Anxiety and Addiction: How to Cope When You’re Quitting


Are you battling an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people throughout the country suffer from substance abuse disorder. Whether its alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, tobacco, or a combination different substances, substance abuse and addiction can take a toll on every facet of your life – and the life of your loved ones. 

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Once you recognize that you do have an addiction, you can get the help you need. There are various treatment options available, including long-term and short-term residential treatment, outpatient programs, therapy, and 12-step programs. Whichever treatment option you’ve sought, successfully overcoming an addiction can be difficult. You may experience a range of side effects, especially in the beginning, which can it hard to cope, and anxiety is one of those side effects. 

Dealing with anxiety can be challenging for anyone; but it’s especially difficult for people who are recovering from an addiction. The constant worrying, restlessness, mood swings, tension, and fear that come with anxiety can be horrifying. When anxiety strikes and you feel like the world is closing in, you may be tempted to use. However, while using drugs, alcohol, or tobacco may ease the symptoms of anxiety, the results are only temporary. In fact, using can worsen your addiction and your anxiety. 

So, how then, do you put a stop to the anxiety you’re experiencing while you’re in recovery? Here are some tips that can help you push through the panic without reaching for a substance. 


Meditation can have profound effects on anxiety; it can also have profound effects on addiction. Meditation helps you find your center, grounds you, and helps to soothe the senses – and the symptoms of anxiety. 


Exercise releases endorphins, those feel-good hormones, and has been proven to improve the symptoms of anxiety. It decreases tension and stabilizes the mood. 


Similar to meditating, yoga can be highly effective for anxiety. It connects you with your body and focus on your breathing, making you feel less anxious. It also lifts the mood and reduces tension. 

Talk it Out

Sometimes, simply talking it out can be extremely beneficial. It lets you get your feelings out so you can stop internalizing and focusing on them, which can do wonders for anxiety relief. Find someone you trust share your feelings; you’ll be surprised by how much good it will do.