When correctly taken (possibly under a doctor’s supervision), Prozac can deliver several benefits, including better energy levels and improved mood and appetite. It can also reduce panic, depression, anxiety, and fear. However, when it is taken incorrectly or abused, it can cause dependence. Because the medication is beneficial, Prozac addiction can be difficult to understand. But understanding and getting help from an addiction treatment center, is vital when a person exhibits addiction.
Prozac is a brand name for the antidepressant drug fluoxetine. It was invented in 1974 and approved by FDA in 1987 to treat multiple conditions, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and bulimia. So, how does it work? As an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), Prozac works in two ways: it balances the brain chemicals and inhibits serotonin absorption, resulting in a more stable and positive mood.
Statistically speaking, SSRIs are generally safe. But while Prozac is non-addictive, users can create addiction if they take it in excessive quantities or for reasons other than treatment of the above-mentioned disorders (e.g., using the drug as an appetite suppressant). Typically, signs of a prozac addiction include:
- Insomnia (trouble falling asleep)
- Violent actions and thoughts
Effects of Prozac Addiction
While Prozac is not physically addictive, addicts may experience unpleasant physical reactions when they abruptly stop using the drug. They can also experience social and psychological side effects.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle aches
Social Side Effects
- Reclusive behavior
- Lack of interest in personal hobbies
- Loss of job
- Loss of friends
- Family destruction
- Suicidal thoughts
- Incoherent thoughts
Prozac Addiction Treatment
Quitting Prozac suddenly is highly discouraged since it can result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Physicians usually recommend a gradual reduction of the doses. The best approach when considering stopping the drug is to consult a physician.
Once an individual completes a prescription medication detox program, they may want to go the extra mile to address the psychological issues that caused the addiction. That’s where a rehab program comes in. The program can help overcome addictive behavior and sustain sobriety. Typically, a rehab program for Prozac contains, among others, a relapse prevention network, life skills development, individual addiction counseling, process group meetings, 12-step meetings, and educational classes on addiction.