“It has put my life on hold,” said 19-year-old Dorothy (name changed) of San Francisco as she hunched over a study table, preparing herself to draw a drop of medicine from a vial with a little dropper. She has been adhering to this daily ritual of extracting miniscule doses of the antidepressant she was hooked on for nearly four years with desperate attempts to quit. She struggled for almost nine months, trying to cope with withdrawal symptoms like weariness, dizziness, and mental chaos, while weaning herself off the antidepressant by taking smaller doses.
Long-term use of antidepressants is a major health concern in the U.S. According to an analysis of the official data by The New York Times, almost 25 million adults have been using antidepressants for at least two years, a sharp rise of 60 percent since 2010. Also, more than 15 million Americans have been taking antidepressant medications for nearly five years. According to a government survey, antidepressant use went up by 65 percent during 1999 to 2014.
Antidepressants are intended for short-term use, but recent years have seen an alarming increase in the number of long-term users nationwide. Though antidepressants have helped millions of individuals cope with depression and anxiety, creating milestones in psychiatric treatment, long-term use of the drugs has led to undesirable dependence, preventing many users from quitting because of the withdrawal symptoms. Overdosing on depressants can cause excessive daytime sedation, drug-fueled delirium, low blood pressure, disorientation, cognitive impairments, and breathing problems. At this moment, the need of the hour is drug abuse rehabilitation center.
Sadly, neither drug manufacturers nor federal regulators have even considered the addictive nature of antidepressants because they felt the drugs did more good than harm to users. Experts attribute the high rates of addiction to the lack of information about the addictive nature of antidepressants and the woes of withdrawal. Doctors should tell their patients about the addictive nature of such medications.
Moreover, patients experiencing withdrawal expressed frustration at the lack of professional support by health care providers to manage withdrawal. “The likelihood of developing discontinuation syndrome varies by individuals, the treatment and dosage prescribed,” said Thomas Biegi, a spokesperson for Pfizer that produces antidepressants like Zoloft and Effexor. Biegi urges patients to cooperate with their doctors while they are weaned off the drug by administering shrinking doses.
Fighting addiction to antidepressants
Although antidepressants are life-saving medications that are effective to combat mental health conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, and a wide range of other mental health ailments, one cannot ignore the fact that misuse of these medications can result in dependence. Non-medical use or abuse of antidepressants or any other prescription drugs can lead to full-scale addiction. Experts say antidepressants are not meant to cause addiction. However, consistent abuse could as well trigger dependency, adversely affecting the user’s psychological stability and physical well-being. The key to break free from addiction to antidepressants is to seek drug abuse help at a reputed drug abuse rehabilitation center.
If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction to depressants or any other prescription sedatives, contact the Sovereign Health of California. Specialists at our California Depressants Treatment Centers are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe customized treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction based on a patient’s requirement. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representative for more information about our evidence-based depressants treatment in California.
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