Although fear responses are designed to keep people out of harm, people with anxiety find themselves controlled by their fear responses. The symptoms of anxiety disorders differ depending on which anxiety disorder a person is struggling with. Some people with agoraphobia may avoid certain places like grocery stores, shopping malls, or public parks, or they may even avoid leaving their homes altogether. Other people with specific phobias may feel paralyzed by their fear of heights, elevators, flying, snakes, spiders, or numerous other fears. People with panic disorder find themselves at the mercy of sporadic, unpredictable episodes of intense fear, while people with generalized anxiety disorder may feel perpetually fearful or worried no matter the circumstances.
When faced with overwhelming anxiety, people often turn to drugs. Some people find relief through drugs prescribed by their physicians, though these drugs come with a risk of addiction. Other people turn to illicit substances to try to escape their anxiety or calm themselves down. Whatever the nature of their substance abuse, anxiety and substance abuse is a disastrous combination.
At Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, we know that anxiety disorders can be paralyzing, and we also know how destructive substance use disorders are when they coexist with an anxiety disorder. We have therefore developed specialized treatment programs to help you fight the two-front war against anxiety and substance use.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
People with anxiety disorders develop substance use disorders as a result of many different circumstances. Perhaps your loved one was prescribed a medication that treated his or her anxiety, but slowly began increasing his or her dose without physician approval until he or she developed an addiction. Or perhaps your loved one, feeling unable to cope with his or her anxiety, turned to illegal substances. Whatever your loved one’s story, you likely feel helpless after having tried everything you can think of to help him or her. While your situation may feel frustrating and hopeless, there are some things you can do to help your loved one, such as:
- Have honest conversations. Talk with your loved one about his or her substance abuse, and let him or her know you are aware of his or her substance use. Discuss your loved one’s substance use and be as nonjudgmental and empathic as you can. Let your loved one know how his or her substance use makes you feel (scared, sad, angry, etc.).
- Do research. Learn about your loved one’s specific anxiety disorder and learn about his or her drug(s) of choice. Learn about triggers for anxiety and about signs of intoxication and overdose for your loved one’s drug of choice. Talk with experts about what can happen when substance use and anxiety disorders interact.
- Research treatment centers and assess which center or centers would be a good fit for your loved one. Offer to set up appointments and accompany your loved one to the appointments. If your loved one begins treatment at a center, offer to be an active part of the process.
- Follow your loved one’s timeline. Although you no doubt are yearning to help your loved one overcome his or her addiction, understand that healing must take place according to your loved one’s timeline. Remain patient and as supportive as possible.
- Take care of yourself. Your life can sometimes feel focused on your loved one’s addiction and anxiety disorder. For you to be the best ally possible, you also need to take time for yourself. Spend time on your own hobbies and interests, and, to whatever extent is possible, resist the temptation to wrap your life around your loved one’s struggle.
Why Consider Treatment at Twelve Oaks Recovery Center
People suffering from both anxiety disorders and substance use disorders are at risk for a host of negative consequences. They may experience significant tension in their relationships and may withdraw from social contact. They may suffer poor work performance, job loss, financial difficulties, or homelessness, not to mention the physical problems that can come along with drug abuse. Those in the throes of an addiction can experiences effects such as organ failure, brain damage, infections, and even death, either from suicide or overdose. While these consequences are severe, they can be mitigated or even avoided with prompt, effective treatment.
Types of Treatment Offered at Twelve Oaks Recovery Center
At Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, we have spent more than 30 years providing premiere treatment to men and women, aged 18 and older, who are struggling with chemical dependency concerns and co-occurring conditions, including anxiety disorders. Beautifully located on the Emerald Coast of Florida on the Navarre Sound, Twelve Oaks offers patients a sense of tranquility as they work towards overcoming their addictions and learning to manage the symptoms of anxiety. Our dedicated and experienced treatment professionals are uniquely prepared to guide patients through the transformations that will allow them to pursue happier, healthier, and more productive futures. Throughout their time spent at Twelve Oaks, patients can benefit from developing an enhanced sense of self-worth as they learn to create realistic life goals and make healthy lifestyle adjustments.
As part of our mission to provide comprehensive care that is tailored to meet the unique needs of each of our patients, Twelve Oaks has three specialized treatment tracks that may be incorporated into a patient’s overall plan of care. These tracks include Resilience, our addiction-free chronic pain management track, Aspire, our PTSD recovery track, and Proclaim, our Christian track. During their initial assessment, patients’ appropriateness for placement in any of these tracks will be determined.
In addition to these three specialized treatment tracks, Twelve Oaks Recovery Center offers a variety of therapeutic interventions that may be included into a patient’s individualized treatment plan when receiving care for an anxiety disorder. These interventions are described briefly in the following:
Medically monitored detoxification: When patients come to Twelve Oaks Recovery Center and have drugs or alcohol in their systems, they may benefit from undergoing detoxification prior to beginning the therapeutic process. Under the direction of an ASAM certified addictionologist, Twelve Oaks provides high-level detoxification services that are monitored by nursing staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each patient’s need for detox will be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account his or her medical history and all of his or her presenting concerns.
Medication management: In order to most appropriately treat the distressing symptoms of anxiety, certain psychotropic medications may be incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan. The use of any medication, however, is always determined based on the specific needs of each individual. Patients meet with a psychiatrist on an as-needed basis in order to determine the appropriateness of any medication used, as well as to make any changes that may be necessary for ensuring the therapeutic effectiveness of that medication.
Individual therapy: Patients are given the opportunity to meet with an individual counselor at a minimum of once each week for individual therapy sessions. These sessions are designed to be a time for patients to process through their time in treatment, while also addressing any concerns that may arise. Additionally, counselors frequently use these individual sessions to incorporate experiential therapy options into a patient’s therapeutic process. Examples of the various experiential options that counselors may have patients engage in include:
- Guided imagery
- Recreational activities
- Beach activities (such as swimming, fishing, and kayaking)
Family therapy: At Twelve Oaks, we know how instrumental family members can be in helping their loved ones manage and/or recover from the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. For this reason, we provide family therapy sessions for all patients at least once during the time they spend in treatment with us. Additionally, if patients would benefit from additional family therapy sessions, those arrangements will be made by their counselors.
Group therapy: Patients participate in a number of group therapy sessions throughout the duration of their time at Twelve Oaks. During the week, patients take part in three educational groups and two process groups every day. On Saturdays and Sundays, there are five educational groups held, including recreational therapy on Saturday. On Sundays, a spirituality group is held, and patients also have the option of attending a local church as part of that group. Within the educational groups, there are a number of different topics covered, including the following:
- Triggers and cravings
- 10 principles of change
- Addiction as a brain disease
- Big Book study
- Stages of change
- Relapse prevention
- Working the 12-Step program
- Dealing with stress and emotions
- Conflict resolution
- Anger management
- Communication skills
- Spirituality enrichment study
Group therapy sessions are also often used to incorporate experiential activities into the therapeutic milieu for patients. Examples of activities that patients may participate in as part of these experiential options can include the low ropes course, yoga, psychodrama, guided imagery, art, and recreational therapy. Beach activities are also frequently included in group therapy sessions, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, volleyball, and time for patients to gather together around a bonfire.
At Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, we know that overcoming chemical dependency while also learning how to manage the symptoms of an anxiety disorder can be a long process that does not simply end with the completion of residential inpatient treatment. Because of this, we offer step-down treatment options for patients who are in need of comprehensive continuing care services. These step-down options include our partial hospitalization program (PHP) and our intensive outpatient program (IOP). Staff works closely with patients to determine what the most appropriate next step is for them in their recovery process and then works to ensure that follow-up care and support is established and accessible prior to their leaving treatment.
If you or a loved one is battling the symptoms of an anxiety disorder while also struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, suffering does not have to continue. Allow the caring and compassionate staff at Twelve Oaks Recovery Center to help show you the way to a brighter tomorrow.