Are Antidepressants Addictive: Get the Facts
Antidepressants, when prescribed and managed by a physician or medical professional, are not in and of themselves addictive. In other words, they are not supposed to create cravings and antidepressant dependence. However, when they are abused or people stop taking them suddenly, instead of weaning off them, they can feel like you are addicted because you can experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may not include craving, but they are significant enough to force the person to start taking the antidepressants again. Find out are antidepressants addictive?
Are Antidepressants Addictive Because You Have Withdrawal Symptoms?
The truth is that after six weeks of being on an antidepressant, you can’t just suddenly quit it without experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. However, that does not mean your body is dependent on the antidepressant, nor is there a compulsive need to keep taking it because there are no cravings associated with it. This is referred to as Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome and is quite common, but there is great debate as to whether it constitutes a form of addiction since there is no craving and compulsive drug-taking involved.
Are Antidepressants Addictive If They Stay In the Blood Longer?
It’s interesting to note that the fear of being on an antidepressant too long is baseless. If anything, Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome is more acute with antidepressants the clear the blood more quickly. The longer acting drugs give the body a chance to adjust to lower dosages, making the interruption of treatment easier. It’s almost as if the body weans itself when the antidepressant involved sticks around longer in the bloodstream However, other types of antidepressants quickly leave the body and it is these types of antidepressants that can trigger withdrawal symptoms. While it is not an antidepressant dependence, it can feel like one since the patient wants to keep taking the drug relieve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
How Are Antidepressants Addictive When Abused
In most cases of antidepressant dependency, an individual self-medicated with larger and more frequent dosages in antidepressant drug abuse that may end up requiring a medically supervised detox. They may have done this because they felt the prescribed dosage was no longer effective or they really did develop a tolerance to the drug to make it less effective. In this case, where a person is constantly abusing the drug, an antidepressant dependence can occur as the brain’s chemistry is changed and treatment may be necessary.
Are Antidepressants Addictive Enough to Kill?
Sadly, the reason a person takes an antidepressant is because they are depressed. When they begin to abuse the drug it can create a toxic overdose. However, stopping the drug completely without understanding how it will trigger withdrawal symptoms can also be dangerous. It can lead to suicidal ideation and a person on antidepressants is at higher risk to take their lives in the first place. When you are a mood-altering drug for specific reasons, it’s always wise to have some sort of supervision so that at the very least you have someone to call when you start feeling like you might do harm to yourself or others.
Are Antidepressents Addictive Enough to Get Treatment?
We at WhiteSands Treatment believe that whether or not you think antidepressants can or can’t be addictive, it’s important to get treatment when you find yourself experiencing antidepressant drug abuse or withdrawal symptoms from medically prescribed antidepressants. If you find yourself wondering if you could be experiencing antidepressant dependence, whether you are consciously involved in antidepressant drug abuse or not, seek out help from a rehab professional who can help you recover quickly before it spirals out of control.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.