What are Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications?
Alcohol and drug abuse is a common issue among those living with an anxiety disorder because individuals often use alcohol or drugs as a means to cope with anxiety symptoms. In this situation, both addiction and anxiety would be classified as co-occurring disorders, wherein both issues develop together and worsen each other. This article provides a list of non addictive anti anxiety medications and treatments in non-habit-forming anxiety medication plus non-medication alternatives.
Without proper treatment, prescribing addictive benzodiazepines for anxiety could worsen addiction issues. That’s why our dual diagnosis program works with each individual to find the prescription that’s right for them, even if that’s a benzo alternative. Medication management is an essential part of treatment for many people, and if you have anxiety and a history of addiction, we’ll work with you to find the right option for benzodiazepines for anxiety.
Common Anxiety Signs And Symptoms That Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications Approach
- Feeling tense, restless, or nervous
- Having a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly or hyperventilation
- Feeling tired or weak
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having trouble controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Symptoms Of Substance Dependence Syndrome
- The increased dosage needed over time to achieve the desired outcome
- Diminishing effect over time despite unchanged dosage
- Withdrawal syndrome on discontinuation
- Continued drug use to prevent or avoid withdrawal
- Dosage larger or duration of use longer than intended
- Inability to reduce or control drug use
- Excessive drug-seeking behavior
- Social, recreational, or occupational activities given up or destroyed due to drug use
- Continued drug use despite knowledge of damaging physical or psychological consequences
Top 6 Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications
1. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
This class of medication is one of the most commonly prescribed in anxiety disorder treatment. This medication increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. It aims to improve mental health by binding to neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, which ultimately leads to the reduction of stress and improved mood.
2. SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake)
This class of medication has been proven effective in treating the symptoms of panic disorders and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Not only does this type of medication help regulate the release of serotonin, but it helps release norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a brain chemical that affects concentration.
This is a non-addictive and non-narcotic medication that works similarly to an SSRI. Though it only affects one subtype of serotonin receptor within the brain, ultimately leading to fewer side effects. This is an ideal medication for those who are struggling with mild to moderate anxiety.
This medication is available as the brand name BuSpar. Buspirone is a slow-acting substance. It can take up to 6 weeks to feel its effects but has a lower risk for dependence.
This non-narcotic prescription works by blocking histamine receptors within the brain, ultimately elevating mood and acting as a low-grade sedative.
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that helps fight allergies. However, it can also be legally prescribed to treat symptoms of anxiety. It is a fast-acting medicine, making it more effective in the short term than buspirone.
These medications work to give temporary relief in the case of anxiety-related episodes, such as panic attacks. They do not actually change the brain chemistry, therefore they are not prescribed long-term. Beta-blockers are non-addictive, and a typical choice for those who need instant relief from intense symptoms.
6. Gabapentin (Neurontin)
Gabapentin is commonly prescribed for seizures and nerve pain. While considered an “off-label” use, treatment of anxiety conditions with gabapentin has seen promising results from initial studies and case reports. Its FDA label does not list anxiety as a medical condition it treats. However, gabapentin may still be prescribed for anxiety by a psychiatrist. It is available as the prescription Neurontin.
Holistic Treatment Using Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps people to re-write the stories they tell themselves about their lives. The mind is a great tool and thoughts can spiral us into worse fear, anxiety, and anger. Or, in reverse, help raise us to a more calm state. Controlling the perspectives and stories we repeat in our minds can greatly help relieve our anxiety. CBT enables clients and therapists to work together in a therapeutic relationship to identify destructive and unhealthy thought patterns and actively explore alternate thinking. The skills individuals learn through cognitive-behavioral approaches continue after the completion of treatment.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a form of CBT that centers on four key tools:
- Mindfulness focuses on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in the current moment.
- Distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it.
- Emotion regulation are strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life.
- Interpersonal effectiveness involves learning techniques to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
Talk Therapy Along With Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications
Anxiety can sometimes build because we are shoving our feelings about things happening in our lives. These collected emotions build up in the mind and body, producing an increasing sense of anxiety. By visiting regular sessions with a therapist, we can unload some of our emotions, so they don’t build up and become overwhelming.
Treatment Of Comorbid Alcohol Abuse And Anxiety Disorder Using Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications
It is estimated that more than 51% of people with mental disorders abuse or depend on psychoactive substances, especially alcohol. The presence of a mental disorder raises the risk of advancing from mere consumption to alcohol dependency and addiction. Women suffer from greater levels of stress and anxiety disorders than men, and they are also more vulnerable to maintaining alcohol consumption levels. This is according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) 
In fact, 37% of alcohol use disorder patients suffer from other psychiatric disorders . Alcohol dependence is associated with an increased risk of mood disorders (three times higher), anxiety disorders in general (twice as high), generalized anxiety disorders (four times higher), panic disorders (almost double), and post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD (twice as high). This is according to the study from NCBI .
Individuals with alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) have a high occurrence of anxiety disorders. “Co-occurring disorders” refers to the coexistence of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and/or drug-related disorders with another non-addictive psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety.
The comorbidity of alcohol dependence with another psychiatric disorder is widespread. The diagnosis is challenging due to the possibility of multiple causes. For example, symptoms of anxiety may be caused by abstinence or intoxication effects (induced anxiety disorder).
It is also possible that one disorder may be, indirectly or directly, caused by the other. For example, a person may turn to substance consumption as a means to cope with anxiety; anxiety disorder may be triggered by the stress associated with substance abuse.
Observing anxiety symptoms in a person who has been abstinent for several weeks allows us to determine whether the person presents with abstinence- or intoxication-induced anxiety or whether they should be diagnosed with primary anxiety disorder.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), especially sertraline, showed effective results in post-traumatic stress disorder and in comorbid anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, SSRIs should be used with caution when individuals are actively drinking because they may increase alcohol consumption.
Gabapentin, buspirone, and pregabalin were found to be effective in comorbid alcohol-use disorders and anxiety disorders. The treatment of such dual disorders should start as early as possible. Since alcohol use disorder and anxiety can reinforce each other, treatments targeting both can be effective.
Find The Right Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications Treatment At We Level Up Florida
If you or someone you love is struggling with an anxiety disorder or other mental health issues, get them the help they deserve. We Level Up NJ provides options for non addictive anti anxiety medications as part of our Holistic Treatment Program. Contact our team today!