Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!
Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!

Alcoholism: Does Social Anxiety Disorder Increase Your Risk?

Royal Life Centers understands that many guests struggle with a dual diagnosis, or another disorder in addition to their alcohol or substance use disorder. Many people drink alcohol heavily, without ever acknowledging a problem, because alcohol is so socially acceptable. An alcohol addiction is unfortunately very common in the United States, and many alcoholics have another disorder— with drinking only increasing their mental health symptoms. However, do certain disorders put you more at risk for alcoholism? Mental health disorders could put those affected at a higher risk of developing alcoholism. Some will drink in an attempt to diminish or decrease their mental health symptoms, when in reality a drug or alcohol addiction will worsen these symptoms and also add symptoms of alcoholism into the mix.


Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as “a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.” About 16 million people in the United States have an alcohol use disorder, unfortunately only 10% of those who need addiction treatment will ever get it.
Royal Life Centers is offers superior services and treatment programs to address alcoholism, beginning with our medical detox service. We are experienced and knowledgeable in treating even the most severe cases of alcoholism. Having a history of heavy drinking or any drinking habits will make a medical detoxification service the most important first step. A medical detoxification is removing a substance from the body, under 24/7 direct supervision of medical professionals to ensure your safety and comfort. Removing alcohol from the body of someone who is physically dependent on alcohol can produce severe, and even life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal, which is why this is best done in our inpatient level of care at one of our renowned detox facilities.

Do You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?

If you are unsure whether you or a loved one has an alcohol use disorder, please refer to the list below. This list of criteria is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In the past year, have you:
-Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than intended?
-More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking , or tried to, but couldn’t?
-Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
-Experienced craving— a strong need, or urge, to drink?
-Found that drinking— or being sick from drinking— often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
-Continued to drinking even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
-Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
-More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, having unsafe sex)?
-Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
-Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
-Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
If two or more of the following points are true for you or a loved one (in the past 12 months), then you or your loved one may have an alcohol use disorder, and should reach out to us immediately.

Social Anxiety Disorder

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America defines a social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, as an “intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.” About 15 million Americans have social anxiety disorder, making it the second most common anxiety disorder to be diagnosed with.
New research published in “Depression and Anxiety” indicates that social anxiety disorder may have a direct effect on alcoholism. In a clinical study, researchers looked at alcoholism and how it relates to a variety of anxiety disorders and phobias. What researchers found was that social anxiety disorder had the strongest association with alcoholism. The findings were essentially that those with social anxiety disorder have a much higher risk of later developing an alcohol use disorder, whereas other anxiety disorders in this study proved to not have these same findings.

Social Anxiety and Alcoholism

People with social anxiety are more likely to develop alcohol use disorder, if they haven’t already, because the short term effects of alcohol help to ease their symptoms of social anxiety. Alcohol will make those with social anxiety disorder less focused on their surroundings, including other people. Many call alcohol “liquid confidence” which in this case is often the “solution” those with social anxiety are seeking.


Lead author, Dr. Fartein Ask Torvik says that “Many individuals with social anxiety are not in treatment. This means that we have an underutilized potential, not only for reducing the burden of social anxiety, but also for preventing alcohol problems.” So as far as treatment for social anxiety disorder goes, addiction prevention education should be a topic of conversation. In the discussion for those already pre-disposed to an alcohol use disorder, it is so important to speak honestly and openly with any healthcare providers they may have, to talk about their symptoms of social anxiety disorder and the risks of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.


For many people with social anxiety disorder, it is too late for preventative measures and more appropriate for them to be looking into treatment options. Guests with a dual diagnosis, like social anxiety and alcohol use disorders, it is important for us at Royal Life Centers to treat each disorder separately. Recovering from alcoholism is possible with our comprehensive addiction treatment programs. Royal Life Centers takes a holistic approach, treating the mind, body, and spirit for a full recovery.
The very first step is attending a medical detox center. Withdrawal symptoms will begin to occur about 8 hours after you last consumed alcohol. Upon arrival to our medical detox center, guests will be assessed for their symptoms of withdrawal and evaluated for any co-occuring disorders. In detox, guests will be treated for their withdrawal symptoms and begin the therapeutic work with therapists, group therapy, and support groups.
Following medical detox, guests are invited to attend our residential inpatient program. Our residential inpatient program is 2 weeks long, and continues the therapeutic work started in detox. We also offer treatment programs that were designed to follow guests through the stages of the recovery process. Our treatment programs include: medical detox, residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), our outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Our alcohol and drug rehab centers are nationally accredited for offering the highest standards in addiction treatment, and we only use the best practices.
For an addiction treatment center near you, please click this link for our locations.
Our treatment programs are not just for an alcohol addiction, but we also address substance abuse and drug addiction. We focus on behavioral health as well, using therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and offering guests frequent interactions with our staff of medical professionals. All of our treatment programs employ proven methods of addiction treatment. Our treatment facilities are spacious, modern, and comfortable— we strive to provide our guests with the best environment for their journey of recovery.
“Alcohol Use Disorder.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders.
“Social Anxiety Disorder.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, ADAA, adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder.
Wiley. “Social anxiety disorder may increase risk of alcoholism.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2019. .
If you or someone you love is struggling with a social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder, or any substance use disorder, please reach out to our addiction specialists toll free at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team makes themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

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