Anxiety, depression, and heavy drinking

From Addictive Behaviors:

Abstract

The Transtheoretical Stages of Change Model specifies that when the costs outweigh the benefits of substance abuse, the resulting discomfort can be a catalyst for change. The current study evaluated the roles of depression and anxiety in motivating readiness to change current drinking behaviors. Results from regression analyses of self-report data from 233 undergraduate hazardous drinkers indicated that higher levels of depression and anxiety were associated with elevated readiness to change. Additionally, study findings showed that when considered together, anxiety accounted for more of the individual differences in alcohol change readiness than depressive symptoms. Study results were discussed in the context of existing models of change readiness and implications for further research and clinical practice.

Not all that surprising if you follow the literature. In spite of trends to characterize every psychiatric symptom as a co-occurring disorder, these symptoms are not always noxious and may indicate intact reality testing and internal strengths rather than pathology.