During your recovery journey, you may experience symptoms of anxiety. You might feel nervous and restless. Additionally, you may have trouble sleeping or concentrating. While substance-induced anxiety may not be permanent, it can be frustrating.

It can be helpful to remember that anxiety can be heightened due to withdrawal symptoms or lingering effects of substance use. As you progress in your recovery, substance-induced anxiety will likely reduce.

What Is Substance-Induced Anxiety?

Substance-induced anxiety is a type of anxiety that arises as a result of substance use or withdrawal. Alcohol or other impairing substances alter the chemicals in your brain that regulate moods, emotions, and behavior. Over time, this imbalance can lead to feelings of unease or increased anxiety.

Substance-induced anxiety can also occur during withdrawal. When you stop using substances, your brain chemicals may become imbalanced, leading to anxiety symptoms. These symptoms can range in severity. Since they can potentially impact your mindset toward sobriety, it is important to manage them.

Causes of Substance-Induced Anxiety

Substance-induced anxiety can have several causes. One major factor that may contribute to substance-induced anxiety is the chemical imbalance of the brain caused by addiction. When you use substances, they alter levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, including dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for managing moods and emotions. Changes in the chemicals can induce an anxiety response in the body.

Another potential cause of substance-induced anxiety is the physical toll drugs take on your body. When used, these substances can cause physical symptoms, including an elevated heart rate, sweating, or tremors. These are all physical side effects that often occur with feelings of anxiety. As your body is working to regain balance without the presence of addictive substances, you may find that feelings of anxiety become much more prevalent.

Finally, substance-induced anxiety may also be due to the psychological effects of substance use. Substances alter perception and judgment, leading to feelings of fear and paranoia. Coping with these psychological consequences may bring upon other emotions, requiring you to utilize your coping tools at their max capacity.

Overcoming Substance-Induced Anxiety

If you are struggling with substance-induced anxiety, it is essential to manage it. Consider using the following techniques to alleviate these effects.

Our treatment team at Dream Recover can help you to identify the underlying causes of your anxiety. We can then create a personalized treatment plan for you to use at Dream Recovery.

Engage in Therapy

One of the most successful ways to manage substance-induced anxiety is therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two common therapeutic approaches. They may be applicable to alleviate substance-induced anxiety.

Through these therapeutic forms, you can learn to recognize the negative thoughts and behaviors contributing to your anxiety. You can then develop appropriate coping skills to manage these emotions. By working with your therapist, you can determine which therapeutic approach most resonates with your recovery needs.

Consider Medication

Another effective way to manage substance-induced anxiety is through medication. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may help balance your brain chemicals. When these chemicals are out of balance, feelings of anxiety can be more prevalent. Therefore, medication can be a helpful complement to therapy.

It is essential that you consult a medical professional before taking medications. Your medical team can make sure your medications are safe and effective for you.

Adjust Your Lifestyle

In addition to therapy and medication, there are a few lifestyle adjustments you can make to manage substance-induced anxiety. These adjustments may include the following.


  • Exercising regularly can ease feelings of anxiety and lift your mood. Not only does this help your physical body, but it releases endorphins and improves your mental functioning as well. 

Healthy eating

  • Eating a nutritious and balanced diet can help regulate your brain chemicals and enhance your overall well-being.

Consistent sleep schedule

  • Adequate sleep is key in managing anxiety. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to ensure you are well-rested for the day ahead of you.


  • Engaging in mindfulness and meditation can help you manage feelings of anxiety and boost your overall sense of well-being. This could include deep breathing exercises, yoga, or guided meditation sessions.

Avoid Triggers

  • Recognize triggers that contribute to your anxiety. Your triggers may include certain people, places, or situations associated with substance use. When you know what your triggers are, you can try to avoid them or prepare to use your coping skills when you encounter them.


  • Engage in self-care activities that help you relax and reduce stress. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Self-care is an essential practice in establishing and retaining balance throughout your recovery journey. 

Social Support

  • Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who can offer motivation and keep you on track during your recovery journey. The peers you gain through your journey at Dream Recovery may turn out to be lasting members of your support system.

Applying these skills to your recovery can help you overcome the effects of substance-induced anxiety. Take control of your recovery today and overcome your anxiety in a healthy way.

Don’t allow substance-induced anxiety to control your emotional state and affect your recovery journey. Anxiety can quickly overwhelm you with negative thought processes. Take control today and learn how to manage your symptoms effectively with the help of Dream Recovery. Engage in therapy, consider medications, adjust your lifestyle, and engage in other beneficial techniques to overcome anxiety and achieve lasting sobriety. Anxiety is a common emotion to encounter when going through the recovery journey, but it doesn’t have to take control. To learn more about the effects that substance-induced anxiety has on the impact of the addiction cycle and how to combat these emotions, reach out to Dream Recovery today at (657) 216-7218.

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