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Anxiety Triggers: How To Manage Anxiety in Addiction Treatment

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental health condition that causes feelings of worry, fear, panic, or tension. Some may experience panic attacks, and feel physical symptoms of anxiety like chest pains, sweating, shaking, etc. Anxiety disorders are extremely common in the United States, with 40 million people affected.

Anxiety disorders are split up into five major types. The types of anxiety disorders are as follows: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia). Just because a person suffers from anxiety, does not necessarily mean that they are suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Anxiety disorder is a common co-occuring disorder in those who suffer from alcohol or substance use disorder.

Symptoms of Anxiety

The most common symptoms of anxiety are as follows:
• Uncontrollable worry
• Fear
• Muscle tension
• Faster heartbeat
• Difficulty sleeping
• Difficulty concentration
• Physical discomfort
• Restlessness
• Agitation
• Irritability

Symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack include: a rapid heartbeat or palpitations, sweating, trembling, shaking, and feeling like your throat is closing.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety can occur from many different causes, most commonly genetics and environmental circumstances contribute to an anxiety disorder. Certain events, emotions, or experiences may cause symptoms of anxiety; these elements described are considered “triggers” to anxiety. Triggers can feel like any of the symptoms of anxiety listed above.


Anxiety triggers can vary from person-to-person, however, many triggers are common among those who suffer from an anxiety disorder. Identifying your triggers is the first step in being able to manage them. It is important through out your recovery process to identify your triggers to manage anxiety in addiction treatment. During treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, we use intensive therapies to address any behavioral issues— and often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to challenge distorted perceptions and negative thought processes. Our therapeutic resources help guests address their anxieties and figure out what triggers them.

Anxiety triggers
• Skipping meals- this leads to low blood sugar, which can make anxiety worsen.
• Social media- many aspects of social media can heighten anxiety, including looking at accounts and pictures that make you feel inferior—this behavior can prompt negative self-talk.
• Caffeine- caffeine can make anxiety worse, and can also bring on panic attacks.
• Watching the news- 56% of people say that watching the news causes them anxiety.
• Lack of sleep- not getting enough sleep could cause your body to produce more stress hormones.
• Nicotine- if you have been smoking cigarettes or vapes, the lack of nicotine from quitting or not smoking “enough” through out the day can cause anxiety to arise.
• Financial concerns- any issues with money or money management can cause anxiety because your livelihood is often effected when talking about finances.
• Social events/parties- social events can cause a lot of anxiety, those who get an overwhelming sense of discomfort in social settings most likely have social anxiety disorder.
• Conflict- any arguments, disagreements, relationship troubles, etc. can trigger or worsen anxiety.
• Public speaking- even just reading aloud in public may cause some severe anxiety.
• Daily stressors- sitting in traffic and being increasingly late to work is just one example of a daily stressor.

Anxiety and Addiction

A lot of recovering addicts and alcoholics can have an anxious response to addiction treatment. Because they are being asked to learn a new way of life, many alcoholics and addicts are met with a sense of anxiety for the change they are about to experience. This anxiety is common, but nothing in comparison to the anxiety that would come from continuing a life in active addiction.


The biggest step towards recovery is when you stop drinking and using drugs, and reach out for help to overcome your substance or alcohol use disorder. You don’t have to do this alone, Royal Life Centers Detox is here to help you through each stage of your personal recovery process. Our comprehensive addiction treatment programs will address anxiety, anxiety triggers, cravings for alcohol and drugs, effects of alcohol and drugs, and we will provide you with skills and tools to prevent a relapse. Royal Life Centers Detox is experienced in treating those with a dual diagnosis, like an anxiety disorder in addition to their substance or alcohol use disorder. We treat each diagnosis separately, but simultaneously to encourage healing on every level.

Medical Detox

At our medical detox center, Royal Life Centers Detox, guests will be assessed for their symptoms of withdrawal and evaluated for any co-occuring mental health disorders. Our medical detox staff will ask you about drinking habits, behaviors linked to consuming alcohol, symptoms of alcohol dependence, and any health problems in order to determine the best course of action for treatment. Our detox program can last for either 4 or a full 8 days for treating withdrawal symptoms and for stabilization. Guests will be under 24/7 direct supervision from medical professionals, to ensure their safety and comfort. Guests in Royal Life Centers Detox will also undergo intensive therapy, and attend support groups to begin the therapeutic work of uncovering the root cause of their alcohol or substance use disorder.

Beyond Detox

Our medical detox program is short term, however, Royal Life Centers also offers longer term treatment programs. We offer programs including: medical detox, a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Our programs at an inpatient level of care include medical detox and our residential inpatient program. Our outpatient programs include our partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), and outpatient program (OP). Sober living and graduate housing are our housing programs for guests.

Upon admittance into any of our programs, guests will be placed with a case manager and primary therapist who they will work with through out their stay. Guests are assisted by their case manager with services like applying for government assistance, handling on-going legal issues, and finding continuing care options. Guests will receive an overwhelming amount of support and guidance through out their recovery process. At Royal Life Centers Detox, we know that overcoming an addiction is challenging, which is why we guide you through it each step of the way, because we want to see you lead a happy, healthy, and successful life in sobriety. Because We Care.


Holland, Kimberly. “Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More.” Edited by Timothy J. Legg, Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 May 2018,

“WebMD.” WebMD, WebMD,

If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (877)-RECOVERY or (888) 559-5109. Our addiction specialists are available to take your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

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