Zoloft Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment
Zoloft is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat a variety of mood disorders. The abuse potential of this drug is not high, but many individuals who stop taking Zoloft may experience unpleasant or even severe symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms could lead an individual to abuse this drug or even become addicted.
Sertraline is an antidepressant medication sold under the brand name Zoloft and also Lustral. Zoloft is part of a group of drugs classified as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat a wide range of mood disorders including clinical depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress, and in some cases, symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.
The goal of the medication is to regulate thoughts, energy levels, restore appetite, improve sleep, and maintain mood. It was introduced to the American market in 1991 and by 2011, was one of the top two prescribed antidepressants sold.
Although commonly prescribed for depression, SSRI drugs have shown only moderate efficacy in treating the disorder; they are more effective in treating panic and anxiety disorders. The drug is not shown to be as effective as other available treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Zoloft can lead to suicidal thoughts in children and young adults and carries an FDA mandated suicide warning for patients 24 years and younger.
The drug is typically ingested by mouth in tablet or liquid form, but those who abuse Zoloft may crush the drug and snort it.
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How Zoloft Works
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft work by blocking reuptake of serotonin neurotransmitters by nerve cells, leaving an abundance of mood-regulating serotonin available in the brain. While it is not clearly understood whether serotonin levels in depressed individuals are low due to depression or to lack of serotonin, increasing serotonin does appear effective in mood stabilization, as is seen when Zoloft is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Zoloft isn’t considered highly addictive, but about a fifth of individuals prescribed SSRIs show markedly severe withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to get off the drug. These symptoms are similar to a bad flu virus and include nausea, achiness, fatigue, blurred vision, dizziness, and insomnia. They can also suffer from suicidal thoughts or may attempt suicide.
Even when weaning off the of the drug, those more sensitive to withdrawal will take substantially longer to taper.
Tendency toward addiction is sometimes linked to depression and other mood disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 20 percent of Americans who suffer from a mood disorder abuse drugs. The opposite is also true. About 20 percent of people who abuse drugs suffer from a mood disorder. Apart from depression, individuals raised in dysfunctional or drug-addicted families, and those with a genetic predisposition toward addiction may exhibit addictive tendencies in the form of If one is good; two is better way of thinking. This is one form of psychological dependency on Zoloft.
Zoloft dependency can also occur when the body becomes tolerant of the drug and the user increases his or her dosage to feel “normal.” If someone has suffered with depression, anxiety, or another debilitating mental disorder, experiencing a recurrence of symptoms while on the drug may be a sign of dependency.
Symptoms of Zoloft Addiction
Occasionally, use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft can lead to serotonin syndrome, a condition in which nerve cells in the brain are hyperactivated from the sudden increase in serotonin. Most often this syndrome goes unnoticed with minor side effects, but in rare cases, it is fatal. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include rapid heart rate, shivering, sweating, and involuntary twitching.
Some side effects from Zoloft tend to be more severe than other SSRIs. These include diarrhea and psychiatric side effects like anxiety and insomnia. Nearly 70 percent of men experienced trouble with ejaculation after being prescribed Zoloft, compared to 18 percent prior to taking the drug.
Zoloft Side Effects
- loss of appetite
- muscle spasms or tremors
- sexual dysfunction
- excessive sweating
More severe side effects that require immediate medical attention include seizures, disorientation or confusion, heart arrhythmias, and muscle stiffness. Some rarer long-term side effects include liver damage.
Withdrawal From Zoloft
As with any antidepressant, withdrawal should be tapered and monitored closely. The brain functions differently while on the drug and sudden withdrawal can generate very sudden shifts in brain chemistry, leading to some unpleasant side effects.
Zoloft Addiction Treatment Is Within Reach
If you are feeling out of control and addicted to Zoloft, it is time to get the help you deserve. RehabCenter.net can connect you with the professional treatment services and resources to guide you toward a life free from dependency. If you have suffered from a mood disorder, it is equally important to address this medical issue. Contact RehabCenter.net today and learn more about treatment options available in your area specific to your needs.Article Sources
Anxiety and Depression Association of America - AADA Home