Zoloft Addiction, Statistics, Abuse, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Zoloft?

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) known as Zoloft, (chemically known as sertraline) is an antidepressant mainly used for treating major depressive disorder in adults as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. It is one of the most prescribed antidepressants available and is easily obtained, and this in turn makes it easy to abuse. Zoloft is deemed to be physically non-addictive, but a psychological addiction can be developed through continued abuse. Zoloft addiction can result when a user begins abusing the drug by crushing the pills and inhaling them or by swallowing several pills at once. Often, those with a Zoloft addiction will take larger doses in order to try to get high. There are some serious negative effects that can arise as a result of abusing Zoloft. Violent thoughts, aggressive behaviors and suicidal tendencies have been associated with a Zoloft addiction. Zoloft is also marketed under the name Lustral.


Addiction or abuse studies are not performed for the drug sertraline also known as Zoloft. Therefore, formal statistics for Zoloft addiction are not available.

Causes of Zoloft Addiction

As with other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), Zoloft is found to be non-addictive, but an addiction to Zoloft can be created. Zoloft is broken down in the liver and needs to be monitored by a physician. A person’s disposition is elevated by sertraline interacting with the SSRIs. Often, someone abusing Zoloft is trying to enhance their state of mind through a mood elevation. A Zoloft dependency can develop by abusing the drug.

Signs of Zoloft Use, Addiction and Dependence

There are several warning signs displayed by someone who has a Zoloft addiction. Whereas developing a physical addiction is uncommon, a psychological Zoloft addiction can arise. This may happen because the abuser has become addicted to abusing the drug and is trying to get some sort of increased energy, numbness, or mood enhanced reaction. Some of the abuse signals are:

  • Decreased libido
  • Nausea
  • Aggression
  • Violent thoughts and actions
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness
  • Irritability

Zoloft Effects

There are some negative side effects that are presented as a result of a Zoloft addiction. Even though sertraline is supposed to be physically non-addictive, there are some unwanted physical reactions that occur as a result of abruptly stopping the use of Zoloft. There are also negative psychological side effects and social results that are related to abusing Zoloft. A few physical features include:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Agitation
  • Numbness
  • Jitters
  • Akathisia (a painful inner agitation; inability to sit still)

A few of the negative psychological results include:

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Confusion and incoherent thoughts
  • Psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Hostility

Some social fallout consists of:

  • Loss of relationships with loved ones
  • Family torn apart
  • Diminished involvement in personal activities
  • Loss of profession
  • Financial loss
  • Reclusive behaviors

Zoloft Withdrawal

There are multiple undesired side effects that are caused by a Zoloft addiction. There are still some physical reactions that occur even though Zoloft is regarded as physically non-addictive. There are also unwanted symptoms of a psychological withdrawal that are felt when someone with a Zoloft addiction stops using. Some of the withdrawal indications felt are nausea, headaches, psychosis, insomnia, moodiness, irritability, confused thinking, depression and muscle aches.

Zoloft Addiction Treatment

Zoloft addiction is not highly studied, and there is modest information available. However, an addiction to sertraline is possible like it is with all drugs. The best solution for treating a Zoloft addiction is to maintain calm and stress free environment. The most beneficial way in dealing with the psychological dependency of sertraline is to enter a Zoloft rehab center. Anyone dependent on Zoloft needs to seek help. They need to admit there is a problem and seek assistance. The best and most important step to recovery is confessing there is a problem. The next essential step is requesting help. There is help available for all addictions. Asking for help is all that is needed to start the healing process

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on AddictionHope.com, Addiction Information Directory