Antidepressants are a broad category of drugs. These medications are prescribed widely, with one in 10 Americans having a prescription for them.
These substances control chemical levels in the brain, although the precise way they work depends upon the specific medication itself. Many of these drugs are not considered habit-forming when used correctly and under a physician’s supervision.
What Is Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin, also known as bupropion, is one of the more commonly prescribed antidepressants. The drug is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, or NDRI. Basically, the medication alters a person’s mood by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine, like serotonin, is a chemical that provides positive feelings and links to pleasure centers of the mind.
Most other medications in this category are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Bupropion is an excellent alternative for individuals who are sensitive to serotonin but still need help managing their conditions.
Why It Is Prescribed
Wellbutrin is most commonly prescribed to treat depression, bipolar, and other neurological disorders. Its use has increased in the past decades. The non-addictive nature of the drug allows patients to rely on it for consistent symptom management. Anxiety sufferers can also see positive results when treated with Wellbutrin, because the drug balances chemicals in the brain.
Bupropion has a couple of surprising uses, too. Doctors may prescribe it to encourage weight loss, especially when it is linked to emotional eating. It is also helps people who are trying to quit smoking.
These factors also make the drug a good choice for the negative habits that follow major life events like divorce or a death in the family, since depression is often linked to such happenings.
The Abuse Of Wellbutrin
As stated before, bupropion is generally considered a safe drug because it is not known to cause addiction when used properly. However, some people have abused the drug by crushing, snorting or injecting it to get an immediate high. Although, even with extended use, the drug doesn’t cause physical dependence, it can lead to psychological addiction, which can be just as powerful and difficult to curtail.
The most pressing concern with the abuse of prescription drugs is the increased risk of side effects and permanent damage. The results can be both physical and psychological and include:
- High blood pressure
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Some of these side effects are more serious than others, but none of them is good. In addition to these symptoms, people who are suffering from Wellbutrin dependency can damage relationships with their friends and family or cause their own financial collapse. Careers and hobbies tend to take a backseat with any addiction, and the social fallout can last for many years, even after the drug dependency has ended.
How You Can Help
Being dependent on a substance has far-reaching consequences. It’s only logical to want to help our family and friends, particularly if they’re suffering from addiction. Thankfully, there are several ways you can help.
Addiction is harder to treat the longer that the user continues the habit. The best way to help someone who is suffering from this sort of dependency is to watch for signs of addiction and then attempt to get assistance for them as early as possible.
It may be time to take action if a friend or a loved one is displaying:
- Psychotic symptoms
Remember, addicts must recognize they have a problem in order to accept help. One reason they may refuse assistance is because they think a drug like Wellbutrin, because it is a prescription drug and a non-opioid, is safe. Additionally, they may be concerned about going through withdrawal.
What Wellbutrin Withdrawal Entails
Despite the fact the Food and Drug Administration has deemed the substance non-addictive, bupropion, when abused, can create adverse reactions when the drug use ends. Immediate cessation makes some symptoms much stronger than before the drug use started, which increases the danger of withdrawal.
These symptoms are similar in many ways to those generally displayed by other addicts, but they are often much more concentrated. A few of the manifestations of sudden Wellbutrin withdrawal include:
As with any drug, the safest way to stop taking this medication is with a doctor’s advice and supervision. Knowing the signs and offering support are very important for assisting others.
Community Discussion: Share Your Thoughts
How would you reach out and try to help a loved one if you found out that they were addicted to Wellbutrin? Please share your expertise in the comment section.