Antidepressant Addiction Treatment
Many people don’t realize that the antidepressant that their doctor prescribes them can, and often does, become addictive. It’s important for people to understand the risks of these medications. Even when taken as prescribed, there is a risk of becoming physically dependent on them. Abusing antidepressants can almost guarantee an addiction with continued use. You might have heard that most pharmacologists consider antidepressants to be non-addictive because they do not contain addictive substances in them. Your doctor might have prescribed one to you to battle your depression. Did it stop working for you over time? This happens to a lot of people taking antidepressants. Your solution, like other antidepressant abusers, might be to increase your dose when you cannot get the relief you need from the dose your doctor prescribed. But, with continued abuse, that’s when you can develop an addiction that requires professional help. If you’re struggling with antidepressant abuse, medical best practices recommend that you work with professionals trained to handle the multiple needs of addiction and mental health disorders, such as depression. It is possible to treat and manage both simultaneously in a dual diagnosis rehab center.
Antidepressant Addiction and Abuse
Does your antidepressant medication, whether it is Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, or Lexapro, create feelings of calmness and euphoria? When you take your pills, they are altering your brain’s chemical activity, which improves your mood and behavior. You enjoy these feelings, and although you do not get “high”, like other people who abuse drugs do, you remember the pleasure the antidepressant gives you, and so you want more. The drug makes you feel happy, and who does not like to feel happy?
This feeling does not last though because over time your body has built up a tolerance. That’s when your situation can get dangerous. Have you ignored your dosage instructions and increased the number of pills you take? Maybe you started crushing them so they can be inhaled, or injected directly into your body. Have you combined your medication with alcohol to try and intensify the effects? This abuse of your medication can make your depression worse, can induce anxiety, or make you aggressive and suicidal. These are all signs that you are addicted to your antidepressants. But you cannot just stop taking them.
At this point the withdrawal effects might be unbearable, so you need to come off your antidepressants carefully and gradually with professional help over a period of weeks, months, or years – all while you continue getting treatment for your depression. The best place to do this is in one of the top rehab centers in the country that is familiar with your specific situation. How can you find one? Call us. There are several facilities that treat dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders that we would be glad to tell you all about.
Signs and Symptoms of Antidepressant Abuse
When it comes to antidepressant abuse, there is a long and varied list of signs and symptoms. With the number of antidepressants on the market, each person will be affected by them differently, and some more than others. If you are affected by any of these side effects, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.
The impact of antidepressant addiction affects both you and your loved ones in a number of ways.
- Your family feels torn apart
- You end relationships with friends and co-workers
- Your career might be failing
- You experience financial hardships
- You isolate yourself
- You decrease your involvement in personal activities
Side Effects of Antidepressants
- Excessive talking
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Panic attacks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vivid dreams
- Sexual Dysfunction
Overdose Symptoms of Antidepressants
Although the following side effects are less common, it does not make them any less dangerous. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration requires they be listed on the label of all antidepressant medications for which they apply.
- Imbalance of salt in your blood
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Liver damage
- Serotonin Syndrome, causes shivering, diarrhea, fever, and stiff muscles
If you are ever with someone who is experiencing these symptoms you should call 911 immediately.
The steps to recovery are tough, it is difficult, and scary but also exciting. By going to addiction treatment you are giving yourself a second chance at life, and allowing yourself to be free from your addiction.
Antidepressant Withdrawal and Detox
If you feel compelled to stop taking your antidepressant medication on your own, do not. The uncomfortable side effects you might feel now will only get worse, which makes it easier to relapse. You might start to feel like you have the flu and experience what is known as Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome. Your medication affects the chemical, serotonin, in your brain. If you suddenly stop it, your body might respond with physical and emotional symptoms caused by the sudden absence of increased serotonin levels.
The effects are not related to addiction but can reflect the same consequences of stopping a drug, such as heroin or cocaine, as soon as six weeks after starting it. You do not have to worry though because it is possible to taper off your antidepressant a little at a time. It can take a few weeks, months, or years to wean completely off of your antidepressant depending upon how your body reacts to the decrease, and your desire to stop. For that reason, we encourage you to do this under medical supervision at an accredited rehab facility where doctors, psychiatrists, and licensed staff members are available 24/7 to help you.
Antidepressant Treatment and Rehab
Treating antidepressant abuse and depression is a challenge. For your doctor, it is a trial-and-error process. If your medication is not working and you need more, your doctor might simply increase your dose or change your medication until you find one that works for you. Have you been doing your part? There are common reasons why you might be struggling to overcome your depression, which can lead to antidepressant misuse and abuse.
- You skip or do not take your medication as prescribed
- You used other drugs or alcohol in combination with your antidepressant
- You have other stress in your life
- You have other medical conditions that can make your depression worse
- You do not get a healthy amount of sleep
- You have no patience
- You have no support system
Maybe you want private time and space to figure things out. That is possible too. A simple change of environment might be all that is needed to help you find yourself again and learn what works for you. A conversation with one of our counselors will provide answers to all of your questions about what to expect upon entering rehab for antidepressant abuse and healing from your depression.
- Step 1: Intake – When you arrive at your facility you will be assessed by the medical professionals to determine your treatment through detox, as well as your rehabilitation program.
- Step 2: Detox- After your assessment or intake, you will be taken to your room where you can rest and be monitored while you go through the withdrawal of your drug use. Detox can range from 1 day to a week, depending on the drug of choice and the user.
- Step 3: Rehab – After you finish detox you will be ready to begin your addiction treatment, which can range from a variety of different options. This is when you will be able to meet others, attend lectures, participate in group or individual counseling, and learn the tools you need to stay clean.
- Step 4: Aftercare – When your time at the facility is over, you will have to go back to your life. This can be a challenge for a lot of people, but part of your treatment includes aftercare. This is usually outpatient counseling in a group or individualized setting, where you are slowly introduced back to your life and responsibilities.
Take The First Step Towards Recovery
Talk to a Intake Coordinator
Addressing Antidepressant Addiction
The Bottom Line: You Can Beat Drug Addiction
If you have reached this point it is hard to deny the fact that you are serious about beating your drug addiction, and that is something to have pride in. Your life matters and there is no reason why you should allow a pill to dictate the rest of your life when help is available.
Remember, choosing to go into a rehab treatment center for drug abuse will help you rid yourself of the horrible side effects you’ve had to endure, extend your life span, and most importantly place you on track towards regaining you own life. So don’t fight addiction alone. Instead allow us to help you live the life you deserve to have.
Coming to Terms with Your Antidepressant Addiction
If you are thinking about rehab, you have already started coming to terms with your antidepressant addiction. Now you just need to figure out what to do about it. When you are ready, ask for help. It is the best way to get it. We know it is difficult, but it is not impossible. You have not always been this way, and you will not always be this way. Call us to have a conversation with a counselor that specializes in treating people who abuse prescription drugs or have a addiction. This will prepare you for what to expect so you are ready to handle it.
Helping a Friend or Family Member Address Their Antidepressant Addiction
Helping your loved one might be exactly what they need to overcome their antidepressant dependency. It will not be easy, so we have provided a few tips to help you with that process.
- Learn as much as you can about depression
- Get your friends and family involved
- Ask your loved one what they need or want
- Offer to help with everyday tasks such as laundry, grocery shopping, or cleaning
- Know your limits
- Take threats seriously
Payment Options for Antidepressant Abuse Treatment
We know how important it is for you to get antidepressant addiction treatment. The cost might seem overwhelming, but there are options available to help place you into a specialized rehab center. If you are trying to figure out whether or not your insurance will cover your visit, do not worry about that. Call us and will do the work for you. We can verify your benefits and give you a list of options to begin the process of finding treatment that will help you fight against your antidepressant addiction. Do not hesitate. The call is free and there is no obligation.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.