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Stopping some mental health drugs cold turkey can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Learn how to safely manage Seroquel withdrawals.
Seroquel is a psychoactive drug that is designed to treat people struggling with mental illness. Patients with bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia can benefit from taking this drug, and may take it for a lifetime.
There are some people, though, who seek out this drug for recreational use, or to self-medicate another issue. When it is used off-label or abused it can cause adverse effects, or Seroquel withdrawal symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about how to safely stop taking this drug.
What is Seroquel?
Seroquel (quetiapine) is an atypical antipsychotic drug composed primarily of fumaric acid salt. Patients who suffer from a mood disorder may benefit from it, as the drug can increase dopamine and serotonin levels. The increase in these levels can result in fewer depressive episodes or mood swings.
The risk for Seroquel abuse is high. This is mostly due to the sedative and hallucinogenic effects of the drug. Seroquel can be misused as a means of self-medicating anxiety or insomnia. Also, people on the street can abuse the drug. They may combine it with other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. Recreational users may crush the drug and snort it, or mix it into a water-based solution and inject it. Street names for Seroquel are Susie Q, Q-ball, Baby Heroin, and Squirrel.
How Stopping Seroquel Can Cause Withdrawals
When someone forms a habit with Seroquel, they may begin to show symptoms of addiction. Some of these signs of abuse include:
- Somnolence. Somnolence, or being in a near-sleep state, is one of the effects of this drug. The sedative effect is desired among drug users, so Seroquel is a favored substance. Used with cocaine or heroin, this effect is enhanced even more.
- Weight gain. One of the side effects of Seroquel is increased appetite. Someone who is abusing this drug may experience a desire to eat more and as a result gain weight.
- Dizziness. When the person begins using higher doses of Seroquel due to tolerance, they may feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even faint.
- Secretive behavior. Seroquel abuse often occurs along with other drugs of abuse. This can result in strange, secretive behavior as the person attempts to hide their substance abuse.
Once the brain has become altered due to the drug, it then requires daily dosing just to remain stable. This is true whether it is prescribed for a mental illness, used off-label, or abused. The brain becomes dependent on the drug.
When someone then stops taking the Seroquel, it can result in withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms emerge because the central nervous system is trying to adjust to the absence of the drug.
Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms
Detox and withdrawal from a drug like Seroquel is not a pleasant process. It requires trained detox experts that will keep an eye on the person throughout the detox timeline. The detox support team then treats and manages the symptoms as they arise.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Heart palpitations.
- Migraine headaches.
- Rebound mania.
- Symptoms of anxiety.
- Symptoms of depression.
- Thoughts of suicide.
It only takes the drug about a day and a half to clear the system. That said, the symptoms will last 7-14 days before they begin to subside. Once the person feels stable, it is time to enter treatment to address the Seroquel addiction.
Getting Treatment After Seroquel Withdrawal
There are three ways a person becomes dependent on Seroquel and needs treatment. Some may have a mental illness and have been prescribed the drug to manage symptoms. Others may have abused the drug for treating other conditions, like anxiety. Still others may have accessed the drug for recreational use, often taking it along with other drugs.
When anyone becomes dependent on Seroquel and wishes to stop taking it, they will first go through the detox phase. After that is done, the next step is treatment. The first group, those with a mental illness, may desire alternative methods for treatment of their disorder. Instead of taking a psych drug, they may prefer to be taught holistic methods for treating their symptoms.
Those who have formed an addiction to Seroquel will benefit from a treatment program. Rehab is available in either an outpatient or inpatient setting. The more severe the substance use disorder, the more inpatient care is needed, as it is more intensive in scope. The outpatient option offers more options and allows the person to remain at home while they are in the program.
Addiction treatment programs provide these services:
- Psychotherapy. The therapy sessions are a vital aspect of rehab programs. During the sessions, the client works with a therapist to make changes in the way they respond to stress. The most often used types of therapy include CBT and DBT.
- Group therapy. A group of peers in recovery meet up to discuss topics related to their personal journeys. A counselor guides the meeting and asks the group to engage in certain activities that promote personal growth in recovery.
- Life skills classes. Learning better ways to relate and manage emotions can lead to social growth and improved outcomes.
- Meetings. Most rehabs will include some aspects of the Twelve Step program or SMART Recovery. They may host meetings or arrange for a driver to local meetings.
- Holistic. Rehabs now teach clients ways to better manage their stress levels. This is often offered through on-site yoga classes, learning deep breathing, and how to practice mindfulness.
Seroquel withdrawals can pose a health risk if they are not managed well. Always have a mental health expert guide you through the symptoms when you decide to quit taking Seroquel.
Palm Springs Behavioral Health Helps Seroquel Withdrawal
Palm Springs Behavioral Health is a mental health treatment center. Its team of specialists will assist you in slowly, safely breaking free from Seroquel. If you have questions about the program, please call us today at (888) 312-4262.