Understanding Zoloft Abuse and Addiction: Is Recovery Possible?

Zoloft (whose generic name is sertraline) is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders.

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It is an SSRI and it is also sold under the brand name Lustral. Patients who need to take Zoloft may be diagnosed with a variety of conditions that fall under the headings of depression and anxiety, and these conditions include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Premenstrual syndrome in severe cases
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • A variety of mood disorders

Zoloft has been very useful in helping individuals to regulate their thought patterns. It’s also helped to improve energy levels and appetite levels for many people. Those who take it often experience better sleep too. Zoloft was one of the most prescribed antidepressants by the year 2011, and it was introduced as an option for those suffering with the above disorders in 1991.

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The Dangers of Zoloft: Warnings and Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms

Because Zoloft has been shown to be so effective for those who have anxiety, panic attacks, or anxiety related disorders, it is frequently prescribed for long term use. Many drugs that fall into the SSRI classification are not considered to be addictive, however, studies that have been done on those who take Zoloft have shown the opposite to be true with this particular medication.

The Zoloft withdrawal symptoms that are experienced by users once they try to stop taking Zoloft can be severe, and they can develop even when the medication has been properly tapered down. Zoloft withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Feeling as though you have a bad case of the flu
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Achiness over your entire body
  • Experiencing severe fatigue
  • Blurriness of your vision
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Experiencing insomnia

It’s also common for people to begin to feel suicidal, and some people even attempt to commit suicide when stopping Zoloft.


Zoloft Abuse: Is it the Only Precursor to Addiction?

In most cases, prescription drug addictions form because of the fact that the person using them decided to abuse them, but that’s not always the case. In the case of someone who is abusing Zoloft, they may take higher amounts of the drug, they may take it more frequently, or they may crush the tablets and snort them instead of taking them orally. Even so, unlike other SSRIs, when you take Zoloft, you don’t always have to abuse it before you form an addiction to it.

That being said, it is possible to develop a tolerance to Zoloft, which can lead to increased dosage amounts (either by the doctor or by the patient). Users may increase how much or how often they take Zoloft frequently, and once that occurs, stopping it results in withdrawal than can last a long time.

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Are You Addicted to Zoloft?: Recognizing Zoloft Addiction Symptoms

Perhaps you’ve been taking Zoloft for quite some time, and you’re not sure if you’re addicted to it or not. It might surprise you to learn that Zoloft addiction symptoms and Zoloft addiction behaviors can often mimic the reasons for using this medication in the first place. In fact, many SSRIs operate the same way. These symptoms can include:

  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Demonstrating aggression
  • Feeling that you’re depressed
  • Exhibiting anxiety or having panic attacks
  • Being unable to fall asleep at night

It is also possible for you to experience serotonin syndrome when you’ve become addicted to Zoloft. Most of the time when this occurs, people don’t notice. However, indicators can be fatal, and these include increased heart rate, twitching and shivering.

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What to do if You Think You’re Addicted to Zoloft

It might make you nervous if you believe that you’re addicted to Zoloft, especially once you realize that stopping the medication can be so difficult. Even so, please don’t worry because as long as you’re working with professionals who have experience in this type of addiction treatment, you will be able to stop it successfully.

Most patients report that if they try to stop Zoloft abruptly, their withdrawal symptoms are unbearable. That’s why it’s always best to taper off this particular drug. You may need to follow a tapering schedule that lasts longer than other drugs’ schedules, but doing so will definitely lessen the effects of withdrawal.

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How the Best Zoloft Addiction Treatment Programs Can Help You Recover

Once you’re able to come off Zoloft, it will be important for you to go through drug detox to improve your overall health. You could also have some toxins that need to be removed from your body. Once drug detox has been completed, going to Zoloft addiction treatment will help with your addiction, but it will also address the reasons for it. That is precisely the kind of help you need in order to heal from a Zoloft addiction.

At Northpoint Recovery, we specialize in helping people in the Pacific Northwest who are currently suffering from all kinds of addictions. We offer some of the top Zoloft addiction treatment services in the area, and we would be happy to talk with you. Please contact us to learn more.