How OCD Patients Self-Medicate with Drugs and Alcohol

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 20 percent of anxiety sufferers also suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. What most don’t realize is that substance abuse only exacerbates the condition and often leads to the use of more illicit drugs.

There are a number of factors that may bring about anxiety such as brain imbalance, genetics, stress, trauma and even environmental factors. Individuals often self-medicate to provide a temporary reduction in anxiety levels. This often leads at a vicious cycle of abuse.

In a University of Canada Winnipeg study, researchers found that anxiety sufferers who believe they are alleviating anxiety through drug and alcohol use, may also be setting themselves up for a number of long-term health issues.

The three year study on anxiety disorder patients found that self-medication often worsened symptoms like panic attacks.

The team of researchers, lead by Jennifer Robinson MA, presented their findings at the Canadian Psychiatric Association Conference. The study backs up already assumed claims regarding anxiety disorders and self-medication. It also allows doctors the opportunity to better address the needs of the patient.

For the study, researchers used long-term data from nearly 35,000 anxiety sufferers. Researchers studied to find whether the usage of prescription drugs, alcohol, and prescribed medications caused substance abuse disorders in the long term.

The data extracted came from a variety of factors including age, race, gender, region, marital status, education and income. Over the three year baseline, researchers discovered that individuals self-medicating were four times more likely to develop serious drug dependency problems. Researchers also discovered that over half of the people in the study group were also abusing alcohol.

Researchers are hoping that the findings will help clinicians become more proactive when it comes to treating individuals with anxiety disorders. Underlying anxiety abuse issues could be a result of substance abuse. The data extracted can be useful when it comes to treating individuals suffering from anxiety disorders.

While more research is necessary, researchers hope that individuals suffering from anxiety disorders will do more to seek out treatment and possible cures. Early detection is the key.

Dual Diagnosis OCD and Drug Abuse

Most likely you have heard about the disorder called OCD, but not that many people actually know what it means. That’s why we are here to educate you about things like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is known as OCD. Most people when hearing the word OCD they think it is not a serious disorder and that it isn’t a big deal at all. Well, if you ever experience OCD, you will realize just how wrong you were about it before. That’s right, OCD is a very powerful disorder that can easily overtake your life and keep you from enjoying the things that you love doing. This disorder is considered as an anxiety disorder that always comes back. It can be the simplest thing such as washing your hands, but it can easily get much complicated and at that point, you must turn to professional help before you start ruining your health with drug abuse.

There are a lot of people who are struggling with anxiety and most of them immediately turn to drugs because they allow them to feel better for a short period of time. One thing these people don’t know about anxiety and drug abuse is that they don’t go well together. Your anxiety will only get worse and worse the more drugs you start using. The problems that you have associated with OCD will get worse because those symptoms will become much stronger.

Professional Help

helpIf you have a dual diagnosis, which essentially means that you are diagnosed with two problems such as OCD and drug abuse, you need to seek immediate help. This isn’t something that you should be playing with, this is very serious. Mixing drug or even alcohol abuse with OCD is the worst thing that you can do because it will ruin your health. You need to visit a rehabilitation center or a clinic where people will be able to help you out with your addiction as well as your anxiety disorder. If you are a mentally strong person, you can push through this and with the right help, you can get back up on your feet.

Young Adults

The IOCDF is pleased to announce that the 21st Annual Conference will have the second year of a track devoted only to young adults. We know that this time of life has its own special challenges and unique opportunities, and we are excited to bring together young adults with OCD to address these issues as a safe, inviting community. This track is intended especially for older teens and adults under 30 with OCD, who may be navigating college, first jobs, living on your own, dating, and other similar issues.

Young adults need our professional help the most because they just don’t have enough life experience to deal with this type of disorder. Some people cannot live a normal life because of their OCD, finding jobs or even making new friends can be complicated with a disorder like this. With our professional help, we hope that these young adults can have a second chance to live a normal life just like anyone else. If you haven’t been affected by OCD in your life, then you simply cannot understand the daily struggle some of these young adults have. Our experts are ready to share some inspiring stories and provide group treatments to everyone who comes to this conference.

You don’t need to be scared of this event because you will be surrounded by people who have or had the same issue at some point in their life. These people will understand you completely and that is something that you cannot get anywhepencilsre else. Having a social life with OCD is not really that easy because people don’t really understand what you are going through, that’s why these group therapies are so good for you. People with OCD get to learn from other people who are having same or similar issues.

The Young Adults track will span across 2-days of the 3-day conference and will include panels about a variety of topics, such as education, social life, and careers. The day will conclude with a special support group just for young adults. There will also be opportunities to meet other young adults at evening activities such as the popular OCD Pub Trivia ice-breaker event.

Please check back in March/April 2014 for details about program offerings for young adults at the 21st Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles in 2014.

Special Hoarding Program

We are excited to announce the second annual Special Hoarding Program at the 21st Annual OCD Conference. This expanded program will essentially be a “Conference within a Conference,” and will include:

A 2-day conference track dedicated to hoarding disorder information, treatment, and research.

A Pre-Conference Training Session for task force members, public safety officials, and other professionals who work with individuals with hoarding disorder.

Support groups for those with hoarding disorder, as well as support groups for their family members and loved ones. Therefore, if you are a hoarder who needs professional help to get over that disorder, then this is the perfect place for you to visit. This is a specialized program that is made just for people who are struggling with this particular disorder. Hoarding is a very serious disorder that requires professional treatments. In this conference, you will be able to educate yourself about this disorder and learn a lot of valuable information that you can later on use to treat this disorder. Even if you are not a hoarder, but one of your close family members is, you can also come to this conference because this will help you understand them better.

The other part of this conference will be dedicated to task force members and other professionals who are working with people that are affected by hoarding disorder. Which means that they can come to learn something more about the latest or the most effective methods for treating this type of disorder. Also, there will even be some specialized group treatments during this hoarding program for people that are directly affected. The best thing about this is that you can even bring your family members along with you.

Please check back in March 2014 for updates about the Special Hoarding Program offerings for the 21st Annual OCD Conference.

Professional Trainings

Pre-Conference Training Sessions (PCTS)

In addition to the CE/CME/CEU credits* that can be earned during the regular conference program, we will be offering special training opportunities as part of our Pre-Conference Training Sessions (PCTS) program. There will be three separate PCTS available (for qualifying professionals) and will take place prior to the start of the conference on Thursday 7/17 for an additional fee.

Please check back here in March 2014 for more information about these training opportunities. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at

2-Day OCD Treatment Group Observation

Mental health professionals will be also having the opportunity to attend Dr. Reid Wilson’s 2-day OCD Treatment Groups as participant-observers. Please check back in March 2014 for more details.

If you are struggling with OCD and you feel like you need some professional help, then there isn’t anything better than to attend conferences like this because you get to see and participate in various training and group sessions. You are constantly surrounded by professionals and doctors who specialize in disorders such as OCD, so you don’t have to worry about anything. During these group observations, you will get the chance to learn a lot about OCD by simply talking to people who have the same problems. That’s why it is called an OCD treatment, the main focus is to treat a group of people with OCD.

Easiest Way to Overcome Your OCD

Realizing on your own or just being diagnosed with OCD by a professional is something that you never want to experience because it is a life changer. That’s right, most people don’t think that OCD is a disorder that needs any special treatment because it is harmless. When in fact it can be really difficult for a person, especially for young adults who have lack of experience. We have created this article to help you find the easiest way to overcome your OCD. People who have this disorder make the mistake of not searching for solutions. Nowadays, treating OCD is very easy and if you don’t know where to find the right help, then read this article and you will find out.

Professional Assistance/Therapies

warningThe most recommended way to overcome your OCD is to simply go to your doctor. If you want a simple and easy treatment, then the only reasonable option for you is to seek professional help. There are a lot of different places where you can get professional help and treatments for OCD. There are various treatments nowadays for OCD, one of the most effective ones are the behavioral therapies. Behavioral therapies are extremely good for treating OCD because they will teach you the real meaning of the word “stop”. Most people with a disorder like this have the problem of not being able to stop themselves from doing something. Some people must wash their hands every two minutes, and some just cannot stand to see a room that is not organized. These treatments will teach you how to control that and get over your anxiety.

Long Process

Just because you are using the most effective method for treating your disorder, it doesn’t mean that you will recover immediately from it. A lot of people make the mistake thinking this will be a fast process and they can continue with their lives. Well, we have news for you, dealing with OCD means that you will have to put a lot of time and effort into your recovery because it will take a long time to fully recover. Of course, this depends on your OCD level and your obsession, but you should never think this will be simple or fast.

Early Signs of OCD

When it comes to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder you have to realize that you might be affected by this disorder and not even realize it. Of course, we are talking about some early signs of OCD that you might have without knowing it. With OCD it is really important to start a treatment as early as possible because you will have greater chances of healing. If you wait for too long and you ignore these early signs of OCD, you will be making a horrible mistake that will cost you a lot of trouble. If you follow our instructions carefully, you will be able to diagnose OCD yourself before it overtakes your life. Here are some of the most common early signs of OCD that you need to look out for.

Washing Hands

You might not even think about this, but if you are a type of person who is very obsessed with having everything clean, especially your hands, then you might actually have OCD. As mentioned, most people don’t see this as a sign of OCD, but faster than they can realize it will take over their lives. If you are constantly washing your hands after touching items or even shaking hands with other people, then you might want to visit your doctor about this.


countingCounting things in your everyday life is something that a lot of people with OCD do. Therefore, if you catch yourself counting random things around you such as the stairs when you are climbing or bottles in a club, then you most likely have some early signs of OCD. You shouldn’t be scared of this because it is the harmless thing that you can have compared to some other things. The issue with counting things around you is that you will never be able to focus on a task because of it.


If you like to have clean and organized home, it doesn’t mean that you have OCD. However, if you are taking things too far and you cannot stand to see the smallest change in your home, then you might have some problems.