• Struggling with opiate addiction can be long and painful. Rehabilitation plans and treatments aim at speeding recovery. Antidepressants are now used to treat patients who have opiate addictions, with various documented benefits.


    Antidepressants and psychotropic drugs help the detoxification and further maintenance of the patient, according to Patrick E. Ciccone, Charles P. O'Brien and Manoochehr Kahtami. They state their findings in their article "Psychotropic Agents in Opiate Addiction; A Brief Review" for Informa Healthcare.

    Secondary Mental Disorders

    Opiate addicts who suffer from secondary mental disorders such as schizophrenia, hallucinations and depression do respond well to antidepressant drugs for the treatment of these symptoms, according to "Psychotropic Agents in Opiate Addiction."


    Antidepressants aid in reducing relapses in opiate addicts, according to Ala Grinenko in the 2003 study "Pharmacotherapy in heroin addiction" on PubMed. The antidepressants reduce anxiety and depression that are common during and after withdrawal when the patients might start to crave opiates again.

    Long Term Effects

    Increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain can reduce chronic pain in the body, according to Dr. David Arenson. However, his article "Methadone/Opiate Withdrawal" for The Drug Policy Education Group also warns against long-term use of antidepressants, stating the reversal of the initial positive effects.


    Antidepressants cannot yet be used as a replacement for methadone, according to "Psychotropic Agents in Opiate Addiction." The effects of antidepressants on the amount of methadone warrants further study, it implies.


    Methadone/Opiate Withdrawal

    Substance Use and Misuse

    [Pharmacotherapy in heroin addiction: pharmacological approaches to remission st

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