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Treating Anxiety and Addiction at the Same Time

For many individuals, anxiety disorder is also present with substance use disorder. Anxiety symptoms like dysphoria, irritability, and feeling agitated or overwhelmed can be experienced initially in response to withdrawal symptoms. But once sober, anxiety can become obsessive and even lead to intense fear or panic attacks. It’s critical to find a program that is dual diagnostic and will treat your anxiety and addiction at the same time.

Get Help with Anxiety and Addiction

  • 92% of our clients are willing to recommend Renewal Lodge to their family and friends
  • Our clients gave our primary counselors a 98% approval rating and cite how caring our staff is in our exit survey
  • 60% of our clients stated that the Mindfulness Program was the most beneficial part of Renewal Lodge

Anxiety and Substance Use Disorder are Intertwined

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 40 million adults aged 18 or older (18% of the population). Anxiety is characterized by excessive worry, fear, tension, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, chest pain and difficulty concentrating.

Anxiety can be associated with other mental health conditions such as depression and substance use disorder.

  • Anxiety disorders involve a spectrum of events, including panic attack and generalized anxiety disorder – amongst others
  • Anxiety symptoms often lead to negative consequences related to substance use disorder, such as an increased desire to use alcohol or other drugs
  • Anxiety symptoms can exacerbate substance use disorder and can lead to poor treatment outcomes.

When Anxiety Becomes Problematic

Anxiety is a normal reaction to a situation where our survival feels threatened rather real or perceived or we believe that someone we care about may be harmed in some way.

Anxiety becomes problematic when it starts to have a negative impact on our lives, for example by increasing substance use or interfering with daily activities such as work and relationships.

Anxiety is a complex disorder that involves many different parts of our mind and body working together.

Anxiety can show up as physical discomfort, such as muscle tension or headache.

Anxiety is the gap between how we want things to be in our lives and how they are right now. Most often, when we have anxiety we are thinking about something that will happen in the future.

Anxiety is discomfort with what is in the present moment. Anxiety is not the discomfort in itself, but our resistance to it. Anxiety can show up as fear or restlessness, tension or upset stomach, rapid thoughts or stuttering speech.

Anxiety is not a signal of danger or harm, but an unpleasant feeling that emerges when we interpret events in our lives. Anxiety forces us to disconnect from what is happening right now and instead focus on potential future threats.

How Mindfulness Helps with Anxiety and Addiction

Mindfulness is the simple act of observing yourself, your thoughts, emotions and sensations with kindness and observation. When we are mindful of anxiety it is easier for us to accept it, which reduces it.

Mindfulness helps substance abuse problems.

Mindfulness helps with substance abuse because the practices of mindfulness will help someone to stay present and connected with how they are feeling, rather than going into a cycle of obsessive thinking or worrying about things.

When we live in our heads all the time, it is easy to become disconnected from what is happening in our bodies and emotions, which makes it harder for us to tap into our inner wisdom.

Anxiety is not a signal of danger or harm, but an unpleasant feeling that may be triggered by the way we interpret events in our lives.

Anxiety forces us to disconnect from what is happening right now and instead focus on potential future threats.

By doing mindfulness practices, somebody can become more aware of how they are feeling and more able to tap into their inner wisdom, so anxiety will be reduced.

How Renewal Lodge Can Help

Renewal Lodge uses mindfulness practices, therapy and 12 step immersion for recovery.

Our clients practice mindfulness every morning, throughout the day and every evening. In our practices, we teach clients to stay in the present with whatever is happening at that moment without resisting it.

This means that if the mind starts to wander, we teach our clients skills to bring their attention back to the present moment.

By doing mindfulness practices — coupled with one on one and group therapy —our clients can become more aware of how they are feeling and begin treating their anxiety and addiction at the same time.

Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness