September 21, 2023

Trazodone Addiction: Signs, Withdrawal, & Treatment

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Trazodone is a prescription medication used to manage major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, or depression co-occurring with anxiety. While it is typically considered safe and there is no trazodone high, misuse of the medication can lead to addiction or dependency. Deviating from prescribed guidelines increases the risk of withdrawal symptoms or overdosing. Fortunately, various treatment options are accessible for addressing trazodone abuse and dependency.

Is Trazodone Addictive?

Extended use of trazodone can lead to dependence. Dependence occurs when a person needs trazodone to function normally and experiences withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the medication. While trazodone itself may not be considered addictive in the traditional sense of triggering cravings, abrupt cessation can result in distressing withdrawal symptoms. Those who want to discontinue trazodone should work with a healthcare provider on a tapering plan to safely end treatment.

Continuing trazodone use to avoid withdrawal symptoms can kickstart a problematic cycle. In severe cases, individuals with dependence or addiction may seek multiple prescriptions from different doctors or obtain the medication illegally. Fortunately, addiction to prescription drugs like Trazodone can be addressed through detox and ongoing therapy at a rehab center.

Trazodone withdrawal may manifest as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, with symptoms resembling anxiety and depression. These symptoms arise when the use of medication is abruptly halted due to changes in serotonin receptors. The brain reduces the number of serotonin receptors in response to trazodone, leading to a temporary deficiency in serotonin activity when the drug is discontinued. Although withdrawal symptoms do not necessarily indicate addiction, they do suggest physical dependence on the medication.

To minimize the side effects of stopping trazodone, individuals should consistently take trazodone as directed without missing doses. If they wish to discontinue or switch medications, consulting a medical professional is essential to explore options. The safest way to terminate treatment involves a tapering strategy under close medical supervision, gradually reducing the prescribed dose over time. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome symptoms can emerge after 24 hours and may last for 2 to 3 weeks.

a man stands on a mountain representing trazodone withdrawal

Signs of Trazodone Addiction

Signs of trazodone addiction can be subtle but may become increasingly evident as dependency develops. Some common signs and behaviors associated with trazodone addiction include:

  • Compulsive use: An individual may find themselves taking trazodone more frequently or at higher doses than prescribed, driven by a craving for the drug or a perceived need for its effects.
  • Doctor shopping: People addicted to trazodone may visit multiple doctors or clinics to obtain additional prescriptions. They may be dishonest about their medical history or current medications to secure more of the drug.
  • Social isolation: As addiction progresses, an individual might withdraw from social activities, hobbies, and relationships, preferring to spend time alone.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Someone with trazodone addiction may neglect their work, school, or family responsibilities, leading to a decline in their overall functioning.
  • Increased tolerance: Over time, the body may become tolerant to the effects of trazodone, requiring higher doses to achieve the desired outcome. This can contribute to a cycle of escalating use.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: When not using trazodone, individuals addicted to the drug may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, agitation, insomnia, or flu-like symptoms. These symptoms often drive continued use.
  • Financial problems: Supporting a trazodone addiction can be costly. Addicted individuals may spend a significant amount of money on obtaining the drug, potentially leading to financial difficulties.
  • Mood changes: Trazodone addiction can lead to mood swings, irritability, and increased anxiety when not using the drug.
  • Secrecy: Addicted individuals often become secretive about their trazodone recreational use, hiding their pills or bottles and being evasive about their medication schedule.
  • Loss of control: Despite attempts to cut down or quit, someone with trazodone addiction may find it difficult to control their use of the drug.

Addiction is a complex issue, and not everyone will display all of these signs. If you or someone you know is struggling with trazodone addiction, seek professional help to address the underlying causes and develop a plan for recovery.

Trazodone Withdrawals

Withdrawal from trazodone can occur when someone who has been taking the medication for an extended period decides to stop using it abruptly or significantly reduces their dosage. While trazodone is generally not considered addictive in the same way as some other drugs, it can lead to physical dependence, and discontinuing it suddenly can result in a range of withdrawal symptoms. Some common trazodone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches

Trazodone withdrawal symptoms can vary in intensity and duration depending on factors such as dosage, duration of use, and overall health. To minimize the discomfort of withdrawal and reduce the risk of severe symptoms, discontinue Trazodone under the guidance of a healthcare professional. A healthcare provider can create a tapering schedule that gradually reduces the dose, helping the individual transition off the medication more smoothly. This approach can make the withdrawal process more manageable and safer. If you or someone you know is considering discontinuing trazodone, seek medical advice to ensure a safe and effective transition.

FAQs

Is trazodone habit-forming?

Trazodone is generally considered non-habit-forming when used as prescribed for its intended purposes, such as treating depression or insomnia.

Is trazodone addictive for sleep?

While trazodone is not typically addictive for sleep when taken as directed by a healthcare provider, misuse or abrupt discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Can I stop trazodone cold turkey?

Can you just stop taking trazodone, then? Stopping Trazodone abruptly, especially after prolonged use, is generally not recommended, as it can result in withdrawal symptoms. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on discontinuation.

Can you withdraw from trazodone?

Yes, withdrawal symptoms may occur when discontinuing trazodone, especially if it has been used regularly over an extended period. These symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, and irritability.

Is trazodone a narcotic?

Is trazodone an opiate (narcotic)? Trazodone is not classified as a narcotic or opiate. It is a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of depression and, in some cases, insomnia.

Treatment for Trazodone Addiction

Treating trazodone addiction effectively involves comprehensively addressing both the psychological and physical and aspects of addiction. Here are some common components of treatment:

Medical detox

Individuals with trazodone addiction may require a medically supervised detoxification process. This helps with the management of withdrawal symptoms and streamlines the removal of the substance from the system.

Inpatient or outpatient rehab

Depending on the severity of the addiction, individuals may benefit from inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs. Inpatient programs provide 24/7 supervision and support, while outpatient programs offer flexibility for those with less severe addictions.

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and CM (contingency management), help individuals identify and change addictive behaviors and thought patterns.

Group therapy

Group therapy sessions provide a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, learn from others, and receive encouragement from peers facing similar challenges.

Family therapy

It can be highly beneficial to involve family members in therapy. This can help repair relationships, improve communication, and create a support system for the individual in recovery.

Support groups

Participating in peer-support groups such as NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery can provide motivation, accountability, and ongoing peer support for maintaining sobriety.

MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

Healthcare providers may use medications to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings during recovery.

Aftercare planning

A crucial component of treatment is developing an aftercare plan. This may include ongoing therapy, regular check-ins with a healthcare provider, and strategies for relapse prevention.

It is always advisable for individuals struggling with trazodone addiction to seek professional help. The specific treatment plan will be tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances. Addiction treatment is a journey, and ongoing support is often necessary for successful recovery.

an image of Gratitude Lodge's trazodone addiction treatment center

Get Treatment for Trazodone Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

If you have developed an addiction to trazadone, initiate a full recovery at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. Our prescription drug rehabs are located in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA. All treatment facilities are welcoming, inclusive, and pet-friendly.

We offer a supervised medical detox program to help you taper off trazodone and mitigate severe withdrawal. Following detox, you can transition into ongoing inpatient treatment to address the psychological component of addiction to prescription medications.

Call 888-861-1658 today and reclaim your life from addiction to prescription medications like trazodone.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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