ClickCease Trazodone Addiction Treatment Options | Granite Recovery Centers

Trazodone Addiction Treatment Options

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: August 27th, 2021

James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Trazodone is a generic medication that is most commonly used as an antidepressant, but it also has other uses as well. While trazodone is not considered addictive, there are some people who find themselves experiencing cravings and having difficulties controlling their use. If you are finding it hard to control how much trazodone you take, then you might want to consider trazodone addiction treatment options.

We will cover what trazodone is, the common side effects, overdose symptoms, the most common sensation that people get addicted to, and treatment options to help you gain control over your usage.

What is Trazodone?

According to Medline, trazodone is an antidepressant. This might surprise some people because of the many different conditions that it treats, but it is primarily formulated as an antidepressant. Much like other antidepressants, it is considered a serotonin modulator.

This means that the medication is responsible for increasing and balancing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin naturally exists in the brain and is associated with wellness and an overall good mood. It is commonly thought that those suffering from depression have lower levels of serotonin and that their brain reabsorbs serotonin too quickly. Medications like trazodone seek to balance this to restore wellness.

What Does Trazodone Treat?

Trazodone is an antidepressant that is used to treat several conditions. According to WebMD, trazodone is most commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety and insomnia. Anxiety and insomnia commonly occur alongside depression. Trazodone can help alleviate these symptoms to restore balance to your life.

Many people do not realize that trazodone is an antidepressant because it works so well on insomnia and anxiety. This medication works fairly quickly and makes you feel relaxed and calm. You might think that trazodone is a sedative due to this. Many people abuse trazodone for this sedating effect.

According to Medline, trazodone is also sometimes prescribed for schizophrenia and to ease abnormal movements caused by other medications. Trazodone is not used as frequently for these conditions, but a doctor might prescribe it as the best medication for your specific needs.

Trazodone Side Effects

Every medication is tested before going to market to see what side effects will occur. The truth is that nearly all medications have side effects, and it’s good to be informed about what can happen when you take your prescription. If any of these side effects or others occur while taking trazodone, then you should talk to your doctor to see what the next should be.

The most common trazodone side effects according to Medline include:

  • Unusual or bad tastes in your mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Sudden changes in weight or appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Feeling unsteady, dizzy, or disoriented when walking
  • Changes in sexual ability or desire
  • Confusion and difficulty remembering things

Remember that these are only the common side effects. If you experience a different symptom than the ones listed above, then you should still talk to your doctor. They can determine how to move forward to either limit or stop the side effect.

Trazodone Overdose

A trazodone overdose is very rare when taking the properly prescribed amount, but it can happen sometimes. This is especially true if you are taking other medications or supplements that also alter your serotonin levels. Those at the highest risk for a trazodone overdose are those who are using it recreationally or having difficulty controlling their use.

According to Medline, the most common signs of a trazodone overdose include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Heartbeat changes
  • Trouble breathing
  • Painful erection that will not go away

Some of these symptoms, such as drowsiness or vomiting, are also common side effects of using a therapeutic dose of trazodone. Overdose symptoms are considered more severe. If you experience any of these symptoms or any other severe side effects, then speak to your prescriber or seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome is a severe and potentially fatal syndrome that can occur when you’re taking medications that increase your serotonin levels. Each medication has its own risk, and the chances of experiencing this syndrome is considered quite low as long as your doses are balanced. According to the National Institute of Health, or NIH, trazodone carries an exceptionally low risk in general.

While trazodone is one of the safest medications in this regard, it can still lead to serotonin syndrome if used in very high doses or combined with other medications that alter serotonin. NIH reports that the common symptoms of serotonin syndrome include dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, muscle rigidity, and extreme agitation.

Just like with an overdose, you should talk to your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention.

Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms

If you no longer want to take trazodone, either because you want to take control of your use or you feel it’s no longer useful, then you might be tempted to stop taking the medication entirely. According to Medline, this can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts to having less serotonin. It is generally recommended that you work with your doctor when it’s time to discontinue trazodone.

Medline reports that the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Low mood

The withdrawal symptoms are considered mild-to-moderate for most people. At the same time, this can be very risky if you’re facing a trazodone addiction. You might be tempted to suddenly stop using trazodone, which then puts you in a vulnerable position because the withdrawal symptoms can lead you to use more trazodone than before to avoid the discomfort.

If you are seeking to stop your trazodone use, whether you are using a therapeutic dose or facing an addiction, then you should connect with your doctor so that they can help with the process.

Medical Detox

As we covered above, trazodone can result in some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using the medication. This is because the medication alters your serotonin levels. If you stop using trazodone, then your brain needs time to adjust to no longer having the increased serotonin. A medical detox program can help during this process.

A medical detox program means that one of our doctors will monitor your mood, withdrawal symptoms, and anything else that changes as you discontinue trazodone. This can be an uncomfortable and vulnerable process. Our doctors will make it as comfortable as possible. A detox is commonly achieved by tapering your trazodone dose. The doctor will determine the proper tapering schedule and can adjust the schedule based on how you react. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.

Like with other substances, a medical detox only takes care of half the addiction issue. This removes the substance from your body, but your mind might still be craving trazodone. That’s why we recommend connecting with a therapist during this process. This will give you the extra support you need for abstinence from trazodone.

Outpatient Services

If you are facing a trazodone addiction and you’re ready to recover, then you will likely benefit from outpatient services. This encompasses two levels of care. You can choose either outpatient or intensive outpatient. The two can also be combined to give you even more support.

Outpatient therapy usually consists of a weekly meeting that lasts one hour. You will meet with a licensed counselor who will talk to you about your addiction, cravings, and habits. He or she will then help challenge those thoughts while also teaching you healthy coping skills to handle stress and discomfort. The therapist can also help you talk about deeper issues that you are facing that make recovery difficult.

If you prefer group therapy or you think that outpatient therapy isn’t enough, then you may want to consider intensive outpatient or IOP. This level of care allows you to meet three times a week, and each session lasts for three hours. Unlike outpatient therapy, where you meet individually with your counselor, this is a group therapy format. You will meet with peers who want to recover from their own substance use.

The benefit of this modality, aside from giving you more time to discuss recovery, is that you can learn from your peers. They will discuss similar struggles that you are facing, which will ensure that you don’t feel alone through the process. You can also learn about resources and coping skills that other members share.

Both of these levels of care ensure that you can go about your life after therapy while still ensuring that you have the support you need to recover.

Inpatient Services

While outpatient services will work for many people, you might need extra support. That’s perfectly fine, and there are many reasons why inpatient might be better for you. One of the most common reasons is that your environment isn’t supportive for recovery. For example, others might be using at home, or the stressors at home might be too great. Others find that even combining IOP and outpatient therapy doesn’t give them quite enough support.

Whatever the reason, we also offer inpatient services for your needs. These levels of care allow you to live at our facilities for either part of the day or the entire day, depending on which is best for you. For example, partial hospitalization allows you to attend therapy services and activities during the day, but you can go home to sleep at night. Residential treatment allows you to live at the facility until you are ready to return to your daily life.

Both of these levels of care are aimed at giving you more support and allowing you to step away from your life as you recover. Many clients come with significant stressors that make it difficult to recover. If work, family, friends, or anything else about your environment is making recovery too hard, then inpatient might be a better option for you.

Dual Diagnosis

Trazodone is an antidepressant that is used to treat depression, anxiety, and sometimes schizophrenia. As such, you might have been prescribed trazodone for a legitimate purpose and then found it difficult to control your use. Others start abusing trazodone because they like its calming effects. In either case, you might be suffering from a dual diagnosis.

This is a term used for any client that presents with both mental health and substance use concerns. It doesn’t matter what the mixture of diagnoses is as long as one is mental health and the other is substance use. Our therapists are trained to help dual diagnosis clients. We can assess you to see if a mental health concern is present, and we can treat that and the substance use simultaneously.

Please tell us all your concerns when calling so that we can create a proper treatment plan for your needs. The more we know, the better we can attend to your recovery.


Granite Recovery Centers has been around for over 10 years, and we’re happy to see that we’ve helped numerous clients in the New Hampshire area. Our trained professionals will lend an empathetic ear to your needs while helping with your recovery journey. If you’re ready to gain control of your life again and recover from trazodone or any other substance, then contact us today, and let’s work together on your recovery.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.