Anxiety during buprenorphine treatment for opiate addiction is much more common than you think. Although you may feel isolated by your feelings of dread as you go through the stages of treatment, you are not alone. About 18 percent of adults suffer from anxiety disorders, and less than half of them get any kind of treatment. Opiate addiction and anxiety disorders co-exist like the chicken and the egg; there is often no telling which one came first.
Buprenorphine Treatment Awareness
When a family physician prescribes a benzo, the patient cannot explore his anxiety with a psychologist or psychiatrist. That removes any motivation to explore alternative therapies—why meditate if you can just take a pill, for example. For the recovering addict, there is a tenfold danger, because benzos in combination with methadone or buprenorphine can result in respiratory depression and death.
At a medication assisted treatment / Buprenorphine clinic, you can explore the following therapies with your counselor to help you alleviate your anxieties:
- Relaxation response – You learn how to achieve a physical state of deep rest to reverse negativity. Alternately tensing and releasing your muscles can help with this. Do these muscle exercises during times when you feel any type of stress.
- Guided Imagery – You open your mind to simple symbols and metaphors that increase positive thoughts. You can learn to relax and soothe yourself; it’s not only useful in addiction treatment but also for healing yourself from physical ailments.
- Mindfulness – Based on ancient Hindu practices, you learn to pay attention to the immediate present without judging things from the past or worrying about the future. Take inventory of your body without emotional over-reaction. Allow yourself to self-soothe in order to achieve greater focus and generate energy. You will feel more self-esteem because you block negative thoughts and worries.
- Hypnosis – Achieve a state of deep relaxation through the use of repetitive phrases and images so that your mind responds to suggestions that you can control your anxieties. It will also increase your ability to stop negative behaviors.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy – This kind of therapy develops your ability to replace negative habits with positive ones. It helps you see how your thoughts and feelings can trigger behaviors. Journaling is an effective technique for achieving awareness of negative behaviors.
If you are in buprenorphine treatment for opiate addiction, take full advantage of the counseling services available at your MAT clinic. Then, as you overcome your addiction, you can heal your whole self.