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Medically Reviewed

Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction in Charlotte, NC

- 7 sections

Medically Verified: July 2, 2024

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Co-occurring disorder is a term that describes experiencing addiction and a mental health condition at the same time. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 million adults struggled with co-occurring disorders in 2022.[1]

Having both a mental illness and a substance use disorder can be incredibly difficult. Some of the most common types of mental health conditions that occur alongside addiction are anxiety disorders. A study found that of the people polled, 33% to 45% of individuals with an anxiety disorder struggled with addiction.[2]

While dealing with both addiction and anxiety can be difficult, recovery is possible. Dual-diagnosis treatment centers are designed to treat your anxiety and addiction at the same time. This increases your chances of long-term recovery and improvements in your overall life.

What you will learn:

  • How anxiety and addiction are connected
  • How treatment for anxiety and addiction works in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • How to determine if you need dual diagnosis rehab

How are Anxiety and Addiction Connected?

Anxiety and addiction are connected in several ways. First, people with anxiety disorders are more likely to begin abusing drugs and alcohol than the general population.[3] This is because they might be tempted to abuse substances as a form of self-medication.

Next, someone suffering from drug or alcohol abuse might develop symptoms of an anxiety disorder. The substances they are abusing could lead to mood changes that are indicative of an anxiety condition like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Lastly, people suffering from addiction go through withdrawal when they stop using the substance they are dependent on. During withdrawal, it is extremely common to experience intense feelings of anxiety.

How Does Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction in Charlotte Work?

No matter what type of anxiety disorder you struggle with, it requires professional treatment. From panic disorders to social anxiety disorder, each condition causes negative thoughts, panic attacks, and feelings of consistent unease. All of these symptoms can make you more likely to abuse drugs and do so in an intense or risky manner.

If you struggle with co-occurring anxiety and addiction, both conditions must be treated at the same time. Thankfully, your treatment options include dual diagnosis rehab programs that combine mental health recovery services with addiction treatment.

Addressing Substance Use Disorders

First, your addiction must be addressed. You will begin treatment by undergoing medical detox. To help you overcome mental and physical symptoms of withdrawal, FDA-approved medications are often used.

Once you complete withdrawal, you will begin evidence-based behavioral therapies that help you uncover the root causes of your addiction. You will also learn vital relapse prevention skills and healthy coping mechanisms during therapy. Individual counseling, family therapy, and group therapy will be used to help you overcome your substance use disorder.

In addition to therapy, your addiction recovery specialist might recommend medication-assisted treatment (MAT), especially if you struggle with opioid or alcohol use disorder. MAT involves using medications on a short or long-term basis to prevent cravings that lead to relapse.

Treating Anxiety

Once your substance use disorder has been stabilized and you can focus on your mental health, you will begin recovering from your anxiety condition. While there is no cure for anxiety, you can learn how to live with it and manage your symptoms. Treatment for anxiety in Charlotte involves a combination of therapy and medication.

Therapy for anxiety often involves uncovering the underlying fears that contribute to your persistent feelings of worry and fear. Depending on what type of anxiety disorder you suffer from, you might engage in specialized therapies like exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

In addition to therapy, you might require medications to address chemical imbalances in your brain. You will only be given non-addictive medications for anxiety. These include:[4]

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Antihistamines

Signs That You Need Help for Co-Occurring Anxiety and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety and addiction, you should seek professional help. That said, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to attend a dual-diagnosis rehab program.

Signs that you need treatment for co-occurring anxiety and addiction include:

  • Using drugs or alcohol to cope with the symptoms of anxiety
  • Abusing anxiety medications like benzodiazepines
  • Wanting to quit abusing substances but being unsuccessful
  • Experiencing anxiety symptoms that make it difficult to complete everyday tasks
  • Failing to meet responsibilities at home, school, or work because of substance abuse
  • Experiencing strong urges or cravings to abuse drugs and alcohol
  • Continuing to abuse substances even though your anxiety is worsening
  • Needing to increase your dose of drugs or alcohol to experience the desired effect
  • Dealing with withdrawal symptoms when you stop using a substance

Find Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction in Charlotte, NC Today

If you or a loved one suffers from co-occurring anxiety and addiction, it’s time to seek help. At Charlotte Detox Center, we can help you overcome the first hurdle in addiction recovery. Our medical detox center will keep you safe and stable, while prescribing medications that lessen your withdrawal symptoms to lower your chances of relapsing.

Once you complete detox, we can transfer you to our affiliate program, the Carolina Center for Recovery. This dual diagnosis rehab will help you uncover the root causes of your addiction and learn to manage your anxiety disorder.

Contact us today for more information on anxiety and addiction treatment in Charlotte, North Carolina.


  1. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Conditions
  2. Anxiety Disorders With Comorbid Substance Abuse
  3. Effects of depression, anxiety and screen use on adolescent substance use
  4. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options