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Effexor Abuse Causes, Statistics, Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Effexor?

Effexor (chemically known as venlafaxine) is an antidepressant in the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class. In recent years, it has risen to become one of the most popular antidepressants on the market. This makes it easy to obtain. Due to Effexor’s popularity and ease of acquisition, it lends itself to being easily abused. Effexor is designed to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and panic disorder. Effexor is known to be a physically non-addictive antidepressant. However, a psychological addiction to Effexor can still be developed through continued abuse. An Effexor addiction can result when a person continues to abuse the drug in an attempt to get high (an intense euphoric reaction to a drug). Effexor may be physically addictive, but there are some harsh unwanted side effects that can occur such as stomach cramps, increased risk of suicide, erectile dysfunction and memory problems.

Statistics

Addiction or abuse studies are not performed for Effexor also known as venlafaxine. As a result, formal Effexor addiction statistics are not available.

Causes of Effexor Addiction

Effexor is supposed to be a non-addictive antidepressant that is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). An SNRI helps elevate a person’s mood by leaving more active neurotransmitters in the brain. Frequently, someone abusing Effexor is trying to attain some sort of high. This “high” is not possible with antidepressants. However, by abusing the venlafaxine, an Effexor addiction can be created. This most often occurs when a man or women has co-occurring anxiety or other mood disorders, related substance abuse like alcohol addiction, or an eating disorder that compel them to misuse Effexor. Major events like family deaths, loss of a job, or a relationship falling apart also lead to Effexor abuse.

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  • Signs of Effexor Use, Addiction and Dependence

    There are signs and symptoms that arise when someone has an Effexor dependency. Some of these warning signals touch both the physical and psychological parts of the body. Even though using Effexor is not supposed to result in an addiction, there are some unwanted withdrawal symptoms that result of having an Effexor addiction. Some of the forewarning signals include:

    • Stomach cramps
    • Increased risk of suicide
    • Erectile Dysfunction
    • Memory problems
    • Panic attacks
    • Abnormal dreams
    • Tremors
    • Nausea
    • Aggression
    • Hallucinations
    • Insomnia
    • Irritability

    Effexor Effects

    Effexor is stated to be non-addictive. While this may be correct, there can still be some rather negative effects that result from abruptly quitting an Effexor addiction. These unwanted consequences affect both the physical and psychological components of the body. The abuser’s personal life will be greatly affected as well. Some of the physical results from Effexor addiction include:

    • Stomach cramps
    • Tremors
    • Insomnia
    • Decreased libido
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Nausea
    • Chills
    • Fatigue
    • Erectile Dysfunction
    • Drowsiness
    • Constipation
    • Dizziness

    Psychological responses to Effexor overuse:

    • Hostility
    • Memory problems
    • Panic attacks
    • Increased risk of suicide
    • Depression
    • Hallucinations
    • Abnormal dreams
    • Confusion and incoherent thoughts
    • Irritability
    • Aggression
    • Nervousness and anxiety

    Effexor dependency social effects include:

    • Impair relationships
    • Hinder job responsibilities
    • Financial hardships
    • Become isolated
    • End personal activities

    Effexor Withdrawal

    The medical community states that Effexor is non-addictive like other antidepressants. However, if a person has been abusing venlafaxine and abruptly stops taking the drug, they can experience what is called SSRI discontinuation syndrome, which mimics withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms occur when the person suddenly stops taking the drug, decreasing the dose too rapidly, or even after skipping an individual dose. In addition to these physical effects, an Effexor addiction can produce unwanted psychological results as well. Some of the consequences experienced may include nausea, depression, suicidal thoughts, disorientation, stomach cramps, panic attack, sexual dysfunction, headaches and confused thinking

    Effexor Addiction Treatment

    There is not a great deal of information available on Effexor addiction. This is due to the drug not being considered addictive or habit forming. However, if a person misuses venlafaxine long enough a dependency will be formed. In order to effectively treat the Effexor addiction, the person should wean off the drug under medical direction such as an Effexor treatment center or licensed therapist. Also, the person fighting the dependency should reach out to loved ones. A life without an Effexor addiction is available. The first step to that new life is admitting there is a problem and asking for help.

    Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 1, 2014
    Published on AddictionHope.com, Addiction & Abuse Treatment Directory

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