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Top 6 Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications

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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. Read more about the top 6 non addictive anti anxiety medications and how they can be right for you.

By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: January 9, 2023

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

  • Feeling tense, restless, or nervous
  • Having a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly or hyperventilation
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • 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
When you notice your mental health is declining, do one small thing that brings you peace. Take a shower, text a loved one, step outside. One little step is all you need to remind yourself that this is not permanent. Choosing a non addictive anti-anxiety medications makes all the difference to reduce the risk of anxiety medications abuse.
When you notice your mental health is declining, do one small thing that brings you peace. Take a shower, text a loved one, step outside. One little step is all you need to remind yourself that this is not permanent. Choosing a non addictive anti-anxiety medications makes all the difference to reduce the risk of anxiety medications abuse.

Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications Statistics

For many people, experiencing fear or trepidation is a normal part of life. However, anxiety may need to be treated if it becomes ingrained, upsetting, and interferes with daily life.

This is not unusual because anxiety disorders, which affect over 40 million Americans, are the most prevalent category of mental health illnesses.


6.8 million

6.8 million persons in the US, or 3.1% of the population, suffer from GAD.

Source: NIMH

43.2%

Those who struggle with generalized anxiety disorder only obtain therapy in 43.2% of cases.

Source: NIMH

15 million

15 million adults in the U.S., or 7.1% of the population, suffer from SAD.

Source: NIMH


Top 6 Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications

1. SSRI Drugs (or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors drugs) for anxiety

What are SSRI drugs? What are SSRI side effects? SSRI vs SNRI comparison.

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. SNRI Drugs (or Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake drugs) for anxiety

What are SNRI drugs? What are SNRI side effects?

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.

3. Buspirone for anxiety

What is Buspirone? Is Buspirone addictive? What are Buspirone side effects? What is a typical Buspirone dosage?

Buspirone is a non-addictive and non-narcotic medication that works similarly to an SSRI. Buspirone only affects one subtype of serotonin receptor within the brain, ultimately leading to fewer side effects. Buspirone is an ideal medication for those who are struggling with mild to moderate anxiety.

Buspirone medication is available under the brand name BuSpar. Buspirone is a slow-acting substance. Buspirone acclamation can take up to 6 weeks to feel its effects but has a lower risk for dependence.

4. Hydroxyzine for anxiety

What is Hydroxyzine? What are Hydroxyzine side effects? What is a typical Hydroxyzine dosage? What is Hydroxyzine used for?

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.

5. Beta-Blockers for anxiety

What do Beta-Blockers do? What are Beta-Blockers side effects? How do Beta-Blockers work? Are Beta-Blockers safe?

Beta-Blockers medications work to give temporary relief in the case of anxiety-related episodes, such as panic attacks. Beta-Blockers 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.

Call to learn more about non-addictive anti-anxiety medications at We Level Up Florida.
Call to learn more about non-addictive anti-anxiety medications at We Level Up Florida.

6. Gabapentin for anxiety (Neurontin)

What is Gabapentin? What are Gabapentin side effects? What is a typical Gabapentin dosage? What is Gabapentin used for?

Gabapentin is commonly prescribed for seizures and nerve pain. While the use of Gabapentin is considered an “off-label” use, treatment of anxiety conditions with gabapentin has seen promising results from initial studies and case reports. Gabapentin’s 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.

Non Addictive Anxiety Holistic Treatment Options

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety (CBT for anxiety)

CBT helps people to rewrite 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 for anxiety (DBT for anxiety)

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 is 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 for Anxiety Treatment

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.

At-Home Options for Anxiety without Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications

Non addictive anti anxiety medication isn’t the sole option for treating anxiety, though. These methods have been demonstrated to work equally as well, if not better, for some people than non addictive anti anxiety medication. You can either learn them on your own or receive instruction in treatment. If you understand how to use them, you can lessen worry if you ever need to stop taking your prescriptions or switch them. When you’re feeling worried, try some of the following to relax:

  • Follow a guided meditation routine.
  • Write in a journal about your anxiety, doing your best to describe it. Do this each time you confront a fear, and note any changes that occur over time.
  • Stream your favorite movies and/or tv shows.
  • Make a mental note of something that you can see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and touch. This grounding approach can effectively help you connect with your environment and divert your attention from your worry.
  • Try breathing in squares. Take a five-second breath in, followed by a five-second hold. Take a five-second to exhale, followed by a five-second pause. Repeat until you notice a slowing in your pulse rate and an end to your shaking.

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) [1]

In fact, 37% of alcohol use disorder patients suffer from other psychiatric disorders [2]. 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 [3].

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.

Anxiety is a frustrating and sometimes scary condition to experience. Fortunately, there’s plenty of help available! The best course of treatment for you may involve non addictive  anti anxiety medications, therapy, or both.

non addictive anti anxiety medications benefits are helpful for lifelong sobriety.
Anxiety is a frustrating and sometimes scary condition to experience. Fortunately, there’s plenty of help available! The best course of treatment for you may involve non addictive anti anxiety medications, therapy, or both. 

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 Florida provides options for non-addictive anxiety medications as part of our Holistic Treatment Program. Contact our team today!

Search We Level Up FL Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications Topics & Resources
Sources:

[1][2]3] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5614930/

[4] Non Addictive Anti Anxiety Medications – We Level Up

Anderson, E., Shivakumar, G. “Effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, April 23, 2013.

Baldwin, D., Ajel, K., Masdrakis, V., Nowak, M., Rafiq, R. “Pregabalin for the treatment of generali[…]disorder: An update.” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, June 24, 2013.

Crosta, P. “What you need to know about Lyrica (pregabalin).” Medical News Today, January 5, 2018.

Dooley, T. “Treating anxiety with either beta blocke[…]nic drugs: A review.” Mental Health in Family Medicine, 2015.

Erhardt, J. “Birmingham researcher releases as-needed drug for anxiety.” Birmingham Medical News, January 13, 2017.

Farach, F., Pruitt, L., Jun, J., Jerud, A., Zoellner, L., Roy-Byrne, P. “Pharmacological treatment of anxiety dis[…]d future directions.” Journal of Anxiety Disorders, December 2012.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “BuSpar.” November 2010.

Fudin, J. “How gabapentin differs from pregabalin.” Pharmacy Times, September 21, 2015.