Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
While drug addictions are the result of many factors, including both biological and environmental, an addiction to drugs or alcohol often serve a purpose for the person consuming the substance of choice.
Even in the face of harsh and destructive consequences, an addict will typically continue on in their addictive patterns and behaviors unless there is some type of intervention. An addiction to drugs is perpetuated by both a biological need as well as emotional and mental reasons.
Turning to Drugs to Escape Painful Emotions
For example, a person who is addicted to drugs may continue in their behaviors as a means of escaping or avoiding painful emotions or overwhelming circumstances. The act of getting high may in fact be an attempt to cope with emotions or situations that are otherwise too difficult to deal with.
Individuals who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol may also be at increased risk of developing a co-occurring mental illness, such as a depressive disorder or severe anxiety. An addiction can also result as means of coping with a mental illness that can also be overwhelming to face or seek appropriate treatment for.
The Impact of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a specific type of mental illness that falls under the category of anxiety disorders. Many individuals who struggle with social anxiety may experience excessive and unreasonable fear of engaging with others.
Some people dealing with social anxiety may turn to drug use as a way to escape this intense nervousness, especially at social events. In certain social circles where drug use is accepted, a person may turn to drugs to gain recognition and approval.
LSD as a Coping Mechanism
LSD is a specific type of drug that some people may use as a means of escaping social anxiety, typically because the euphoric effects produced can alter an individual’s sense of reality. Learning to engage with others without being under the influence of a drug, such as LSD, can be a difficult process initially.
Dealing with the root of the problem rather than turning to drugs is most effective for recovery. Seeking treatment for social anxiety, which may include psychotherapy and medication management, can help a person overcome the fears they may be facing without the use of any drug, including LSD.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Are you in recovery from an addiction to LSD? What has helped you overcome this struggle? How have you learned to cope with social anxiety without the crutch of an addiction to LSD?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com