There are a lot of people who are struggling because of anxiety, and many of them are also addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Researchers have known for a very long time that they often go hand-in-hand. Sadly, a lot of people never get the treatment they need to help improve their conditions and recover.
Anxiety disorders can be debilitating. It should come as no surprise that so many people turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope. For a lot of them, it becomes a way to self-medicate their symptoms so they feel better, at least temporarily.
Co-occurring disorders like anxiety have gotten much too common. It is easy for people to believe that they are stuck in their situations with no real way out. We want to help them understand the significance of the link between anxiety and addiction and learn how they can get the treatment they need.
Co-Occurring Disorder Statistics and Facts
A lot of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol do not realize they have co-occurring disorders. This means that they have a mental health issue that could be the main reason behind their substance abuse problems. They started using drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their symptoms.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that there are 7.7 million people who have both a mental health issue and substance abuse disorder. They also provided the following statistics:
- There are 42.1 million people with mental illnesses, and of that number, 18.2% of them also have a substance abuse disorder.
- There are 20.3 million people who have substance abuse disorders, and 37.9% of them also have mental health conditions.
- 9.1% of those who have co-occurring disorders get the treatment they need to recover.
- It is far more common for people to receive mental health treatment only (34.5%) or substance abuse treatment only (3.9%).
- A whopping 52.5% of people never get either type of treatment.
- This is often because they did not know where to get the help they needed (23.8%).
- 23% believe that they could handle their conditions on their own without treatment.
What is Anxiety?