Getting To Know Trazodone
Depression is being diagnosed today at a faster rate than ever before. To meet these growing demands, doctors turn to prescription medications like trazodone to help their patients. This drug is effective in boosting mood, as well as serve as a sleep aid for individuals that struggle with insomnia. Additionally, it does not produce a high when taken, which greatly decreases its potential for abuse.
Of course, just because a drug does not produce a high does not mean that it is completely safe. While uncommon, it is still possible to develop an addiction to trazodone. Unlike most drugs, trazodone is not usually taken in recreational settings to achieve a euphoric high, but instead causes a psychological dependence for prescribed patients. These individuals typically wind up taking more than prescribed to cope with everyday circumstances, believing they need the medication to function normally.
Left untreated, a trazodone addiction can devastate a person’s life, causing financial struggles and straining relationships with loved ones and friends. If the signs of a dependence begin to form, it is important to seek help from a rehab center immediately.
What is Trazodone?
Trazodone is classified as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor, and its main purpose is to serve as an antidepressant. It accomplishes this by blocking the serotonin receptors in the brain, in turn increasing the amount of serotonin as it becomes more difficult to be reabsorbed normally by the body. This helps to boost the individual’s mood because serotonin is an endorphin the body naturally produces to help regulate emotions. When a person is struggling with depression, increasing the amount of serotonin in their body is an effective way to overcome or decrease negative feelings.
In some circumstances, trazodone may be prescribed for anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks. This is possible because one of the effects of the drug is to also produce a relaxing mood, which can calm a person enough to help them sleep or better manage their anxiety.
Many drugs with mood boosting properties do so by prompting the body to create more serotonin, often leading to a euphoric high if too much of the drug is taken. Since trazodone merely helps the body hold its own serotonin rather than creating new quantities, it is a safer alternative and cannot produce a high. It does help create a relaxing mood though, which can lead to addiction if a person learns to depend on it for anxiety or insomnia.
Trazodone is only available in a pill form, although the pills have normal release or extended release variations. It is not typically abused recreationally, although patients that are overeager to experience its effects may crush the pill into a powder to speed up its effects by snorting or injecting it.
Brand Names and Street Names
Since trazodone has been on the market for some time, it is available in similar formulas under a number of different brand names. While this is great news for consumers since the competition reduces the price of the drug, it also makes it harder to identify when it is being misused.
The primary brand names for trazodone are:
Taking trazodone without a prescription is illegal, but still a regular occurrence. In these instances, users need to either steal the drug from someone with a prescription or work with a drug dealer to acquire it. To avoid drawing suspicion from the police, both parties frequently rely on street names for the drug instead of its real name.
Knowing these alternate names is a valuable way to spot when trazodone is being abused since no individual with a legitimate prescription would have reason to hide.
The most common nicknames for trazodone include:
It is important to keep in mind that no list of street names can feature every possible option. New ones are constantly being developed, and some of them are too obscure to attract much recognition. For this reason, a person should not rely on nicknames alone if they are hoping to spot a problem, but instead learn other important details of the drug, like its side effects.
How Addictive is Trazodone?
While trazodone is not considered a particularly addictive drug, that does not mean it is impossible to form an addiction to it. Although trazodone is not classified as a controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, it is still restricted for prescription use only. This is done to reduce the chances of it being abused.
When people develop a dependence to trazodone, it is usually because they began taking it out of a genuine need. From there they either wind up taking too much by mistake or have recognized how it helped with their condition and began to rely on it. For instance, a person struggling with depression might have begun taking it whenever they felt sad, even if the sadness was minor and not enough to warrant the use of trazodone. In either case, the individual takes too much of the drug and begins to develop a tolerance to it, at which point encourages them to take more than prescribed to feel the same effects.
Once a person has become willing to take more of a substance to fight their tolerance, it becomes an uphill battle. Eventually, this reaches a point where tolerance turns to dependence, and the person has re-trained themselves to rely on the drug. If use stops abruptly, they will face symptoms of withdrawal like heightened anxiety until their next dose. This locks users into a cycle of addiction that becomes harder to break away from the longer that the drug is being used.
Signs & Symptoms of Trazodone Addiction
In many cases, an individual may not realize that they have an addiction, or they may choose to hide the symptoms of it. This can be for many different reasons beyond simply wanting to continue taking the drug. For example, they could be ashamed of their addiction or fearful of how their family and friends will react to it. With all these situations, it is valuable to be aware of the side effects of taking trazodone since that is the easiest way to spot when someone is abusing the drug in time to get them help.
The symptoms for trazodone will start out minor and be relatively easy to hide, but as substance abuse continues, they will grow more pronounced. New symptoms will also begin to appear, and at later stages these can be so severe that they may cause permanent damage.
The primary side effects of trazodone to watch out for include:
Low blood pressure
Mood swings (especially irritability and restlessness)
If an individual mixes trazodone with other substances that increase serotonin levels in the body, there is also the risk of developing serotonin syndrome. This leads to hallucinations and agitation, and depending on the level of serotonin, can be life-threatening.
Demographics and Statistics
To better understand the risks of trazodone, it is useful to know how prevalent and accessible it is in society. The higher these numbers are, the more chances there are for a person to develop an addiction to the drug.
A few statistics include:
- From 2007 to 2017, the yearly count for trazodone prescriptions rose from below 15 million to almost 30 million
- During the same time, the “out-of-pocket” cost of the drug dropped from around $10 to around $3
- In 2006, trazodone was 48th most common prescription in the United States
- By 2016, it had risen to 24th
Treatment for Trazodone Addiction
Once a person has developed an addiction to trazodone, it can feel impossible to quit using the drug. Such feelings can seem especially strong once withdrawal begins to take effect, often forcing the individual back into their harmful routine. Nevertheless, with proper treatment, sobriety is always possible, for anyone.
While the treatment process will vary for each person that seeks help, there are several approaches one can expect during rehab. Depending on the individual needs of the patient, treatment may begin with the detox process, otherwise known as detoxification. During this stage of care, all addictive substances are slowing removed from the body under medical supervision. This is to ensure that any potential withdrawal symptoms or other harmful health conditions are properly treated in a safe and timely fashion.
Once detox has been completed, the patient can move onto residential care, where they will participate in an array of programming options. This can include group therapy, one-on-one counseling, family education, relapse prevention and recreational therapy. These modalities are essential to ongoing recovery, as they allow the person to begin confronting their disease head-on, addressing underlying causes and behavioral patterns that influence addiction. Before leaving rehab, each patient will have a carefully constructed aftercare plan that is most conducive to their recovery efforts. This can include extended care, family therapy and vocational resources.
Get Help Today for Trazodone Abuse
If you or a loved one is currently in need of help for a substance use disorder, do not wait any longer.
At Brookdale, it is our goal to help guide each person toward a life…recovered, by offering the highest quality of treatment services in the most compassionate way possible. There is hope for recovery, and it begins with a call to our trusted Admissions Specialists today.
Call us now at 855-575-1292.