We live in very stressful times. Most of us have jobs, school or family responsibilities that can be difficult to keep up with. But some people have additional emotional burdens with which to contend. And sometimes, in an effort to feel better, people will reach for a drug or a drink. Self-medicating is not advisable, but it is also very common among those who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders.

There are a number of disorders that have been linked to alcohol and substance abuse, among which are:

  • Panic Disorder. Frequently, when a person begins  suffering the symptoms of Panic Disorder, he or she will also start abusing alcohol.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder. Those with this disorder often use alcohol to lessen their anxiety, unfortunately, drinking often serves to do just the opposite.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. It is not uncommon for sufferers of PTSD to also engage in substance abuse. In fact, mental health professionals often treat substance abuse and PTSD simultaneously because PTSD symptoms can easily trigger substance abuse relapses.

When people try to battle a disorder with drugs or alcohol, they do so in an attempt to gain relief and function more normally. But part of functioning normally can mean using a car for transportation. It does not matter why you consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel, if you are stopped by the police and their blood alcohol content test indicates that you are legally intoxicated, you will be charged with driving under the influence.

If you have an anxiety disorder that led you to be arrested for driving while intoxicated, you need genuine treatment, not penalties or incarceration. A New Jersey DWI attorney could act as your representative in court and explain your situation to the presiding judge. By doing this, the attorney may be able to have the judge issue a sentence that includes rehabilitative care rather than a  more punitive and less effective outcome.