Trazodone Addiction: Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal, and Treatment
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Trazodone is a prescription medication and an antidepressant that is used to treat depression, insomnia, or sleep disorders. It may also be used to treat people who are recovering from addiction who have problems sleeping.
Similar to other antidepressants and sleep medications like Cymbalta, Trazodone works by restoring the natural balance of the chemical serotonin in the brain. As a result, it helps improve mood, appetite, and energy levels while combatting anxiety and depression.
Doctors typically avoid prescribing Trazodone to teenagers because it is known to have the opposite effect in young people. Studies show it increases suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young people within the first week of taking it.
Trazodone is sold under the brand names Oleptro and Desyrel, among several other brand names worldwide. It is a tablet that is taken orally and it comes in both immediate-release and extended-release form. Common dosages include 150 mg, 100 mg, and 50 mg tablets and extended-release tablets. Users take it once or twice daily as directed by their doctor.
Since Trazodone is a sedative, it provides a calming and relaxing effect, which may encourage abuse. People who abuse Trazodone rarely abuse it alone, and often take it with other drugs like alcohol, methamphetamine, and ecstasy (Molly), which increases the risk of overdose and harmful side effects.
Although it is not always considered a habit-forming drug, Trazodone can cause physical dependence and withdrawal, so anyone taking it should do so carefully and under the direct care of a doctor.
The following terms are street names or slang for Trazodone:
There were more than 25 million prescriptions written for Trazodone in 2016. Although it’s uncertain exactly how many people in the U.S. abuse Trazodone, most people who do misuse it have a history of addiction and frequently use alcohol or drugs to enhance the effects of medications.
Trazodone can be abused in many different ways, but most people who take it purely for the purpose of getting high take the immediate-release tablets. To abuse them, they may:
- Inhale the crushed Trazodone pill powder
- Add the crushed Trazodone pill powder to marijuana and smoke it
- Add the crushed Trazodone pill powder to an alcoholic beverage
- Snort the crushed Trazodone pill powder
Short-term effects of Trazodone abuse may include:
- Blurred vision
- Feeling hung-over the day after abusing Trazodone
Long-term effects of Trazodone abuse may include:
- Physical dependence
Someone with a history of addiction and polydrug abuse may be more likely to become addicted to Trazodone. Some common signs and symptoms of Trazodone abuse and addiction include:
- Ignoring responsibilities at home, work, or school in favor of using Trazodone
- Seeing multiple doctors to get prescriptions for Trazodone
- Getting more Trazodone after a prescription is no longer needed
- Faking symptoms to get a prescription for Trazodone
- Buying Trazodone from friends, family members, or drug dealers
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when unable to use Trazodone
- Needing more Trazodone to feel the same sedating effects it previously provided
If someone is addicted to Trazodone, it’s important to seek treatment right away to avoid dangerous or life-threatening interactions with other drugs and alcohol.
Trazodone can cause severely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Despite the harmful side effects of Trazodone, users often become trapped in a drug abuse cycle simply to avoid the discomfort of Trazodone withdrawal. The longer the abuse cycle continues, the more likely the person is to experience severe withdrawal.
Some common symptoms of Trazodone withdrawal include:
- Muscle pain
- Stomach aches
- Sensations of electrical jolts in the brain
- Severe disorientation
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tightness in the chest
Quitting Trazodone “cold turkey” can result in many of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms listed above, but a medical detox program can provide safe, comfortable, and effective treatment for Trazodone withdrawal.
While detoxing “cold turkey” from Trazodone leaves users vulnerable to relapse and overdose, a Trazodone detox program provides 24/7 medical and clinical care, medication-assisted treatment to resolve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, and a safe, sober place to stay while detoxing.
Trazodone withdrawal symptoms, as well as their severity and duration, will vary from person to person, so it is impossible to provide a timeline that accurately depicts Trazodone withdrawal. However, in most cases, symptoms will gradually lessen and subside one to two weeks after a person has successfully stopped using Trazodone. Some people may still experience withdrawal symptoms for several months after quitting Trazodone.
Factors that influence the severity and duration of Trazodone withdrawal symptoms include:
- How long a person has abused Trazodone
- The size of the Trazodone dose a person regularly used
- How quickly a person stopped using Trazodone (the cold turkey method tends to produce more severe symptoms)
- A person’s lifestyle and genetics
- Whether a person used other drugs or alcohol with Trazodone
Although Trazadone does not produce the typical euphoric feelings associated with many other addictive drugs, it can be very psychologically addicting. So even after completing detox for Trazodone addiction, there is still much work to do to achieve sustained sobriety.
A comprehensive addiction treatment program consisting of detox, rehab, sober living, and aftercare can provide well-rounded care that addresses the causes of the addiction, not just the symptoms. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the efficacy of addiction treatment is largely based on adequate treatment length. Most people need at least 90 days of continuous treatment to see lasting, positive results.
Effective addiction treatment for Trazodone often consists of several different stages in treatment. The first stage is detox, which helps people overcome their physical dependence on the drug. The second stage is typically rehab, which addresses the underlying causes of the addiction and teaches people in recovery how to cope with life circumstances without using drugs or alcohol.
During drug rehab, clients do the following things:
- Attend educational lectures to learn about the disease of addiction
- Participate in 12-Step Program work and meetings
- Learn how to prevent relapse and implement relapse prevention strategies in daily life
- Gain essential life skills for sobriety
- Practice living sober in a safe, drug-free environment
People who are recovering from Trazodone addiction have a few different options for treatment. The two most common types of drug rehab are inpatient and outpatient rehab programs.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): An intensive outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program, also referred to as IOP, consists of several weeks of group meetings that are held in a local, clinical setting. Sessions are facilitated by a professional addiction treatment specialist and include both male and female clients. Sessions cover everything from chemical dependency education and life skills development to problem-solving, self-care, 12-step work, and relapse prevention. IOP does not require clients to live on-site at an addiction treatment center while they are enrolled in treatment, which makes it more convenient for those who cannot commit to a 90-day inpatient program.
- Residential Inpatient Rehab Program: A residential drug and alcohol rehab program offers inpatient treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center. Clients are required to live on-site in gender-specific group housing for the duration of their program, but off-site activities are often included in the program. Clients can arrange on-site visits with family members, but they must adhere to a structured daily schedule and the requirements of their treatment program. Clients may leave treatment at any time, but leaving before completing the full program is highly discouraged.
The cost of IOP or a residential rehab program will vary greatly, depending on its location, the services offered, and available payment options, which may include:
- Health insurance benefits
- Employee Assistance Program benefits
- Financed healthcare loans
- Out-of-pocket payments
Once rehab is completed, continued care for Trazodone addiction can help promote full and sustained recovery. There are several different types of continued care options and recovery support services for people in recovery, with sober living programs and aftercare being two of the most common.
Sober Living Programs
A sober living program provides safe, sober, group housing for people who are recovering from addiction. Sober living homes are ideal for people in all stages of recovery, whether they’ve relapsed before or not. The primary goal of these homes is to help people in recovery transition from residential or outpatient care into an independent sober lifestyle.
In addition to a sober environment, high-quality sober living programs also provide structured housing with tiered recovery programming, individual sober coaches, and recovery support services. These services include:
- Employment assistance
- Volunteer assistance
- Education planning
- Drug testing
- Personal monitoring
The cost of a sober living home will vary depending on the location of the home, the types of amenities, the room options, and the recovery support services offered.
Aftercare programs are specifically designed to support rehab alumni as they transition into a lifestyle of recovery. Many people use them as weekly check-ins with their sober peers, which helps maintain a sense of accountability and community in recovery.
Aftercare meetings are held once a week and provide a safe and supportive place where people in recovery can share challenges, successes, and concerns about life in recovery without fear of judgment. Aftercare is a great way to stay connected to a recovery community while also attending local 12-step meetings in your community.
Overcoming Trazodone addiction requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to change, but it’s not impossible. The addiction treatment specialists at Nova Recovery Center are here to walk with you through the process and facilitate a personalized treatment plan with detox, residential treatment, and a sober living program.
Call Nova Recovery Center today to learn more about our continuum of care and comprehensive addiction treatment programs.
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