Trazodone Addiction: Symptoms, Effects, & Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 22, 2022

Trazodone addiction may occur when people use the drug over a period of time or in high doses. Treatment options for trazodone abuse may include detoxification, counseling, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Trazodone Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Options

Trazodone, also known by the brand name Desyrel, is an antidepressant medication used to treat anxiety and major depressive disorders.

Addiction to prescription drugs such as trazodone may occur when people take the substance outside of the prescribed dosage or continue to use the drug after their prescription expires.

How Do People Abuse Trazodone?

Many people abuse trazodone by taking high doses of the drug in tablet form, but it’s not the only way to use the substance. Other common ways of abusing trazodone are as follows.

Snorting Trazodone

Some people crush up trazodone pills into a powder and snort it through a straw. This method of use allows the medication to be quickly absorbed into the blood.

Plugging Trazodone

Plugging trazodone refers to the act of inserting trazodone into the rectum in an effort to more quickly feel the effects of the drug.

Plugging drugs is particularly dangerous because of how quickly trazodone can be absorbed into your bloodstream and reach a toxic level in your body.

Common Side Effects Of Trazodone Abuse

Trazodone is usually prescribed to treat mental health disorders such as depression, but may also be prescribed off-label to treat anxiety, as a sleep aid for insomnia, schizophrenia, and more.

People who use serotonin modulators such as trazodone to get high may experience an array of physical and mental side effects.

Side effects of trazodone drug use may include:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • sedative effects such as drowsiness
  • memory loss
  • profuse sweating
  • changes in appetite or weight

Serious, potentially fatal side effects may also occur which may include chest pain, difficulty breathing, or unusual bleeding or bruising.

Dangers Of Trazodone Drug Abuse

Misusing trazodone for any length of time can lead to dangerous and potentially life-threatening health issues.

Some risks of abusing trazodone include:

  • physical or psychological dependence
  • irregular heartbeat
  • difficulty sleeping
  • suicidal thoughts
  • serotonin syndrome
  • overdose death

Trazodone abuse may also strain relationships, contribute to lob loss, or cause legal issues in a person’s life.

What Are The Signs Of Trazodone Overdose?

Drug overdose is a potentially fatal outcome that can occur after taking too much trazodone over a short period of time, or after mixing trazodone with other drugs or alcohol.

People may experience symptoms such as loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, chest pain, dizziness, seizures, coma, or painful erection (priapism) when they’re overdosing on trazodone.

Can You Fatally Overdose On Trazodone?

While it’s possible to fatally overdose on trazodone, only one death has been recorded to date, and there isn’t a conclusive amount of trazodone known to cause overdose or fatal overdose.

Learn more about what constitutes a lethal dose of Trazodone.

Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Once the body has developed a tolerance to trazodone, it becomes very difficult to stop taking it without experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • poor balance
  • nausea
  • trouble sleeping
  • sensory changes
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • psychosis

The severity of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome depends on how long you were taking trazodone before stopping use of the drug.

How Trazodone Detox Works

One way to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms is by attending a medically supervised detox program that gradually tapers your body off trazodone.

Antidepressants such as trazodone typically require two to four weeks of tapering before the medication is completely removed from the body.

Read more about trazodone detox.

Treatment Services For Trazodone Addiction

Trazodone detox is typically the initial step in the treatment process, and it aims to help people break physical dependence on the drug.

After detoxification, people may enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program to continue their recovery.

Drug addiction treatment options may include:

  • residential treatment
  • intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • mental health services
  • partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • group therapy for young adults
  • dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • support groups for opioid addiction

If you or a loved one are currently addicted to trazodone, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or benzodiazepines, contact a behavioral health medical professional immediately.

Trazodone Misuse FAQs

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about trazodone addiction.

On the street, the price of trazodone can range between less than one dollar and 15 dollars per pill depending on the dosage, location of purchase, as well as supply and demand.

Learn more about the street price of trazodone.

Due to its low potential for abuse, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has not scheduled the drug, and trazodone is not considered a controlled substance.

Trazodone is a drug used to treat depression and anxiety, but it’s also been known to cause physical dependence, difficulty sleeping, suicidal thoughts, serotonin syndrome, and even death.

Mixing trazodone and cocaine together may greatly exacerbate these and other symptoms.

Find A Substance Use Disorder Treatment Center Today

Call our helpline today for more information on trazodone abuse or other prescription medication addiction. Our team can assist you in your journey to long-term sobriety.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 22, 2022
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