Psychiatric Drug Addiction

in Addiction
Published Nov 5, 2016
Psychiatric Drug Addiction

Psychiatric drugs are meant to help individuals struggling with certain types of disorders stay balanced and live healthier lives. Anti-depressants, sedatives, anti-psychotics and tranquilizers are drugs that are used by individuals that are trying to cope with a psychological or psychiatric condition; however, when taken incorrectly or abused, these drugs can also have a negative long-term effect.

Sedatives and Tranquilizers

According to SAMHSA, at least 16 percent of the population in the U.S. takes sedatives and tranquilizers. What’s more, 80 percent of those individuals have been taking drugs such as Valium, Ambien and Xanax for more than a year. Although studies have shown that chronic abuse of sedatives and tranquilizers result in the drug’s ineffectiveness, many users develop addictive tendencies and without professional assistance cannot stop.

Respiratory problems, allergies, as well as low blood pressure and liver disease are also complications associated with taking sedatives and tranquilizers. Some individuals experience coordination, balance and concentration problems as well as memory loss with prolong use. In individuals who take Valium, Ambien, and Xanax for more than a year, there is an increased risk for bone density loss that could lead to fractures; the most common are hip fractures.


While there are a number of reasons why an individual might take an anti-depressant – the reason cited 90 percent of the time is depression. Sadly, research has shown that depression has been linked, more often than not, as a side effect to other medications, substance abuse and/or other types of medical conditions – than as a condition on its own. Diet pills, prescription pain medications and corticosteroids list depression as a common side effect. It is not uncommon for individuals battling certain types of cancer and thyroid problems to also struggle with depression. Additionally, depression has long been associated with alcoholism. Anti-depressants such as Abilify, Zoloft, Cymbalta and Prozac are used to treat depression, but unless the   reason or cause of the depression is defined and addressed, the individual could end up taking the drug indefinitely or worse self-medicating to treat the symptoms. Side effects from taking anti-depressants could lead to the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing/breathing
  • Fever/sweating
  • Vision problems
  • Severe itching, rash or hives
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations/delusions


Anti-psychotics are used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These drugs, such as Clozaril, Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa are similar to anti-depressants (in fact, Abilify has been used to treat schizophrenia) and have some significant side effects, particularly causing symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. Long-term effects of using anti-psychotics can lead to severe nerve damage including Parkinson’s disease.

Quitting Psychiatric Drugs

As with other drug use, you should not quit taking psychiatric drugs cold turkey but should seek the assistance of a professional medical detox. Withdrawal symptoms from certain types of medication may include:

  • Vision problems
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Involuntary movement
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Death

If you or someone you know are struggling with a psychiatric drug addiction and are in need of detox, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Gallus Detox Centers specializes in IV therapy medical detox, a safer and more effective method for detox from psychiatric drugs and will provide you with a customized plan to meet your individual needs. Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at 866-358-6446, to see if our treatment program is right for you.