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Trazodone Addiction Treatment That Actually Works

For over a decade, our one goal has been to help people struggling with substance use disorder overcome their it thanks to our comprehensive, evidence-based approach to treatment. Our board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, and other experts create a unique treatment plan tailored to each individual patient.

Through our continuum of care that includes inpatient, outpatient, and even virtual addiction treatment, we’re able to treat the whole person for a lifetime. That’s why our program is effective for around 84% of those we treat, as opposed to 12-step programs that work for 50% at best.

Three column stats: 8% Recovery Rate, 5000 patients treated, and 1:5 Clinical staff to patient ratio.

Call today and get help. Our Trazodone addiction treatment experts are here for you.


Treatment options for Trazodone addiction

Trazodone dependence is difficult to overcome without the help of a comprehensive program that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional withdrawal symptoms that typically occur when someone discontinues the medication, especially after long periods of use. Experiencing withdrawals doesn’t always mean a person is addicted, but it does indicate a physical dependency.

Treatment for Trazodone dependence typically begins with supervised medical detox, which involves carefully tapering down a patient’s dose under the close medical supervision. Detox should only be done under the supervision of a physician with formal training in alcohol and drug addiction treatment.

Medical detox for Trazodone dependence may also include medication-assisted therapy to help ease some of the more unpleasant (or even dangerous) withdrawal symptoms.

Please note that detox is NOT considered treatment for Trazodone addiction. Rather, it’s a necessary first step to remove the drug from the body so that patients can begin participating in their long-term treatment program of behavioral therapy, psychological counseling, and psychiatric treatment to address any co-occurring mental health issues.

Counseling occurs on an individual- or group-oriented basis and may include families when necessary. Continuing Care programs are also available and are considered an essential part of any discharge plan, as they provide counseling and continued support over a number of years.

A treatment plan for Trazodone addiction may include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Pharmacotherapy (medication management)
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
  • Supportive Outpatient Programs (SOP)
  • Maintenance Outpatient Programs (MOP)
  • Wellness, nutritional, and stress management education

A range of treatment options based on you

Each person’s path to addiction is unique with different neurological, emotional, social and environmental contributing factors. That’s why the Enterhealth journey to recovery is personalized to meet individuals and families where they are. Whether you need immersive inpatient care or outpatient treatment, we offer a range of evidence-based treatment options and innovative therapies. Enterhealth is the only facility with highly trained on-site addiction specialists, including PhDs, MDs and Master’s Level Therapists, who coordinate care at every stage. Because we understand the science behind addiction, we are best equipped to assess and treat individuals and families. Contact us to see why we’re the only facility with an 84% success rate.



Enterhealth Ranch offers inpatient care that’s on your side, not on the clock. It’s a nurturing environment where treatment is highly personalized and intensified. Every patient has a private room and 24/7 access to addiction trained specialists who use evidence-based treatments and comprehensive care, including medical detox, in-depth medical and psychological assessments, individual and group therapies, life skills and more.

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Enterhealth’s Outpatient Center of Excellence, conveniently located in the Park Cities, is expertly staffed with board-certified addiction specialists. Our comprehensive program is designed for continued recovery care and provides individuals and families the support they need to reconnect with each other and thrive in recovery.

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The Enterhealth Alumni Association offers a unique opportunity for our patients to continue and thrive in their recovery by building relationships through shared experiences. This one-of-a-kind support environment provides a nurturing space where participants can gain understanding, learn from others and continue to rebuild their lives.

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Recovery is one of the most important benefits you can give your employees. Enterhealth provides comprehensive, evidence-based residential and outpatient programs and continued 24/7 technological support with Enterhealth Connect. It’s a tool employees can use to access expert care that fits their schedule for online consultations with highly trained addiction specialists, dynamic content including blogs, podcasts, videos, and continuously updated tools and resources that will aid in their recovery journey.

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How Enterhealth Makes a Difference

“FPO – When I first arrived here, I truly believed I would never be able to function without drugs or alcohol, nor be happy in general ever again. My family did not know how to help me. After being here, I’m a happier person. Laughter comes naturally. I’m repairing relationships I thought were irreparable.”

Hanna (former Enterhealth patient)

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Frequently Asked Questions About Trazodone Addiction

What is Trazodone?

Trazodone is a prescription medication approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an antidepressant and sedative medication. It works by helping to restore and maintain the balance of a natural chemical in the brain called serotonin, which may be unbalanced in people with depression.

Trazodone is approved by the FDA for the treatment of major depressive disorder, helping people with depression improve their mood, appetite, and energy level as well as decreasing anxiety. However, trazodone can also be prescribed as a sedative drug for the treatment of insomnia (depression-related or otherwise) and is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for insomnia.

What is off-label prescribing?

Due to Trazodone’s unusual chemical composition, it’s considered less effective than other antidepressants for the treatment of depression. As a result, Trazodone is actually more commonly prescribed as a sleep aid than as an antidepressant medication.

The FDA approves medications to treat specific conditions, but doctors can prescribe medications for conditions other than what was approved by the FDA based on their experience and judgment, which is known as off-label prescribing. Off-label prescribing is a widespread practice, and as much as 20 percent of drugs are prescribed this way.

Trazodone is sometimes prescribed off-label for the following:

  • Cocaine withdrawal
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Prevention of migraine
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Schizophrenia as an adjunct to improve negative symptoms.
  • Erectile dysfunction

Is Trazodone safe as a sleep aid?

For many patients, the drug has a sedative effect even at low doses, inducing a relaxed, sleepy feeling by blocking chemicals in the brain that interact with serotonin and other neurotransmitter and histamine receptors. For this reason, it’s considered a good alternative to more strictly controlled substances like Ambien, Lunesta, or even benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax or Restoril.

In prescribing the drug for sleep disorders, physicians typically recommend taking a low dose at bedtime in order to limit the effects of drowsiness, and even at these low doses, many people still report lingering effects like sluggishness and fatigue, particularly right after waking up.

How does Trazodone work?

Trazodone works by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the central nervous system and is categorized as a serotonin antagonist reuptake inhibitor (SARI), meaning that it can block neurons from reabsorbing serotonin once it has been released. This leaves the neurotransmitter available in the brain for longer periods of time, which should help with issues related to depression.

While all antidepressant medications are designed to affect brain chemistry, various pharmaceutical formulations of the drugs have different targets and paths. Antidepressants are generally divided into three types: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). Because trazodone doesn’t fit any of these specific categories, it’s commonly classified as an atypical antidepressant and a serotonin modulator.

What are the side effects of Trazodone?

Like most prescription medications, Trazodone may cause side effects even when taken as prescribed. The most common side effects of Trazodone include:

  • Drowsiness (including feeling groggy the next day)
  • Dizziness (including an increased risk of fainting/falling)
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling or numbness in hands, arms or legs
  • Blurred vision
  • Disorientation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Prolonged and painful erections lasting longer than six hours (priapism)
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents (even when taken at approved doses for depression)
  • Weight gain or loss

What are other dangers of Trazodone use?

Serotonin syndrome

One of the risks associated with abusing antidepressants such as Trazodone is a condition called serotonin syndrome, which occurs when high levels of serotonin accumulate in the body.

Clinical symptoms of serotonin syndrome can develop within two hours—or up to 24 hours—after taking an increased dose or combining antidepressant drugs.

Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate

Risk of Suicidal Thoughts

Like many antidepressants, trazodone has been issued a “Black Box Warning” by the FDA.

Trazodone may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and young adults (under the age of 24) and is not approved for use with pediatric patients. People taking this medication should be closely monitored for worsening symptoms and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Potential for abuse

While trazodone is often prescribed for insomnia as an alternative to medications like benzodiazepines and hypnotics that are known to have a higher potential for abuse, it can still cause physical dependence, especially when it is misused and/or taken in higher doses.

Although it is not a common primary drug of abuse, there are many reports of individuals snorting Trazodone to intensify its sedating the facts and speed up the onset of action for recreational purposes. It may also be used in combination with other drugs, such as prescription narcotics or alcohol, which can also intensify its effects.

What are Trazodone withdrawal symptoms?

Trazodone use does lead to physical dependence, and abruptly discontinuing use can cause those taking the medication to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. While taking Trazodone, the brain responds to the increased amount of serotonin by reducing the number of serotonin receptors. When a person stops taking the drug, the decreased volume of receptors creates a short-term deficiency of serotonin activity. While the brain will typically correct this on its own over time, one may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during the adjustment period.

In order to avoid these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, people may continue to use Trazodone even if it is no longer needed. In extreme cases, those with a dependency or addiction will even visit different doctors for more prescriptions or purchase it illegally.

Symptoms of trazodone withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

How do you treat Trazodone withdrawal?

Rather than stopping the medication immediately, physicians typically recommend a gradual tapering. This approach is considered a better protocol to avoid potential discomfort associated with trazadone withdrawal syndrome, also known as discontinuation syndrome.

This is how we treat trazodone withdrawal as well. Our physicians help patients slowly taper down their dose while carefully monitoring their physical and mental health.

They may also prescribe non-addicting medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and allow the patient to participate in treatment and/or activities of daily life. While there are no medications approved by the FDA specifically to treat trazodone addiction and withdrawal, certain non-addicting drugs can make the withdrawal phase easier to manage. These include certain antiseizure/antiepileptic medicines, atypical antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.

How do you handle rebound depression through dual-diagnosis treatment?

Due to the way Trazodone affects brain chemistry and because it is often prescribed to treat depression in the first place, many people experience an intense rebound of their depression symptoms when discontinuing the medication. That’s why the best treatment approach treats substance use and any co-occurring psychological disorder at the same time, known as dual-diagnosis treatment.

Enterhealth’s dual-diagnosis capabilities provide us greater insight into the cause-and-effect relationship between medications and psychological disorders. Our team of MDs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and Master’s-Level Therapists work in tandem to diagnose and treat disorders such as:

  • Major depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar (manic depression/ mood swings)
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • PTSD/Traumatic experiences
  • Eating disorders, including weight-loss surgery patients


How do you know if someone is addicted to Trazodone?

Any use of Trazodone outside of a doctor’s instructions is considered drug abuse. This includes tampering with pills by chewing, crushing, cutting or dissolving them in order to ingest, snort or inject a higher dose than prescribed. Even if the pills are not tampered with, taking more pills than prescribed is also considered abuse of the drug.

Trazodone addiction signs include:

  • Taking more than the prescribed dosage
  • “Doctor shopping” for multiple prescriptions
  • Tampering with it before taking it
  • Mixing it with other sedatives or alcohol

Can you overdose on Trazodone?

There have been reports of overdose with trazodone use. These risks are higher with drinking alcohol, taking benzodiazepines, and other central nervous system depressant drugs that can slow your breathing and reactions.

Trazodone overdose symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath/trouble breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Priapism in men (an erection lasting longer than 4 hours)
  • Fainting
  • Coma
  • Seizures
*State standard is 1:10 clinical staff to patient ratio