Trazodone Abuse Is Growing Worldwide

Trazodone is an antidepressant that causes extreme drowsiness. Today, it is more often prescribed as a sleep aid, than as an antidepressant. Trazodone abuse has also grown; it is one the top 20 drugs abused in the US today.

Thirty years ago, when Trazodone was first introduced, there weren’t many non-sedating antidepressants available. Today, even though there are better options available for both antidepressants and sleep medication, it’s still prescribed—making Trazodone abuse a growing problem.

Why Trazodone instead of better-known Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata?

Ironically, Trazodone is not a controlled substance like Ambien and Lunesta which are also prescribed for insomnia. Trazodone abuse is perhaps a direct result of it being a drug that is easier to get.

How does Trazodone work?

When used correctly (as prescribed) Trazodone raises the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body. It’s also used to treat insomnia, anxiety and chronic pain. The drug is designed to “regularize” brain function and combat depression. Trazodone abuse is only the result of taking too much of the drug.

Why is Trazodone abused?

Unlike modern antidepressants that often take 2-3 weeks to become effective, Trazodone works rapidly (within hours) to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Sadly, this “quick fix” has caused trazodone to become one of the top 20 drugs abused today. In proper doses, it will balance out mood swings, but in excess, it can cause side effects from headaches and nausea to more serious heart irregularities and memory loss.