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13 Apr 08 Getting Sobriety Against Anxiety

In animals, anxiety can be triggered by exposing them to situations that they find naturally threatening, such as a strange environment or physical peril. Both animals and people find it their instinct to avoid those circumstances that give rise to it, and hence the threat itself.

Other bodily changes can also occur like the endocrine activation, particularly increasing secretion of the adrenal hormones like adrenaline and cortisol (the “stress” hormone). For instance, when a drug-dependent person is experiencing withdrawal, anxiety becomes magnified because it could lead to diarrhea, coughing and hyperventilation (breathing too quickly and deeply).

Thus, “fear” and  “anxiety” can be arbitrary in many contexts such as in the Alcohol Rehab Program. This is why, in cases of drug addicts, physical dependence resulting from drug abuse can strongly reinforce further drug use. People who self-administer drugs to produce pleasure or reduce distress and anxiety find that avoiding the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal provides a powerful motivation to keep using drugs. They fear to experience the undesirable withdrawal symptoms, so they become anxious if there are no more drugs available.

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