Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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948349 tn?1294383837

Antidepressants as an excellent addiction recovery tool

Just wanted to bring up a topic for everyone to comment on, maybe some people have experiences to share about.  The topic is... antidepressants as a key addiction recovery tool.

From what I've read, anti-depressants actually work by encouraging new brain cells to grow into fully functional neurons.  Obviously in addiction many of these neurons die or become damaged. So this could be a key tool in getting back on your feet after being swept away in the depths of addiction.

I have started taking the anti-depressant Cipralex and so far I have been feeling better with the only side effect of having trouble sleeping.  But from what I read within 6 weeks new brain cells should already have grown really well.

Anyone else use anti-depressants in their recovery and how are you feeling now?
18 Responses
1032715 tn?1315987834
I was prescribed low doses of valium 5mg,took them for 8 weeks,it worked well,but addicts have to be careful with any drug they are given,and work in conjuction with a doctor.
You don't want to get addicted to another substance.
Avatar universal
Where did you read that AD's cause "new brain cells to grow"?

I agree that they may help the post addiction depression many experience,however.
Avatar universal
i wish i could explain it the way my doctor did a few days ago... i have been prescribed citalopram (celexa) on the lowest dose to kick in (takes 3-4 weeks to start working) at the end of my short Subutex run of 20 days, (immediately tapering down then off), to help with the post-withdrawal restlesses/irritability and cravings / depression that results.

He drew me a picture and showed me how when we get off of opiates, at this part of your brain near the bottom / brain stem - is where your body processes seratonin and how during opiate abuse this mechanism gets short circuited and puts a demand on the neurotransmitters that the SSRI drugs (anti-depressant ones such as what we are talking about) help to stimulate so that there isnt this big void there which contributes to the post - detox / withdrawal issues we all end up with.

I'm obviously butchering the science here - but his point was - "you aren't depressed overall, but at a low dose this may help as a tool for you to get past the treatment/detox and get a few months clean under your belt - then we taper off the citalopram".  So in my case, i'm using it as another tool to help me stay clean. Of course, my doc stresses working the program (12-steps) and going to my therapist to get at the root issues and causes, but whatever we can do chemically to help offset the effects of the long-term opiate abuse and give me a chance to have sobriety long term is what we're going for...

we'll see - i dont want to be on meds that aren't necessary - but taking massive amounts of hydro by the handful were'nt necessary either and got me to where i'm at now!
Avatar universal
Valium is not an anti-depression medication - it's anti-anxiety and i agree, should NOT be a solution for getting off of anything...  the anti-depression meds dont provide euphoria that we are discussing (at least that i assume we are!). Trading a benzo addiction for another one isnt a good strategy at all!
Avatar universal
the Antidepressants( most) are seratonin up takers and they give you a lift, I had been on Remeron since 2001 and I came out of my depression and went right into a manic high. I am not bi-polar but it put me into a high. I do believe that they are a good drug when needed, but be carefull because they can also become a addictiion. They are very hard on your liver, I went off both Remeron and Vicoden three weeks ago because my liver enzyms are high, I used Remeron right and Vicoden not so good, (if 3 a day felt good 4 was even better). I do not even feel any wds from the Anitdepressants but I sure do the Vicoden. Just thought I would put my 2 cents in seeing it was a discussion. Good Luck to all
Avatar universal
they can help...but i would encourage anyone considering this path to visit the anxiety communities and do their research. for SOME people, it's INCREDIBLY hard to get off an SSRI/SNRI once they're on it, so you have to ask yourself if the benefit is really great enough. not all antidepressants are created equal, either. while each individual may respond differently to starting/discontinuing an antidepressant, it also needs to be considered that there are different TYPES of antidepressants...some are very difficult to get off of even on the best of days.

there are a few SSRI's that end to be both easy to start and stop and might provide benefit, but sometimes doctors are too quick to whip out the 'big guns' and that could do FAR more damage than good. i would just say to anyone who goes this route to really do the research on their anti-depressants and really discuss it with their doctor.
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