In the U.S., over 13% of adults (over 18 years old) use antidepressant medications. According to statistics, Florida isn’t among the states with the highest percentage of patients taking antidepressants. Yet, the matter still causes an issue that needs addressing.

While such medications help people overcome some negative feelings, some end up relying on them too much. This eventually leads to antidepressant addiction or dependence, which requires intervention in most cases.

In this article, you’ll learn more about antidepressants addiction treatment in West Palm Beach. So, if you think you or someone you love rely too much on antidepressants and need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. After all, the first step of treatment is acknowledging the problem.

Antidepressants Addiction

About Antidepressants and Their Types

For about 70 years, antidepressant medications have been around. Since then, they’ve become among the most prescribed types of medications worldwide.

Antidepressants are medications that help people struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. They work by adjusting the levels of certain brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters. Such chemicals are responsible for regulating mood, stress, and emotions.

In general, there are several types of antidepressants. Each type has its own way of affecting those neurotransmitters. Some of the most common antidepressants taken are:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): Escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft).
  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): venlafaxine and Duloxetine.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs): nortriptyline (Pamelor) and amitriptyline (Elavil).
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Isocarboxazid, selegiline, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine.

How Antidepressants Work

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors medications work by increasing serotonin in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feeling happy. They’re usually prescribed to treat conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and anxiety.

On the other hand, SNRIs target both serotonin and norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation. They’re also used to treat depression as well as anxiety and come under the names, venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

When a person takes antidepressants, they help alleviate symptoms of depression and improve overall well-being. However, such medications may take some time to kick in. Besides, not all patients respond to them in the same way.

Moreover, changing the dosage or suddenly stopping taking these medications can lead to even more issues. Therefore, medical supervision while taking antidepressants is always a must.

Antidepressant Addiction

Also referred to as antidepressant dependence or misuse, antidepressant addiction happens when a person develops an excessive reliance on such medications.

Primarily, antidepressants aren’t addictive in the same way as alcohol or other drugs. However, some people may misuse them by taking higher doses than prescribed or using them for non-medical purposes.

An individual might also develop an addiction to antidepressants by continuing to use them despite suffering from negative consequences. So, like the case with any addiction, it starts creeping into your life without even noticing it.

What Causes Antidepressant Addiction

To understand the reasons behind developing antidepressant addiction, there are factors to keep in mind. These can sometimes be psychological, physiological, or situational factors. While each person varies from the other, there are still a few common reasons to consider.

  1. Taking antidepressant medications without professional guidance
  2. Increasing the dose without medical supervision for quick relief
  3. Developing tolerance to the antidepressant medication, which leads to escalating use
  4. Becoming over-reliant on antidepressants to cope with stress can encourage compulsive use
  5. Not seeking the right help to heal life trauma and relying on antidepressants to numb the pain
Antidepressants Addiction Treatment

Signs of Antidepressant Addiction

Identifying the signs of antidepressant addiction as early as possible is vital. It makes all the difference when it comes to seeking intervention and support. By nature, experiences may vary from one person to the other.

That said, here are some questions for you to answer. If you answered positively to one or more of these questions, you might be at risk of antidepressant addiction.

  1. Are you taking higher doses than prescribed by your doctor or increasing the dosage without medical supervision?
  2. Are you taking any type of antidepressant without a prescription?
  3. Do you feel like you can’t function properly without taking antidepressants?
  4. Are you persisting on antidepressant use despite experiencing negative side effects?
  5. Are you constantly thinking about antidepressants and feeling preoccupied with these thoughts?
  6. Are you experiencing any severe withdrawal symptoms whenever you attempt to stop or reduce your antidepressant dosage?
  7. Have you engaged in unlawful or illegal behaviors to obtain more antidepressants?
  8. Does thinking about antidepressants and planning where to get them affect your social life?
  9. Are you being dishonest with your loved ones about the amount and frequency of antidepressant use?

Consequences of Antidepressant Addiction

Antidepressant addiction can have serious effects on a person’s health as well as quality of life. It can impact physical health, mental well-being, and social relationships. Among the most common of these consequences are:

1. Physical Health Effects: Antidepressant misuse can lead to issues such as headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, gastrointestinal issues, and changes in appetite or weight. Prolonged use may also increase the risk of cardiovascular complications or other medical issues.

2. Mental Health Effects: As a result of antidepressant addiction, a person may experience heightened anxiety, depression, or mood swings. It may also affect cognitive functioning, leading to problems with decision-making, attention, and memory.

3. Risk of Overdose: Taking higher doses than prescribed or combining antidepressants with other substances can increase the risk of overdose. This can lead to serious medical complications, including seizures, coma, or even death.

4. Social Challenges: Addiction to antidepressants can affect relationships with family members, friends, or coworkers. This leads to social isolation as a person prioritizes obtaining antidepressants over maintaining social connections.

5. Financial Difficulties: As individuals increasingly spend significant amounts of money to obtain antidepressants, they face financial issues. This leads to even more stress which worsens the issue.

6. Legal Issues: In some cases, a person may have to commit illegal activities to obtain antidepressants. Furthermore, driving under the influence of such medications can result in legal consequences.

7. Decreased Quality of Life: Antidepressant addiction can affect a person’s quality of life significantly. As a result, it can lead to losing a job, failing to pay rent, or falling behind in school, among other issues.

Antidepressant Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms of antidepressant addiction can vary depending on many factors. Some of these factors include the type of antidepressant, the duration of use, and individual differences in tolerance levels.

Generally, when persons misusing antidepressants try to discontinue taking them, they may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Flu-Like Symptoms: Fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, lethargy, sweating, and nausea
  • Mood swings: Depression, anxiety, agitation, and irritability
  • Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia, excessive sleeping, difficulties sleeping, vivid dreams, or changes in sleep patterns
  • Sensory Issues: Dizziness, lightheadedness, burning, tingling, shock-like sensation or numbness
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Changes in appetite, stomach upset, or diarrhea

Antidepressant Addiction Treatment

Antidepressant addiction treatment requires a comprehensive approach, addressing the physical, psychological, and social aspects. The programs designed to treat such types of addiction vary from one case to the other.

Typically, the treatment plan for antidepressant addiction involves some of the following components:

  1. Medical Evaluation: The first step to treating antidepressant addiction is getting a medical evaluation by a healthcare professional. This helps in assessing the case, identifying any underlying medical issues, and determining the best treatment approach.
  2. Detox: A detoxification process may be required to safely flush the medication out of a person’s body and manage withdrawal symptoms. This involves reducing the dose gradually under medical supervision to minimize discomfort and avoid complications.
  3. Medication-Assisted Treatment: In some cases, it might be necessary to take certain medications while undergoing addiction treatment. Such medications help manage withdrawal symptoms or address co-occurring mental health conditions.
  4. Rehab: It involves addressing underlying issues contributing to addiction as well as preventing relapse through therapy and counseling. This includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other methods.
  5. In-Patient and Out-Patient Treatment Programs: A person can choose a treatment program based on personal preferences. In-patient programs provide intensive care in residential settings while out-patient programs offer more flexibility to come and go.
  6. Aftercare: To achieve long-term recovery and prevent relapses, a recovering person needs ongoing support. Healthcare providers should work with those individuals to create a personalized aftercare plan that includes support groups, follow-up, etc.
  7. Holistic Approaches: Some people may benefit from holistic approaches to addiction treatment, such as yoga, mindfulness practices, acupuncture, or meditation. These therapies can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

Final Thoughts

Antidepressant addiction is a serious issue that can seep through the cracks in a person’s daily routine. Therefore, identifying the problem is the first step towards a healthier future. By accessing the available treatment options, individuals can reclaim control over their lives.

Now that you know more about antidepressants addiction treatment in West Palm Beach, you should be able to make more informed decisions about seeking help. Whether for yourself or a close person, recovery is definitely possible.

Overall, if you think you or someone else in your family suffers from antidepressant addiction, try to act fast. You can always reach out to our team at Allure Detox. We provide the needed treatment plan and help the recovering individual through the process.

Published on: 2024-04-01
Updated on: 2024-06-26

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