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Understanding Lexapro Withdrawal and How to Get Help for An Addiction

If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder around or since 2002, then chances are pretty good that you have been prescribed Lexapro.

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This drug has been widely prescribed since its release date during that year, and it is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that’s used to improve mood and reduce the feelings and symptoms of anxiety. It’s also used in the treatment of depression in many cases, and it can be helpful in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Lexapro is sold under the names Cipralex, Escitalopram and Nexito.

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Lexapro and its Effects on the Brain

It’s possible that you had your blood tested to determine your serotonin levels, and when they were low, your doctor diagnosed you with depression or anxiety. Even though there is still a great deal of research that has to be completed on serotonin, doctors have been using SSRIs like Lexapro for years as a way to improve serotonin levels. They work very well, but the psychological effects they produce can quickly become addictive.

Lexapro in and of itself is not considered to be an addictive medication, which is most likely one of the reasons it’s prescribed so often by doctors. However, psychological addiction is a very real concern with this drug, as well as with other SSRIs. It’s possible that you’ve been using it for so long that you now believe you need to take more of it just to feel normal. If it’s been a while since your last dose, you may even start to feel Lexapro withdrawal symptoms, and these can be very bothersome to most people. In addition, they often encourage prolonged use and an even deeper addictive mindset.


Understanding Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

Lexapro withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can come and go once the drug is stopped. It is never recommended to stop taking Lexapro on your own without being under the supervision of either a doctor or Lexapro addiction professionals who can intervene in the event of a medical emergency. Even so, people who accidentally become addicted to Lexapro will often stop it abruptly once they realize that they’re addicted. Some of the most common Lexapro withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Experiencing flu-like symptoms
  • Frequent and painful headaches
  • Getting a high fever
  • Stomach upset, including nausea and vomiting
  • An increase in anxiety and depression
  • Digestion issues such as diarrhea

In addition, Lexapro addiction behaviors can become more prominent during Lexapro withdrawal stages, and these behaviors can include mood swings, irritability and bouts of extreme sadness.

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Lexapro Abuse vs. Lexapro Addiction: Symptoms and Behaviors to Watch for

Just like with any other medication or drug, a Lexapro addiction always starts with Lexapro abuse. This drug should only be taken for a short period of time, but quite often, it’s prescribed as a part of patients’ normal medication regimens. It’s very easy to develop a tolerance for this drug, which can lead to people increasing their dosages on their own, taking their medication before it’s time to take it again, or even experimenting with different ways to take it; such as crushing and snorting the tablets.

After a short period of abuse, a Lexapro addiction is almost certain because you begin to feel as though you’re dependent upon it in order to get through your day, or even just to feel more like yourself. If you’re not sure if you’re addicted to Lexapro, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I having trouble sleeping at night?
  • Am I trying to hide my increased Lexapro use from the people who care about me?
  • Am I taking more than the recommended amount of Lexapro every day?
  • Have I experienced sexual dysfunction with Lexapro?
  • Have I attempted to get prescriptions for Lexapro from multiple physicians?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have an addiction. A Lexapro addiction can be dangerous, but it’s not impossible to recover from as long as you have the right kind of professional support.

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Avoiding Severe Lexapro Withdrawal: Lexapro Addiction Treatment for Recovery

While you may need to endure some Lexapro withdrawal symptoms, it is possible to minimize them if you take the proper steps. First of all, this medication should never be stopped abruptly. It should always be tapered down so that your brain can adjust to the changes. This alone will help with Lexapro withdrawal symptoms, but additionally, drug detox is often quite useful as well. Drug detox helps your body to expel the toxins that are left behind by Lexapro.

After you’ve tapered your use of the medication and you’ve gone through drug detox, Lexapro addiction treatment centers can help you with overcoming the psychological part of the addiction.

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Finding the Best Lexapro Rehab Programs

It makes sense that you would only want to choose from among the best Lexapro rehab programs as you think about quitting your use of this dangerous medication. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we’re proud to offer these services to people in the Pacific Northwest, and we can help you. Please contact us.