Can You Get Addicted to Antidepressants?

Dealing with a medical condition such as depression can be quite stressful, and sometimes even debilitating. However, antidepressants are known to provide significant symptomatic relief and offer a way to manage this difficult illness. But can you get addicted to antidepressants? To help you understand how this medication works, we’ll provide you with all of the answers, below.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

Antidepressants Are Not Addictive

Antidepressants are not considered addictive substances. Unlike other drugs, antidepressants do not cause any euphoric effects or cravings. Since they don’t act in an addictive manner, people who are abusing antidepressants don’t exhibit addictive behaviors such as compulsive drug use, loss of control over drug use, using despite harm, and cravings.

Antidepressant Dependence

Although you can’t develop an addiction to antidepressants, it is possible to develop a dependency. Drug dependence is defined as a bodily adaptation to a substance due to chronic use. When you’re dependent on a drug and you quit taking it suddenly, you will likely experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Over time, your body may even develop a high tolerance for the drug, meaning you’ll require more of the substance to feel its effects.

Antidepressant Abuse

Although antidepressants do not create any sort of euphoric effect, some people do still abuse this type of medication. As we’ve mentioned, if you become dependent on the drug, your tolerance may increase. This is often what leads to antidepressant abuse, or taking more than the recommended dosage. People may do this because the prescribed amount no longer works for them and they no longer get the symptomatic relief they’re seeking.

Some users are simply misinformed, believing that because antidepressants are prescribed to improve mood, they can get high from them when taken in large doses. This, of course, is not true.

Others abuse antidepressants due to impatience. Often times, antidepressants do not begin to work until they have been in your system for at least a month. During this time, users may increase their dose to get the drug to work faster—however, increasing the dosage does not affect how quickly the drugs begin to take effect.

People sometimes drink alcohol after taking an antidepressant to try and amplify its effects. Doing so creates feelings of drowsiness, dizziness, and poor coordination.

Depression & Other Types of Addiction

More importantly, those who are diagnosed with depression are at a much higher risk for developing an addiction to other substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, painkillers, and more. They will often turn to these substances if they do not feel that their antidepressant medication is working. It’s important that you’re aware of this risk.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

You cannot get addicted to antidepressants. However, if you believe you may be addicted to another substance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Myrtle Beach Recovery. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your path to sobriety.