Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication

Anxiety Disorder is a condition that affects several people nowadays, for that reason, there are different types of anxiety medications, but some of them can be very addictive and represent a risk for an additional problem to the client’s diagnosis. However, there are several Non-Addictive Anxiety Medications available in the market for people suffering from Anxiety Disorder.  

Medications with addictive properties are best avoided when there is a Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication option available. This is especially the case for people with a history of addiction. People with anxiety disorders are more vulnerable to addiction because they may naturally seek to self-medicate their anxiety with medications that numb their symptoms.

Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication
There are several Non-Addictive Anxiety Medications available in the market for people suffering from Anxiety Disorder.  

According to the piece ‘Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication’, medically reviewed by Andrew Proulx, MD, Benzodiazepines are a common class of anxiety medication. These drugs are addictive and are also controlled substances in the U.S. The common myth that all anxiety medications are addictive keeps some people with treatable anxiety disorders from seeking help and looking for Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication. In fact, there are many non-habit-forming alternative medication options for treating anxiety, and many of them are effective alternatives to benzodiazepines. [1] 

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

As stated by the National Institute Of Mental Health, occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. [2]

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. [2]

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger, such as a feared object or situation [2], Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication could help with these kinds of disorders.

During a panic attack, people may experience:

  • Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control
Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes.

People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors they associate with panic attacks. Worry about panic attacks, and the effort spent trying to avoid attacks, cause significant problems in various areas of the person’s life, including the development of agoraphobia. [2]

A phobia is an intense fear of—or aversion to—specific objects or situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object. [2]

People with a phobia:

  • May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation
  • Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
  • Experience immediate intense anxiety upon encountering the feared object or situation
  • Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense anxiety

There are several types of phobias and phobia-related disorders:

  • Specific Phobias (sometimes called simple phobias): As the name suggests, people who have a specific phobia have an intense fear of, or feel intense anxiety about, specific types of objects or situations. Some examples of specific phobias include the fear of: [2]
    • Flying
    • Heights
    • Specific animals, such as spiders, dogs, or snakes
    • Receiving injections
    • Blood
  • Social anxiety disorder (previously called social phobia): People with social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear of, or anxiety toward, social or performance situations. They worry that actions or behaviors associated with their anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment. [2]
  • Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have an intense fear of two or more of the following situations: 
    • Using public transportation
    • Being in open spaces
    • Being in enclosed spaces
    • Standing in line or being in a crowd
    • Being outside of the home alone

People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations, in part, because they think being able to leave might be difficult or impossible in the event they have panic-like reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. In the most severe form of agoraphobia, an individual can become housebound. [2]

  • Separation anxiety disorder: Separation anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with; however, adults can also be diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. People who have separation anxiety disorder have fears about being separated from people to whom they are attached. They often worry that some sort of harm or something untoward will happen to their attachment figures while they are separated. This fear leads them to avoid being separated from their attachment figures and to avoid being alone. People with separation anxiety may have nightmares about being separated from attachment figures or experience physical symptoms when separation occurs or is anticipated. [2]

Non-Addictive Anxiety Medications

A list that reviews Non-Addictive Anxiety Medications and treatments in the form of non-habit-forming anxiety medication.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) 

Non-Addictive Anxiety Medications like SSRIs, are generally used to treat depression but are also highly effective for treating anxiety. They are the usual first-line pharmacological treatment for most anxiety disorders. There are a number of common SSRIs for anxiety currently in use including:

  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram
  • Vilazodone
  • Vortioxetine

SSRIs correct brain chemical (neurotransmitter) deficiencies that cause the symptoms of anxiety. Though they may take time to take effect, often two to six weeks or longer, SSRI medications are well tolerated. Although 30% to 50% of people experience mild side effects, only about 19% discontinue the medication due to the effects. Importantly, SSRIs for anxiety have no addictive potential, aka is a Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication. They also have the added advantage of effectively treating depression, which commonly co-occurs with anxiety disorders. [1]

Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are similar to SSRIs in name and in function. SNRIs for anxiety are usually used after the failure of an SSRI.  The list of SNRIs for anxiety in common use is limited to two:

  • Duloxetine
  • Venlafaxine XR

SNRIs, Like SSRIs, have a delayed onset of action, usually taking at least two weeks to show their anti-anxiety effects. While SNRIs work similarly to SSRIs, they focus on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and can have energizing effects. This can worsen the physical symptoms of anxiety in some people. [1]

Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication: Buspirone

Buspirone (brand name BuSpar) is an older synthetic medication that fell out of favor for a number of years. It has become increasingly popular in recent years for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Buspirone for anxiety is completely different from other medications because it is its own unique class of medication. In fact, it is still unclear exactly how it works.

Buspirone is a second-line treatment for GAD after SSRIs, which are the usual first choice for most anxiety disorders. It is an attractive treatment option because it has a favorable side effect profile and does not have addictive properties. Buspirone may also have therapeutic effects on depression, but this has not been confirmed by clinical studies.

Recently, buspirone has been found to have positive results in reducing the withdrawal symptoms of people who are detoxifying from opioid use. [1]

Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication: Beta-Blockers

Beta-blocker medications are used for a wide variety of medical conditions and are sometimes used “off-label” (without FDA approval) for treating anxiety symptoms. They work by blocking catecholamines, a type of natural body chemical that causes many physical anxiety symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blood vessel constriction
  • Blood pressure elevation
  • Feeling of anxiousness
  • Jitteriness

Many anxiety symptoms are brought on by the anxiety-mediated release of catecholamines. Beta-blockers have been used to block these symptoms, especially the typical panic symptoms. Because of this, beta-blockers for anxiety are especially useful for treating panic disorder and people with physical anxiety symptoms, such as those with agoraphobia. It is also effective for preventing physical anxiety symptoms before specific situations, such as speaking in public or taking an exam.  

There are many beta-blockers available on the market, but propranolol is the best-studied and most used non-addictive anxiety medication. Therefore, it is probably the best beta-blocker for anxiety currently.  [1]

Treat anxiety disorder with Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication

Anxiety Disorder is a condition that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, Treatment For Anxiety Disorder with Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication supervised by a professional. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

Sources:

[1] ‘Non-Addictive Anxiety Medication’ – (Therecoveryvillage.com)

[2] ‘Anxiety Disorders’ – National Institute Of Mental Health (Nimh.nih.gov)