trazodone abuse intervention

Trazodone Abuse:

Trazodone abuse is not common, but it is possible. Trazodone is prescribed for anxiety, depression, or sleeping disorders. Some people can become hooked on Trazodone for the calming effect it has at higher doses. Tree House Recovery can help wean you off Trazodone and learn how to cope without it.

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What is Trazodone: 

Although Trazodone does not produce a euphoric high, it is abusable for the calming effects or cognitive impairment it creates. And like every drug, taking Trazodone creates a tolerance so that more is needed to produce the same effects. Normally, people wishing to abuse Trazodone recreationally will mix it with other substances like alcohol to create a more potent high. 

Trazadone is a prescription anti-depressant medication. Classified as a Serotonin Antagonist Reuptake Inhibitor (SARI), Trazodone works by blocking serotonin receptors in the brain and stopping neurons from reabsorbing serotonin. The result is higher serotonin levels in the brain, which helps prevent the low moods of depression or the high moods of anxiety. Lower doses of Trazodone are also sometimes used as a sleep aid. In many cases, insomnia can be a lingering effect of depression which is why Trazodone can help people regain their energy and not fall back into depression.

Who Abuses Trazodone:

Trazodone is not a frequently abused recreational drug. Few people buy it illegally. Often those who do abuse for the high do so accidentally by taking more than their prescribed dose. Usually, these people are looking for quicker relief from their anxiety or depression. As they get used to the calming high of Trazodone, they may continue the higher dose and build a tolerance causing them to need more to recreate the effects. The result is a physical dependence to the high and acute withdrawals if a dose is missed. 

Trazodone Withdrawal

Trazodone modifies the amount of serotonin in the brain. Since serotonin has many responsibilities, suddenly stopping Trazodone can cause a serotonin imbalance, leading to withdrawal symptoms. Although Trazodone withdrawals are often not life-threatening, they should be taken seriously.

Signs, Symptoms, and Effects of Trazodone Abuse:

The best indication of trazodone addiction is using the drug despite physical, mental, or social consequences. However, since Trazodone increases serotonin, common signs of trazodone abuse are all linked to Serotonin Syndrome (aka Serotonin toxicity), including:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Muscle Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Digestive problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Memory trouble
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Tingling sensations
    Severe Trazodone Side Effects:

    When too much Trazodone is taken for too long, it can create more severe signs of addiction. If you see these effects, it's important to see a medical professional immediately.

    • Shortness of breath
    • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
    • Trouble breathing
    • Chest pain
    • Seizures

    Trazodone Overdose:

    Most Trazodone overdoses are accidental with people taking too much for faster relief from depression or anxiety. Unfortunately this can be fatal without treatment.  READ MORE. 

    Treatment Options:

    Treating Trazodone addiction begins by ending the body's dependence on the drug, then teaching coping skills to replicate Trazodone's mood-stabilizing effects. But someone who's been taking more Trazodone for longer may need longer or higher levels of care.  



    Trazodone works by changing brain chemistry and can cause uncomfortable side effects if stopped suddenly. When transitioning off Trazodone, doctors typically prescribe smaller, more infrequent doses to help the brain gradually re-adjust.


    Residential rehab addresses addictions caused by one or more serious pre-existing mental health conditions, usually at live-in facilities.


    Partial Hospitalization

    PHP is a high level of care designed to treat the cause of a person’s addiction so that they can live independently from substances after finishing treatment.


    IOP is a mid-level of care designed to follow up on and reinforce the habits learned in PHP. It can also be a starting point for milder addictions.


    Aftercare is a low level of care for mild substance abuse or rehab program graduates featuring weekly sessions with a therapist.

    Tree House Recovery Treatment for Drug Abuse:

    Tree House Recovery is about establishing sobriety over the long term. Our program provides an individualized and holistic recovery experience. We focus on teaching important life skills so that you can overcome your negative habits and replace them with healthy hobbies and coping mechanisms. Our treatment methods include talk therapy, yoga, fitness therapy, and writing therapy so that you can find the path to recovery that works for you.

    Connect: The opposite of sobriety is isolation. During treatment, you build strong bonds with live-in teammates that will last long after treatment. 

    Get Strong: Learn to use daily exercise as a tool to reduce cravings and protect your sobriety. 

    Build A Better Perspective: Drugs are not addictive chemicals. They create addictive feelings. Learn how to recreate those feelings without substances. 

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    Contact Tree House Recovery PDX

    Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon is a treatment center for men struggling with addiction. We are equipped to treat addictions to a range of substances including Trazodone as well as many other drugs. To find out if recovery with the Tree House team is the right fit for you or your loved one, don’t hesitate to reach out today. Call our admissions team as soon as you are ready at (503) 850-2474.

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