Zoloft Addiction Treatment
Is Zoloft addictive? That’s a question that patients often want to know when they’re prescribed this medication. Though not inherently addictive, Zoloft is designed for long-term use. Many patients take Zoloft for months or even years to manage their depression or anxiety disorder. However, it is possible to become dependent on this prescription drug, and some people may abuse it by increasing their dose without a doctor’s recommendation or taking the drug with other medically unauthorized drugs and alcohol. It’s also possible for people to experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping Zoloft use. Although addiction to Zoloft is not common, if you are experiencing a Zoloft abuse problem, you should seek addiction and abuse drug rehab treatment.
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is prescribed to treat conditions such as major depressive disorders, anxiety disorder, obsessivecompulsive disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Zoloft is the brand name for the generic drug sertraline. Zoloft, like other serotonin reuptake inhibitors, works by increasing the level of serotonin available in the brain. Low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin are associated with depressive and anxiety disorders. Zoloft is generally taken by mouth in pill, capsule, or liquid form. Terms of slang for Zoloft include happy pills and bottled smiles.
As with other SSRIs, Zoloft does not begin to reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders for several weeks. Doctors advise patients not to stop taking Zoloft before it’s had a chance to build up in their system and begin to work unless there are adverse reactions to the drug. Once Zoloft begins to work, patients should experience a reduction in their symptoms of depression and anxiety. Some users may also experience some side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, headache, and increased fatigue. Some people may also feel reduced libido. Often, these side effects dissipate as users become accustomed to the drug.
Signs of Zoloft Abuse and Addiction
Although Zoloft is designed for long-term use, it can be abused. While physical dependence on Zoloft is not common, users can develop a psychological dependence on the drug. Some people may abuse Zoloft by taking a larger dose than prescribed or using it with alcohol or other drugs. Symptoms of Zoloft abuse and addiction include:
- Doctor shopping in order to obtain more Zoloft
- Using someone’s else’s prescription of Zoloft medication
- Taking a larger dose than a doctor prescribed
- Faking symptoms of mental health disorders in order to obtain Zoloft
- Feeling unable to function without Zoloft
If you experience these Zoloft addiction symptoms, you should seek help at a recovery center like Resurgence for medical detox and other treatment for Zoloft addiction.
Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms
If someone stops taking Zoloft abruptly, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. Doctors prefer to wean patients off Zoloft slowly before discontinuing its use in order to prevent Zoloft withdrawal symptoms or a condition known as SSRI discontinuation syndrome, which can cause serotonin levels to drop significantly leading to a relapse of depression or anxiety symptoms. Zoloft withdrawal symptoms may be mild or severe and include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Some people may experience suicidal thoughts. It’s important to obtain medical care if suicidal thoughts occur or other symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Long-Term Side Effects of Zoloft Abuse
Zoloft can cause various side effects such as those mentioned earlier. These side effects can become magnified when someone abuses Zoloft. Someone who engages in Zoloft abuse may experience tremors, increased irritability, gastrointestinal complaints, or increased heart rate. Abusing Zoloft with other drugs that have not been prescribed or with alcohol can also lead to long-term side effects that can damage organs and cause overdose.
Zoloft Addiction Treatment
If you need treatment for Zoloft addiction and abuse, you can rely on Resurgence Behavioral Health for our multiple levels of care and treatment programs that include Zoloft detox, inpatient drug rehab, outpatient programs, and dual diagnosis treatment. Our addiction treatment center individualizes treatments that include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, family therapy, relapse prevention, and more. With specific treatment designed for your addiction recovery needs, you can stop taking Zoloft safely and successfully manage your substance use disorder and mental health.