Similar to other mental illnesses that may coexist with addiction, like bipolar disorder and depression, social anxiety can often fuel the addictive behaviors. In fact, they work and feed off of each other.
When an individual struggles with social anxiety, they may seek out a substance to help them deal with interpersonal interaction. To put it simply, they may be self-medicating to deal with the stress.
Self medication will almost always lead to an addiction because the individual cannot function without it. The stress becomes too much, leaving them wondering how they can get by on their own.
Consequently, this will create a strong dependency on the substance when they need to socialize. As a result, they may become dependent on it all the time, thus leading to substance abuse.
Therefore, the individual may cycle this way until they have an addiction. This is what is known as the cycle of addiction. A cycle that is very difficult to halt once it is in motion.
However, there are ways to break this cycle. This way involves avoiding certain situations that may result in substance abuse.
Even before it can begin, an individual must be triggered by something around them. Most of the time when engaging in such behaviors, the individual will need to hit a trigger.