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Anxiety and Problematic Substance Use

Anxiety and Problematic Substance Use

This is the second in a series of articles looking at psychosocial functioning and problematic substance use. The first article looked at depression.

Similarly to high levels of depression, high levels of anxiety have been found to be significantly related to higher rates of drug taking, and riskier drug-taking behaviours. High levels of anxiety can also contribute to relapse in substance users and consequently treating co-morbid anxiety and substance use disorders can considerably reduce relapse rates. However, co-morbid clients can be more difficult to treat, with poorer post-treatment outcomes and they are harder to retain in treatment. As there is a positive relationship between retention in treatment and treatment outcomes identifying clients with high levels of anxiety and working to help them reduce their anxiety level is likely to improve treatment outcomes.

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