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How Drug Rehab Centers in Massachusetts Can Help You Manage Anxiety in Recovery

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 20% of people with an anxiety or mood disorder also struggle with an alcohol or drug use disorder.[1] Anxiety can be crippling and it can cause individuals to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol. Self-medication can easily turn into an addiction. On the other hand, some anxiety disorders are induced by chronic drug or alcohol abuse. Whether anxiety or addiction comes first, both conditions can worsen the symptoms of the other.[2] Anxiety can also place extra challenges on people who are in recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Drug rehab centers in Massachusetts use a whole-patient approach that addresses the underlying mental health conditions that affect a person’s drug use and recovery. They can provide individualized care to individuals struggling with anxiety in recovery.

The Importance of Healthy Coping Skills for Anxiety in Recovery

Since self-medication is very common among people with anxiety, leaving anxiety untreated during drug rehab can be detrimental. Simply treating one’s substance use disorder will not make their anxiety disappear. If people don’t have healthy ways to cope with anxiety, they could return to old behaviors and begin abusing substances again.

Effective drug treatment programs address more than just a person’s substance abuse. They address the individual needs of each patient to resolve personal challenges and decrease the risk of relapse. This means providing custom-tailored treatment for anxiety to patients who struggle with anxiety disorders.

Treatment for Anxiety During Drug Rehab

Addiction treatment centers in Massachusetts use a comprehensive, dual diagnosis approach to help patients cope with anxiety in recovery. Successful anxiety treatment generally consists of:[3]


Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is at the foundation of any dual diagnosis treatment program. It involves working with a therapist on a group and an individual basis to reduce substance abuse and anxiety symptoms.

One of the most popular forms of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on teaching patients healthy skills that can improve their symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. It also helps patients identify certain triggers that provoke anxiety or drug cravings so they can make a plan of how to deal with those triggers in the future.

Medication Management

Certain medications may be used to help relieve anxiety symptoms. The type of medication may vary depending on what type of anxiety disorder is present and if there are any other co-occurring health conditions. Anxiety treatment medications that may be prescribed in recovery include:

  • Antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor, and Cymbalta
  • Non-benzodiazepine anxiety medications like buspirone or propranolol (a beta-blocker)
  • Mood stabilizers like Abilify or Seroquel
  • Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativa, or Valium may be used in unique, short-term circumstances

Holistic Healing Methods

In addition to psychotherapy and medication management, drug rehab centers in Massachusetts may introduce patients to holistic healing methods that can help reduce feelings of anxiety in addiction recovery. Holistic healing methods help promote mindfulness, relaxation, and calmness which can help patients cope with anxiety effectively.

Examples of holistic therapy that are used to help treat anxiety during drug rehab include:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Art or music
  • Reiki
  • Spiritual exercises
  • Breathing exercises
  • Journaling or creative writing

These techniques can serve as healthy coping mechanisms that can reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Lifestyle Changes

People who struggle with co-occurring anxiety and addiction can benefit from a number of lifestyle changes. Small changes in a person’s daily schedule and habits can effectively reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

Examples of lifestyle changes that are encouraged during rehab include:

  • Eating healthy, balanced meals
  • Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day
  • Limiting caffeine intake
  • Joining a 12-Step support group
  • Getting plenty of physical activity each week
  • Taking time for self-care

Implementing these changes into one’s daily life can make anxiety easier to manage.

  • Medical detox services – Detox may involve inpatient and overnight stays, medications, and around-the-clock support.
  • Inpatient behavioral health services – Inpatient rehab can last 30, 60, or 90 days and involves individualized counseling, treatment medications, and housing.
  • Outpatient counseling – Outpatient programs involve group and individual therapy as well as medication management on a flexible and affordable basis.
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Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

(781) 622-9190

Find Treatment for Anxiety and Drug Addiction Today

Anxiety can hold people back from achieving their full potential in recovery. Without individualized treatment, anxiety disorders can increase the risk of relapse and risky behaviors. Fortunately, a comprehensive dual-diagnosis treatment program can effectively help individuals cope with anxiety in healthy ways while remaining sober. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment offers a person-centered program that fully recognizes and adheres to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) newly established definition that recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety and addiction, help is just a phone call away. Call now to get started.


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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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