• Dual Diagnosis: Anxiety & Addiction
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Anxiety & Addiction

Dual Diagnosis in St. Augustine FL

An anxiety disorder is the most common psychological issue within the U.S., affecting 18% of the population each year. Those who struggle with anxiety will often turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate. It is estimated that 20% of people who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder reported an issue with substance abuse. In the same way, 20% of people who have a substance abuse problem have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, we use specialized treatment to address your mental health and addiction. Our addiction recovery center in St. Augustine provides you with the tools you need to live a mentally and physically healthy life.


Start the recovery process. Rid your body of toxins and become free from your dependency on drugs and alcohol.

Residential Rehab

Get to the heart of your addiction. Learn coping skills to help you overcome cravings and learn to live a sober life.

Outpatient Rehab

Maintain your sober support system while you take a step back into your obligations at work and at home. Continue the recovery process.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders are often co-occurring. Also known as dual diagnosis, this is when an individual suffers from addiction due to mental illness, or vice versa. 45% of people within the United States have been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder.

People who struggle with mental illness are more likely to turn to substance abuse to deal with their symptoms. Similarly, those who have an addiction are more likely to develop a mental disorder.

Some factors that can worsen mental health behavior or drug and alcool addiction could be:

Brain Responses

Drugs can cause a reaction in the user that is similar to symptoms in mental illness.


A person's genes can make them more susceptible to developing a mental disorder or substance use disorder.

Environmental Triggers

Stress, anxiety, or a traumatic event can develop into addiction or a mental disorder.

Early Exposure

Those who tried drugs and alcohol at a young age are more likely to develop an addiction or a mental illness later on.

Substance abuse is more commonly found in people who struggle with an anxiety disorder than people who do not. It has been found that people with an anxiety disorder have more severe withdrawal symptoms and are more likely to relapse after getting treatment. There are several reasons why someone who struggles with anxiety would to alcohol and drugs, these include:

  • Self-Managing Symptoms
  • Chemical Imbalances in the Brain
  • Genetics
  • The Effects of Substance Abuse or Withdrawal

Joint Commission Accredited

Dr. Paul By The Sea is fully credentialed and licensed in the state of Florida by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO). JCAHO is unanimously considered the gold standard of addiction treatment by industry professionals. Knowing that the facility has obtained this certification should be a top priority for individuals to look at when researching to find the right inpatient or outpatient treatment facility for them. 

We dedicate our facilities and treatment methods to ensuring that we provide the best available recovery options while maintaining professional levels of care. Please contact us today and hear how our caring staff of experts use their experience to implement evidence-based treatments to make sure each of our patients receives the most effective treatment regimens.


Anxiety disorders (AD) are a type of mental illness that can produce irrational thoughts and fears. It also creates intense feelings of fear, worry, or apprehension and can cause the individual to become nauseous or dizzy.

Anxiety manifests itself in various ways; a person could feel a growing dread or immediate panic that paralyzes them. These feelings are difficult to control and can occur at any time. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, each requiring a specific kind of treatment.

Some of the most commonly diagnosed AD's include:

drug rehab

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This type of anxiety causes an individual to feel a sense of dread that seems to be unending. There is no particular reason for this fear, and its focus can jump from one topic to another. It is easy for people who have a GAD to spiral quickly and lose themselves to their fear.

An example of this is the "what if" question. What if I lose my job and can't find another? My friends and family will think I'm a failure. What if I get sick and have to be hospitalized? While these might seem like thoughts that everyone has at one point, a person with GAD can become fixated on these thoughts until they work themselves into a panic.


Social Anxiety Disorder

People who suffer from a social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, have an intense fear of speaking or interacting with other people. It is often difficult or terrifying for a person with SAD to be in a crowded place or partake in social activities. They are unable to do any form of public speaking or talk easily with others.

This condition affects more than 15 million Americans and will often coincide with other types of anxiety disorders. Panic disorders are commonly found in those who have SAD and will produce intense feelings of fear and loss of control while in public.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that develops after an individual has been the victim of, witnessed, or has a relationship with a victim of a traumatic event. These events could include military combat, natural disasters, violent crimes, or sexual assault.

Nearly 8 million people have developed PTSD symptoms after being exposed to trauma. They can experience insomnia, irritability, flashbacks, panic, anger, paranoia, and hypervigilance. Symptoms of PTSD must last for longer than a month for a person to be diagnosed with chronic PTSD.


Underlying Causes

  • Family History: There could be others in the family that have an anxiety disorder.
  • History of Trauma: Experiencing trauma or violence increases the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.
  • Substance Abuse: Having an addiction to alcohol or drugs causes changes to the brain that could trigger anxiety
  • Stress: Being regularly exposed to stress or stressful situations can cause symptoms of anxiety to develop.
  • Other Mental Health Issues: Anxiety often coincides with other mental disorders like depression. A person who struggles with depression will most likely suffer from some anxiety disorder.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on some drug or alcohol. When someone is physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, they develop a tolerance. The body's tolerance to a substance requires the user to increase the dose so that it has the same effect as before. Psychological dependence means that the addict is continually craving or obsessing over the substance.

Addiction is easily, and best described by the 4 C's:

  • Cravings
  • Loss of Control
  • Compulsive Behavior
  • Uncaring of Consequences

Substance abuse will cause a chemical change in the brain; once this happens, it is nearly impossible to reverse the effects without professional treatment. Their addiction commonly consumes people, and it will often be the cause of damaging relationships, work, and health.


Tricare & TriWest Insurance Accepted

Dr. Paul’s By The Sea is proud to provide service to the men and women in our military forces. We thank you and accept Tricare insurance, allowing us to provide high-quality health resources to active-duty and veteran service members.

Our rehab center near the city of Jacksonville provides substance use disorder and mental health treatments for these service members and their families.   

Tricare Accepted Rehab

Treatment at Dr.Paul's By The Sea

A person who suffers from dual diagnosis must get the treatment that addresses both the addiction and anxiety disorder. At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, we have several evidence-based programs and services tailored to co-occurring disorders. At our St. Augustine rehab center, we provide a medically-assisted detox. This process allows patients to excise the poisonous substances in their bodies and eliminate the physical dependence they had developed.

Once the detox is complete, patients will transition to our inpatient rehab. This program provides a specialized treatment plan that simultaneously treats both the addiction and the mental disorder. One of the most effective tools used in our inpatient program is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

CBT allows patients to learn new techniques that modify their negative thought patterns. So when they are faced with an environmental trigger or stressful situation, they can react to them in a healthy, positive way. CBT is a useful tool for dual diagnosis treatment, as it addresses both the addiction and anxiety disorder.


Patients who have a dual diagnosis and enter an inpatient treatment rehab need the structure and active attention these types of programs provide. At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, our medical professionals are equipped to help those whose mental state and addiction have been neglected. By entering our program in St. Augustine, patients can attain the tools they need to live a full and happy life. Learn more about our treatment program for dual diagnosis today.

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