Zoloft is a prescription drug used to treat various mental disorders, including depression, OCD, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder. It is an antidepressant and works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Zoloft is often marketed as a safer alternative to similar drugs such as Prozac.
It is usually taken once a day and is considered safe for most people. However, it can be misused, and people can develop a dependence or experience withdrawal or overdose.
Is Zoloft Addictive?
Many people who take Zoloft experience a psychological dependence on the drug. This means that they have developed a mental need to have the drug in their system in order to feel normal or to feel good. It is not uncommon for people to develop a tolerance to it, which makes it harder for them to feel “normal” without it.
Because Zoloft is an antidepressant and is also misused by many, it is generally considered to be a drug that can be psychologically addictive. Like other drugs that are abused by many, Zoloft is called many names including “Happy Pills”, “Miracle Drug”, and “Bottled Smiles”, among others.
It prevents serotonin from being reabsorbed by the brain, which leaves more serotonin available for mood regulation. This medication may be effective in treating major depressive disorders, but it also comes with a black box warning that it could lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts and harming behaviors among children, teens, and young adults, especially when used improperly.
This drug typically comes in the form of a tablet and is available in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. It is typically taken once a day. Although it is not considered an addictive drug, it and other similar antidepressants are often misused and therefore become psychologically addictive.
What Zoloft Addiction Looks Like
If you or someone you know is experiencing Zoloft addiction, they may be exhibiting some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Stealing from Family, Friends, and Acquaintances to Buy Zoloft
A person who has an addiction might take things from loved ones or acquaintances. For example, they may take money or other valuable objects that they can use to buy Zoloft.
- Taking Other People’s Zoloft Prescription
If a person is addicted to it, they may take the prescription belonging to another person. This could be because they want to get high and they want to avoid paying, or they want to sell the drugs to others to get money.
- Faking Symptoms to Get Prescription
It is quite common for people who are addicted to Zoloft to fake symptoms or to say that they feel ill in order to get a prescription for the drug.
- Going to Different Doctors to Get More Prescription
Someone who is addicted to Zoloft is also likely to go to multiple doctors to get additional prescriptions for this drug. They may also go to multiple pharmacies in order to get the drug even if they have a prescription waiting to be filled.
- Taking Large Doses
Someone who is addicted to Zoloft might take the drug in amounts that are far more than the maximum dosage.
- Turning to Zoloft for Daily Problems
It is possible that someone who has an addiction to it will become dependent on the drug to help deal with their daily problems. They may believe that this drug will help them deal with life, and they may be taking it on a daily basis.
- Pushing People Away
Someone who is addicted to it will want to keep their addiction a secret from the people they love, so they will likely push others away and isolate themselves.
- Feeling Unable to Live and Function Normally Without Taking Zoloft
If you or someone you know is addicted to it , they may feel helpless and unable to function normally without it.
Behavioral Changes You’d Notice in a Zoloft-Addicted Person
If you or someone you know is addicted to Zoloft, they may start exhibiting a wide variety of behavioral changes that could be signs that they have a Zoloft addiction. These changes include:
- Becoming hostile or aggressive
- Becoming antisocial
- Displaying signs of anxiety, stress, or depression
- Losing interest in things they once cared about
- Behaving differently
- Acting differently, especially if they are usually a happy person
Here is a list of withdrawal symptoms from Zoloft:
- Marked changes in appetite
- Extreme sadness
- Hormonal changes
- Feeling jittery
- Loss of interest in daily activities
Side Effects of Zoloft
Zoloft can cause a wide range of side effects. One of the most common side effects is an upset stomach that can lead to nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of appetite. To avoid these effects, it is generally recommended to take Zoloft with food.
Zoloft can have other side effects as well, including drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, and increased sweating. Some people can have seizures while taking Zoloft.
As with any antidepressant, Zoloft is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, so it is recommended that women do not attempt to conceive children while taking Zoloft or for at least a month after stopping it.
It can have serious side effects. Some of the more prominent side effects include increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
The Risk of Overdose
Overdose can be fatal. In fact, overdose is the most common cause of death among people who abuse it. Overdose can cause seizures, a coma, and death.
Some of the factors that can increase the risk of overdose include mixing Zoloft with alcohol or other drugs, taking it with other antidepressants, and if you consume more than the maximum dosage.
It is quite common for people to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it, especially after taking it for a long period of time. People who are dependent on it may experience severe withdrawal symptoms, and they may suffer from withdrawal syndrome.
Withdrawal syndrome is said to begin within 2 weeks of stopping . The symptoms may include:
What to Do If Someone You Know Is Addicted to Zoloft
If you have a family member, friend, or acquaintance who is addicted to Zoloft, here are things you can do to help them:
- Help them find a doctor who will help them with their addiction
- Help them get into a treatment program for their addiction
What to Do If You Are Addicted to Zoloft
If you have an addiction to it, you need to seek treatment immediately. Addiction can have serious consequences, and you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drug.
Here are things you can do to help yourself:
- Get into a treatment program that specializes in Zoloft addiction
- Find a doctor who will help you detox off Zoloft
- Find a doctor who will help you with your addiction
- Participate in a long-term addiction recovery program to make sure you are fully recovered
This drug has been associated with a wide range of side effects and problems, including addiction and overdose. If you or someone you know is addicted to it or has overdosed on it, you should seek help right away.