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Can Trazodone Be Abused?

What Is Trazodone?

Trazodone is an antidepressant and a sedative. It is used to treat major depressive disorder, insomnia, and alcohol dependency. It works to boost levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. Neurotransmitters help manage emotions and feelings that a person experiences. Lower emotional levels can often lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. These feelings can come on different levels.

Trazodone is a common drug that is often used as a stronger version of other over-the-counter drugs like melatonin and as an alternative Xanax. It is a drug that can only be safely taken when prescribed by a doctor. 

How Can It Become a Dependence or Abused?

Being dependent on a drug means not feeling “normal” without it. It could also mean the person could be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Dependency does not mean addiction. Reliance does not change or deter someone from living their daily life. Most drugs and medications can be abused in some shape or form though. 

Dependency depends on how often along with how long the drug is taken as well as how the brain is reacting to the drug. The drug interacts with the neurons and the neurotransmitters inside the brain. The drug trazodone specifically often becomes abused and addictive when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. 

Trazodone can become more likely to be abused when it is not used as prescribed or is obtained illegally. The abuse can lead to life changes that can affect their relationships and their work habits. It negatively affects how the brain works and changes neurological levels. 

What Are the Side Effects?

Side effects are common with every drug and are a result of how the drug and the body interact with each other. Side effects can be from mild to severe and vary from person to person. Side effects are often ignored when first prescribed but should be taken seriously as they could affect the person’s daily life and mental and physical health

There are a variety of different side effects that come with trazodone. The common effects are blurred vision, drowsiness, sweating, swelling, weight loss, and a stuffy nose. More severe risks and side effects include diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, and cardiac arrhythmia. While these side effects are not necessarily life-threatening, they can still be harmful. 

Trazodone is more harmful to children, young adults, and pregnant women. There is an increase in suicidal thoughts in children and young adults. There are also risks with women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. There also could be an allergic reaction to it in this case that requires emergency attention. 

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal happens when the drug effects start to wear off and the brain begins to lack the neurotransmitters or hormones that the drug provided as the brain has changed from the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms depend on how long the drug has been taken and can be dangerous.

Trazodone’s withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, nausea, suicidal thoughts, trouble concentrating, headaches, irritability, and depersonalization. The most dangerous threat is suicidal thoughts and not thinking clearly. These can cloud the person’s judgment and thoughts. It can also affect their daily life. 

Trazodone withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 1-3 days of stopping use and symptoms often peak within a week and then gradually decrease in intensity. These withdrawal effects are known as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (ADS). To reduce the intensity of ADS, treatment for trazodone dependency and addiction often includes tapering the medication over time, rather than discontinuing use all at once.

How Can I Get Help?

The first step is recognizing that you have a problem. In order to help your recovery, you need to seek help from others, including friends and family. There are also multiple resources for addiction and drug abuse available. Recovery is not easy but it is essential to return to living a happy and healthy life. 

Some options are to get a medical detox in which the withdrawal symptoms are monitored and addressed by trained medical staff. Another option includes treatment for other addictions the person may have as trazodone abuse often comes with addiction with other drugs. There is also inpatient or outpatient care in which a treatment facility will personalize your care to improve your treatment and recovery. Treatment often includes therapy to help get to a root cause as to why a person is abusing the drug. After treatment, many recovery programs include group therapy and 12-step programs to provide support in recovery.

Trazodone is an antidepressant and a sedative used primarily to treat major depressive disorders. It helps with depression, insomnia, and anxiety, and other mood disorders. It is important to realize what it means to have a trazodone dependency or addiction. Like any other drug, trazodone can be abused when it is mixed with other drugs or when the drug is not used as prescribed by a doctor. It is essential to recognize that trazodone dependency or addiction can lead to negative side effects and withdrawal symptoms. While most of the side effects of using trazodone can be uncomfortable, like nausea, irritability, and headaches, there is a risk for depersonalization and suicidal ideations when discontinuing use. As such, stopping trazodone should be done under the supervision of a medical professional. At RECO Intensive, we have trained staff that can provide you with the care and treatment you need to overcome dependency and addiction safely and successfully. To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, call (561) 464-6533.

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