Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Substance Abuse

A young woman is upset.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and substance abuse are intricately connected issues that frequently coexist within the realm of addiction. Co-occurring disorders, where addiction and mental health challenges coalesce, are pervasive. OCD manifests as persistent intrusive thoughts, urges, or obsessions, driving repetitive behaviors or mental acts, termed compulsions, aimed at alleviating distress or averting feared outcomes. Conversely, substance abuse involves excessive drug or alcohol use despite ensuing negative consequences. To address these intertwined challenges effectively, it is imperative to treat OCD and substance abuse as distinct issues.

The Complex Nexus of OCD and Substance Abuse

The relationship between OCD and substance abuse is nuanced. Individuals with OCD may resort to substance abuse as a means to temporarily assuage the distress stemming from their obsessions or to alleviate anxiety. For instance, someone grappling with contamination obsessions might turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the fear of not being clean. Simultaneously, substances can lower inhibitions and reduce anxiety, making them an enticing outlet for those contending with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

However, the temporary relief derived from substance abuse perpetuates the cycle of obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, exacerbating OCD symptoms in the long run. The shared neurobiology of both disorders, involving dysregulation in the brain’s reward and motivation systems and abnormalities in serotonin neurotransmission, elucidates why individuals with OCD may be prone to developing substance use disorders.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Addressing both OCD and substance abuse necessitates a specialized integrated approach. Treatment may encompass a combination of medication and behavioral therapies to concurrently tackle OCD and substance abuse. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a widely utilized behavioral therapy, has shown promise in treating dual diagnoses by helping individuals identify and challenge negative thoughts, develop healthier coping strategies, and ultimately reduce substance use.

Despite the potential benefits of integrated treatment, challenges arise due to the chronic and recurrent nature of both disorders, leading to a high rate of relapse. Ongoing support, relapse prevention strategies, and engagement in therapy sessions, support groups, and the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits become pivotal post-stabilization.

Seeking Help at Laguna View Detox

Laguna View Detox, situated in picturesque Laguna Beach, California, recognizes the importance of comprehensive mind-body wellness in achieving and maintaining sobriety. Our luxury rehab center offers tailored care for individuals dealing with co-occurring disorders. Our dedicated team, available day and night, ensures that clients receive the necessary treatment for proper recovery.

Our California addiction treatment services include residential inpatient addiction treatment, detoxification, aftercare programs, and more. We create a safe, secure, and home-like environment for detox, emphasizing a less painful and dangerous detoxing experience. Upon successful detox completion, clients engage in our residential treatment program led by a skilled clinical team, focusing on holistic and evidence-based practices to establish a robust foundation in early recovery.

At Laguna View, our mission is to provide quality, evidence-based treatment leading to long-term recovery. If you are grappling with a dual diagnosis, contact us today, and let us guide you towards a successful, life-long recovery.

How Addiction & Anxiety Affect Each Other

Addiction and anxiety: two topics that aren’t easy to talk about. But it’s important we do. These issues are more prevalent today than ever before. It’s common for people to experience both at the same time. Addiction and anxiety can impact relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers. They can also disrupt someone’s quality of life, making them feel like they’re hopeless and full of despair. No one deserves to feel this way. 

At Laguna View Detox, we’re dedicated to treating both issues with love and care and stopping the stigma associated with both issues. Our dual-diagnosis program tackles addiction and mental health head-on. We utilize therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), along with individual and group therapy, to teach our clients the coping skills needed to overcome mental health disorders and addiction. Today we’d like to talk about how addiction and anxiety affect each other. 

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a substance use disorder. People develop addiction because the pleasure centers of the brain end up getting rewired after repeated drug or alcohol use. When someone ingests drugs, alcohol, or goes through an exciting experience, this can trigger the pleasure centers of the brain. This feeling creates a high that the brain interprets as being necessary for survival. As a result, people feel that they need that addictive substance in order to remain alive. They develop cravings for that substance in the same manner that people get hungry or thirsty. 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders. It happens when your body responds to stress. It’s a feeling everyone will experience occasionally in life, but when someone experiences persistent feelings of nervousness and worry, they have an anxiety disorder. In some cases, anxiety is generalized. In other cases, anxiety might be specific. Anxiety can occur randomly in generalized disorders and the constant feeling of being worried can last for about six months at a time. Some triggers that might lead to anxiety when it occurs in specific situations include concerns about relationships, money, family, work, or other life issues. 

How do the Two Work Together?

Addiction and anxiety can go hand in hand. People who suffer from anxiety are two to three more times likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. Those who suffer from anxiety have issues controlling their worries and may even experience panic attacks. Panic attacks are treated using benzodiazepines, such as Xanax. These medications are incredibly addictive. Those who become dependent on benzos are prone to becoming addicted to them. Those who suffer from anxiety might have trouble controlling their feelings using traditional medical therapy. This could cause people to turn to alcohol instead, leading to alcoholism. 

In other cases, addiction might precede anxiety. Those who suffer from addictive disorders have plenty of issues they worry about. Addiction stresses relationships with family members, threatening marriages. Those who spend money feeding their addiction are prone to developing financial difficulties. People might end up losing their job due to addiction, making everything worse. It is easy to see how addiction can lead to anxiety, which complicates the addiction treatment process.

If you are suffering from addiction and anxiety, it’s important to address both issues. Once you overcome addiction, your anxiety will still be there. 

We Can Help You with Both

At Laguna View Detox, we offer a luxury drug & alcohol treatment program along with dual diagnosis. We’re dedicated to helping our clients with their addiction and coexisting conditions. We are based in the beautiful region of Laguna Beach, CA. Our unique luxury program provides the ultimate individualized care. Contact us today to get help!