Anxiety Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Abuse Patients

Created: 07/23/17 01:09:42PM by daniel-oromaner-mba-ccht

Last Update: 09/15/17 12:21:44PM by Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt
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Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt
@daniel-oromaner-mba-ccht

07/23/17 01:09:42PM

46 posts

I am wondering if others have found the connection between anxiety and "self-medicating" with drugs (legal or illegal) and alcohol. Over the years, patients have repeatedly told me how they use these substances to "calm down" and "help me sleep." The core of the problem seemed to be their anxiety, and when I have helped them decrease their anxiety levels, their "need" for alcohol or drugs either diminished or disappeared!

Anyone else with similar experiences?

Considering the personal and societal impact of these abuse problems, I think that any significant help we can provide is worthwhile!

Daniel

Inner Power Hypnosis & Coaching
Tempe Arizona

updated by @daniel-oromaner-mba-ccht: 09/18/17 08:22:37AM

Roy Hunter
@roy-hunter

07/23/17 07:26:46PM

1,718 posts

Years ago a substance abuse center had me come once monthly for several months to teach a class on using self-hypnosis to manage stress, because anxiety often triggered backsliding for addicts.

 

Barry Neale
@barry-neale

07/24/17 12:22:39AM

3,187 posts

Hi

I would take it a step further and suggest that the vast majority of drug/alcohol problems are due to self medication for all sorts of emotional problems, not just anxiety.

However trying to stop these substances will cause anxiety and this is why it seems like it's the main one.

regards

Barry

Graham Old
@graham-old

07/24/17 12:28:26AM

2,251 posts

Completely agree with Barry.

You are removing a perceived coping mechanism, thus exacerbating anxiety.

I would not necessarilly agree that emotional problems are the *cause* of substance abuse, but they are likely to be the reason that use becomes misuse.

updated by @graham-old: 07/24/17 02:01:27PM

Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt
@daniel-oromaner-mba-ccht

07/24/17 10:28:02AM

46 posts

Roy,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I have never found self-hypnosis to be nearly as effective as hypnotherapy sessions in my office, but I think your experience confirms my point. If "anxiety often triggered backsliding for addicts," then there is a relationship between the two. Thus, as I have said, when you turn down the anxiety the need for drugs or alcohol decreases.

Daniel
Inner Power Hypnosis & Coaching

Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt
@daniel-oromaner-mba-ccht

07/24/17 10:39:24AM

46 posts

Barry,

Thanks for your input, but your theory doesn't fit with my professional experience. Perhaps an example would help:  A few years ago I worked with an overweight college student who was recommended to me by his step-mom who was a patient. I knew he was smoking weed daily, which she wanted stopped, but I did not want to begin with that behavior and have him possibly rebel against me. In addition, he didn't see the weed as a big problem--compared to the 80 excess pounds he was carrying. Thus, we started with weight loss.

However, my weight loss work BEGINS with healing a variety of emotional problems, as well as providing positive suggestions. In any case, he proceeded to begin losing weight as was/is typical. It was about at his fourth session that I wondered if anything had changed in his weed habit, so I asked him. He said that he stopped smoking weed COMPLETELY after the second session! I laughed and asked him why he didn't think to share that with me earlier!

My point is, in my work I never try to get people to cut back on a substance, I deal with the underlying cause and then they naturally cut back on their own. I am open to the possibility that substance abuse can be the result of some other emotional problems as well, but I think my key question is has anyone found that when they assist with anxiety or any other emotional problem, the need for the substance naturally decreases?

Daniel
Inner Power Hypnosis & Coaching

Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt
@daniel-oromaner-mba-ccht

07/24/17 10:44:06AM

46 posts

Graham,

As I make clear above, I am not "removing a perceived coping mechanism." That would not be in keeping with my training under Zoilita Grant. For that reason, I was taught to never try to do stop smoking in one session of aversion treatment, because the emotional cause will just find another way to be satisfied.

So, if emotional problems are not the cause of substance abuse, in your professional work, what have you found IS the cause?

Daniel
Inner Power Hypnosis & Coaching

Graham Old
@graham-old

07/24/17 02:18:54PM

2,251 posts

Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt:
So, if emotional problems are not the cause of substance abuse, in your professional work, what have you found IS the cause?

Hi Daniel,
I don't tend to look for *a* cause. I certainly don't look for root causes.
However, if I had to generalise across numerous clients over a number of years, I might say the thing that was most often lacking was a sense of significant human connection.
I would guess that would be the closest to one thing that causes use to become misuse and sustains the problem behaviour. 

H.Y.P.N.O.S.I.S.
@hypnosis

07/24/17 02:37:20PM

1,011 posts

Daniel Oromaner, MBA, CCHt:
I deal with the underlying cause and then they naturally cut back on their own.

Yup, you understand "experientially" what is effective and works. 

Barry Neale
@barry-neale

07/24/17 02:38:19PM

3,187 posts

Agreed Graham,

And add to that the feeling of significance that often comes with the use.

It's one of the reasons that I like Robbins Human Needs. What so many therapists think is secondary gain is to me the primary gain and the substance is just the vehicle that helps them achieve it.

regards

Barry

 

 

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