Hooked on Mirtazapine: Addiction to Antidepressants

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Hooked on Mirtazapine: Addiction to Antidepressants

There is a new drug that has been leading unsuspecting people down the path of addiction and it is called Mirtazapine.

When we think of drug addiction we tend to imagine hidden bottles of alcohol, hypodermic needles, and crack pipes. We would be correct to think these associations are linked to epidemics currently happening in the United States. However, a growing issue that has largely flown under the radar is the widespread use and abuse of antidepressants, specifically Mirtazapine. This pharmaceutical drug also goes by the name Remeron and is used as an antidepressant and in some cases to treat insomnia.

What is Mirtazapine?

Antidepressants have helped those suffering from moderate to severe depression for many years now. There is no doubt that these drugs can have real medical benefits and are a helpful tool in curbing cases of severe depression or other mood disorders. Like any artificial chemical, there are typically unwanted side effects that can occur, including the intentional misuse of the drug.

In the context of identifying and recovering from Mirtazapine abuse, it can be a difficult to distinguish exactly where one stands. For instance, heroin addiction compared to taking Mirtazapine is rather cut and dry and makes for an unfair comparison.

A heroin addict compulsively seeks heroin’s powerful effect on the brain not only because of the physically dependence that is associated with it but also because of the intense pleasure that the drug brings the user. Because heroin is a schedule I narcotic it is illegal to buy or sell and almost always requires one to knowingly break the law to get their high. Eventually, a run in with the police, an intuition, or even an overdose occurs for the person using heroin and they are faced with the fact head-on; they are an addict.

With Mirtazapine, it’s more complicated and less obvious. A doctor you may have trusted your entire life prescribed you Remeron, you pick your prescription up at a legitimate pharmacy and take the medication as prescribed, you allow some weeks to go by before the drug begins to work as an antidepressant. Despite it working properly to treat your depression, there are side effects such as weight gain, anxiety, maybe even suicidal thoughts. With the risk outweighing the good you decide to stop taking mirtazapine or switch to another antidepressant. Then the withdraw symptoms begin.

What is Mirtazapine

What is Mirtazapine?

Let’s take a step back. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant classified as a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NaSSA) which specifically affects the serotonin and noradrenaline neurotransmitters. When taking this drug as an antidepressant, the effects could be felt as soon as a week or two into the treatment. The full effect of the medicine may take longer. In recent years, it has also been used for a much wider variety of conditions, ranging from other mood disorders to insomnia. There is no doubt that mirtazapine can be used in the treatment of a wide array of conditions, however this often comes at a cost.  The potential for addiction and the unintended side effects often lead users down a dark path that is difficult to return from.

Is Mirtazapine Like Xanax?

When it comes to Xanax vs. Mirtazapine, they are not the same. They’re actually two different medications that are used to treat different mental health conditions. Xanax is typically used to treat anxiety; although it may have some other uses as well. Mirtazapine is frequently used to treat depression.

The only way these drugs have anything in common is that they affect the same parts of the brain. They just do so in different ways.

Is This Drug a Controlled Substance?

No, Remeron is not a controlled substance. This means that the federal government does not recognize it as having a high risk of abuse. Unfortunately, this drug can be abused, and it often is.

How Much Does Remeron Cost?

Mirtazapine is not an expensive medication at all. Of course, the price of this drug will vary, depending on the dose. Prices can range between $30 and $65. When purchasing the brand name, Remeron, the price is likely to be a bit higher. Some patients like to save money by purchasing larger amounts at one time. Because this drug isn’t controlled that is allowed to be done.

Prices on the street can fluctuate, depending on the demand for a drug. If you were to purchase this medication illegally, you may pay as much as $2.10 per pill. Again, this also depends on the strength you’re buying.

Can This Medication be Used to Treat Addiction?

In some cases, Remeron has been used to treat addictions. Research has shown that it can be quite helpful in treating some types of substance abuse problems.

Remeron in Treating Meth Addiction

It might be interesting to think that an addictive drug has a place in treating addiction. However, this one has shown to be quite effective.

In one study in California, researchers brought in 60 men who were regular meth users. All of them expressed an interest in cutting down on their use of this drug. Many wanted to quit using altogether. The study took place over 12 weeks, and in addition to Remeron, the participants also received counseling. The Mirtazapine group was given 15mg of Remeron for the first week, and 30mg going forward in the study. The placebo group, of course, received a placebo.

By the end of the study 63% of the placebo group had urine tests that were positive for meth. Only 44% of the Remeron group had positive urine tests. This indicates that this drug does work in treating meth addiction.

Mirtazapine for Alcohol Addiction Recovery

There are many medications for alcoholism, and they work by blocking the S3 receptor. This is the receptor that has a gateway for dopamine. Interestingly enough, Mirtazapine is also an S3 blocking medication. This means that it can be useful for someone who is an alcoholic who wants to stop drinking.

However, you should know that medication therapy isn’t enough. Before taking any medicine for alcoholism, please talk with a professional.

Mirtazapine and Cocaine Addiction Recovery

The use of Mirtazapine among cocaine users isn’t quite as promising as with the other previously mentioned drugs. It can be helpful, but studies have shown that it’s no different from a placebo in reducing the use of cocaine.

Even so, this drug may still have some benefits. When someone stops using cocaine, they will often suffer from insomnia. Mirtazapine may be used to treat depression in recovering cocaine addicts, but it also helps them sleep.

How Can I Quit Using Mirtazapine?

How Can I Quit Using Mirtazapine?

A drug detox facility may be necessary in order to quit mirtazapine. If you are somebody who cannot stop abusing mirtazapine, you need to speak with your doctor immediately. The reality is that for most mirtazapine users, stopping on our own is not a possibility. Your doctor may try prescribing you smaller and smaller doses to limit the effects of the withdrawal symptoms, but for many, it is too much to bear and therefore need to be admitted into a drug rehabilitation center to be kept under close observation. This makes the process of coming off the drug much easier, safer, and more comfortable. Proper medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms can be administered to ease the discomfort of the detox process and physicians and clinicians will be available 24/7 to help you in any way possible.

As overwhelmingly impossible as it may seem, recovery from mirtazapine addiction IS possible. With the right strategy and resources, anybody can kick their dependence to mirtazapine and go on to live a happy and healthy life.

What are the Dosages for Mirtazapine?

The size of the dosage can vary considerably with mirtazapine 15 mg/30 mg being the most common. There is also 7.5 and 45 mg sized pills depending the condition being treated and the severity of the condition. Another major reason for the drastically different sizes in dosages is that in order to try to come off of the drug, mirtazapine users would have to ween themselves off instead of quitting cold turkey. If somebody tried to abruptly stop taking the drug after prolonged use, the resulting withdrawal would be so intense that they would likely not be able to bear it. The amount of mirtazapine taken by an individual along with the amount of time a user has been taking the drug are two of the biggest factors often lead unsuspecting people to dependence and addiction.

Different Ways that Mirtazapine is Used

Different Ways that Mirtazapine is Used

Mirtazapine for sleep is becoming more and more common in addition to its use as an antidepressant. Since its introduction in 1996, Mirtazapine has seen widespread adoption in the mental health industry for its effectiveness in treating mild to severe depression and has also been shown to also be effective in treating anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and low appetite. It has been shown to be able to treat a wide range of various mental and mood disorders in addition to low appetite and insomnia very effectively. It’s due to these wide range of applications that so many people become susceptible to developing a problem.

The Side Effects of Mirtazapine

The Side Effects of Mirtazapine

Like other drugs used for treating depression, there are numerous side effects with mirtazapine that range from being troublesome to life-threatening. Being aware and taking note of any of these symptoms is a crucial part of identify if there is a problem.

  • Increased Appetite
  • Sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Weight Gain
  • Peripheral Edema
  • Increased Cholesterol
  • Dizziness
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Nausea and Vomiting

These can be serious conditions and people who take mirtazapine often do so while risking the overall quality of their life. While it is not unusual to experience these side effects, they can be unpredictable and seemingly random in their occurrence. For many, these side effects can be too much to handle and therefore decide to stop using the drug. Suddenly, we are faced with the reality of our situation. Not only are we now dealing with these issues, we also now have to deal with something even more severe; we can’t stop.

Side Effects of Mirtazapine

Mirtazapine Addiction and What it Can Do to Us

Despite how effective the drug is at treating depression and numerous other conditions, it has several major drawbacks. Chiefly among them is the fact that mirtazapine has the potential to cause the patient to become physically dependent. We may try to wean ourselves off the drug after years of use, only to find that something does not feel quite right. Our depression is more severe than it was before even beginning treatment with the drug. We may have frequent recurrent suicidal thoughts or other signs of an extreme bout of depression, possibly lasting weeks. The chances of this happening are incredibly low, but for the people living with mirtazapine addiction, it is a fact that is all too real. What some have found is that they are unable to function with the side effects, cannot manage to successfully detox, and not able to live without the untreated depression, often resulting in suicide or other act of violence.

What is The Remeron High Like?

The high experienced from mirtazapine is very different in comparison to what we often associate with street drugs or alcohol intoxication. There is no euphoric rush or incessant need to use more and more of the drug even after getting high. Rather, the mirtazapine high can be said to be more of a feeling of relief for the addicted person. Users become so physically dependent on mirtazapine that they develop withdrawal symptoms, effectively crippling them at any attempt to reduce or cease their usage. They become trapped in a cycle from which they cannot escape, never able to fully break free from the grip that mirtazapine has on their life. For the people who live with dependence, this is just as terrible to being hooked on heroin or cocaine.

Where do Addicts Get Their Fix?

Mirtazapine is almost never sold on the street. Rather, most addicted people develop their habit after taking the medication as prescribed by a licensed physician. It is only usually after this that people become susceptible to abuse and eventually addiction. Around the country, there have been many rackets referred to in the media as “pill mills” that were making it incredibly easy for anybody to get a prescription for nearly anything they could want. Despite having been cracked down on, we are still feeling the effects of these pill mills today as thousands of mirtazapine addicts are forced to find other, more desperate ways to support their habit.

Am I an Addict?

If you are not sure if you have a problem, ask yourself these questions If you answer yes to more than five of these questions, you may have a problem that needs immediate attention.

Mirtazapine Addiction Treatment

If you believe that you’re addicted to Mirtazapine, you need to consider getting professional help. It may seem to be a fairly benign drug that you can quit taking on your own. Please be assured that doing so could be dangerous for you. Also, you’re not likely to stop using without getting addiction treatment.

For most people with addictions, they have them for particular reasons. Maybe they started using because they were going through a tough time. Or, perhaps they had mental health conditions that led to their addictions. No matter what the reason is for you, you need to find out what it is. This will be done for you during your Mirtazapine rehab stay.

Talking with someone about your addiction is really the only way you can heal. The physical part of your addiction may be well controlled, but you need to do more. Addressing the psychological part will put you on the right path toward real recovery.

A New Kind of Addiction

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of prescription medicine related addictions. Much of the attention has been focused on the opioid crisis that has become so prevalent, often obscuring other dangerous and potentially life threatening drugs out there, drugs like mirtazapine. Making matters worse, many of these addicts feel like there are no resources for addicts like them, but this is simply not the case. Addiction of any kind is terrible and if your life has become unmanageable because of mirtazapine abuse, you do not have to feel trapped. Countless other people have been in your exact same situation and have found a way to stop using and stay stopped.

For more information, click here to speak with one of our addiction professionals.

Full Infographic:

Hooked on Mirtazapine Addiction to Antidepressants

By |2019-10-07T19:36:38+00:00May 3rd, 2017|

About the Author:

Northpoint Recovery
Northpoint Recovery is the premier drug and alcohol rehab, detox, and treatment facility in the Northwestern United States.

5 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Joey April 13, 2018 at 7:49 am

    I am terrified this has happened
    I didn’t even ever get any relief from depression
    I just wanted to be able to sleep
    That’s worn off too
    I realise it’s been two years of hell and worse symptoms
    Doctors I trusted
    now hooked on mirt no job nothing
    It is a scandal
    I am distraught about it
    Betrayed by doctors

  2. Avatar
    Mary April 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I agree fully with the above two comments! 25 years ago my doctor was appalled at my crack addiction. The last 5 years, they’ve been pushing addictive prescription drugs on me. First it was Clonazapam which took me a year to get off. Now it’s Mirtazapine. I asked my doctors if they were addictive, keeping my history of drug abuse in mind. They both said no. My current doctor is the one who is pushing the Mirtazapine. I was almost fooled & got the prescription but I knew something was up and have never took any. You got to watch the doctors nowadays-they want to make all your health decisions for you. I recently had lung cancer and refused chemotherapy. Every doctor I talked to tried to talk me into chemo. You got to stand up for yourself!!!

  3. Avatar
    HMD February 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    I had used the medication for 5 years, recently stopped it gradually and feeling nausea, headache and insomnia. Mirtazapine will kill off your vision and changes your mood like a robot. You don’t feel right and slows down your reactions on everything. I believe that this medicine worse than Heroin. I started to cut off 4 months ago but still struggling in giving it up. I remember that I started from 7 mg and increased to 45 mg and anything I wanted to stop I couldn’t. I recommend anyone, not to take it at all. it gives you sleep but after sometimes, nightmares, muscular weakness and dizziness will harm you more.
    This time I will stop it forever.

    • Northpoint Recovery
      Northpoint Recovery February 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! If you are in need of help getting off the medication give us a call 24/7 at 844-213-0909 or visit us online https://www.northpointrecovery.com/contact-us.php We wish you all the best as you continue your journey!

  4. Avatar
    Ann June 1, 2019 at 8:56 am

    I am off mirtazapine as it did not work for me over two years. 15 months on i am no better and no other drugs have worked. It is a nasty drug and all it did was five me sleep. Does anyone get relief from depression on it?

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