagnosis treatment is so important. No matter if the anxiety came into play before or after heroin abuse, it needs to be addressed in recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment programs can help address heroin abuse and anxiety at the same time to promote lasting recovery.
Treating Anxiety and Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction and anxiety often occur at the same time and they need to be treated together. Prolonged heroin abuse can lower your tolerance for anxiety. That’s why treating heroin addiction and anxiety should include expert detox and talk therapy services. Having the right kind of support through the withdrawal process can help limit your anxiety and move you forward towards a healthy recovery.
Get Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Heroin and Anxiety at Silver Maple Recovery
Silver Maple Recovery provides expert heroin addiction treatment in Cleveland. We understand the strain that anxiety and heroin abuse can put on your life and well-being. But you don’t have to go through it alone. We offer evidence-based treatment to help you break the cycle of addiction and anxiety.
Plus, our detox services offer you safety and privacy as you break away from the hold that heroin has on your life. While high levels of anxiety are common with heroin withdrawal, our expert staff will be there to support you. Right now, you might feel like you can’t escape from your addictive behavior. But reaching a sober life is possible and all you need is a place to start.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a heroin addiction, contact us today.