For most drug and alcohol addicts, addiction doesn’t occur overnight and it doesn’t occur in a bubble. A variety of factors and conditions can contribute to one’s decision to first try a particular substance, and as tolerance increases over time, addiction develops. For many, the journey to addiction starts with a desire to treat anxiety.

Read on to learn more about anxiety and addiction—and how you can avoid addiction or relapse by treating anxiety at home.

Understanding Anxiety and Addiction

There are two types of anxiety: primary anxiety and secondary anxiety. Primary anxiety has a number of uncomfortable symptoms similar to those sparked by fear, such as shallow breathing, sweating, and an increased heart rate. However, unlike with fear, there is no specific threat driving these symptoms that one can identify and deal with directly.

After you face primary anxiety, secondary anxiety may develop. Secondary anxiety is anxiety about anxiety symptoms. It’s marked by an effort to monitor and control those uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, any efforts at control typically backfire and can increase your anxiety over an inability to avoid or control symptoms.

This can ultimately lead you to avoid or escape any activities or situations—such as driving—where you fear experiencing an uncontrollable anxiety attack. While this avoidance can provide temporary relief, symptoms often come back even stronger if and when you find yourself in a situation you typically try to avoid.

It’s not uncommon for therapists to treat anxiety by offering relaxation and control techniques to address the symptoms. When those techniques don’t work and symptoms worsen, many turn to alcohol or drugs, such as tranquilizers, benzos, and pain pills, to treat those nagging anxiety symptoms. This only leads to substance abuse and addiction which, instead of curing the original anxiety and accompanying depression, only makes those conditions worse.

Substance Abuse and Dependence
Substance Abuse and Dependence

Substance abuse is a complex condition that gradually takes over an addict’s life. Read more about substance abuse.

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At-Home Video Treatment of Anxiety

Many people could avoid substance abuse and addiction altogether if they received proven and effective treatment for their anxiety in the first place. Dr. John Hibscher, a licensed clinical psychologist and the CEO and Director of Clinical Studies for Hawaii Island Recovery, is now working to make that treatment available to anyone with an internet connection.

At, Dr. Hibscher applies his 35 years of experience in treating psychological disorders to a series of videos that provide treatment for panic attacks, anxiety episodes, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and agoraphobia—all in the privacy and comfort of your own home. These videos address both primary and secondary anxiety in a way that is proven and effective, eliminating the need to self-treat with drugs or alcohol.

If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, visit today to receive proven treatment from a leading clinical psychologist.

Treating Anxiety and Addiction Together

If you or a loved one is already experiencing addiction alongside anxiety, it may be time for comprehensive treatment at a residential rehab center. Here at Hawaiian Island Recovery, Dr. Hibscher and his team offer a dual diagnosis to address substance abuse and addiction alongside anxiety, depression, or any other co-occurring disorders.

This approach increases your likelihood of recovering from both your addiction and anxiety, allowing you to experience freedom and pursue a life of sobriety and health.

To learn more about how you can recover from anxiety and addiction here at HIR, contact us today at (866) 491-8009