In the wrong hands, any prescription medication could be dangerous. In the wrong hands refers to anyone who would choose to abuse a prescription medication like Elavil (Amitriptyline).
What is Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
Why would someone choose to abuse Elavil (Amitriptyline)? To give a proper answer to this question, there needs to be an understanding of precisely what kind of drug we are talking about.
Elavil is the brand-name for Amitriptyline. Scientists classify this drug as tricyclic antidepressant medication. This is an old-style medication that doctors used to prescribe for severe depression issues. Today, they tend to no longer prescribe this drug in favor of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Doctors favor these newer antidepressants because of the fewer side effects brought on by the drugs themselves.
What’s notable about Elavil (Amitriptyline) is the drug is also useful as a treatment option for treating pain issues. That would include pain issues that come from conditions like migraine headaches, AHDH, arthritis, fibromyalgia, damaged nerve endings, and undiagnosed chronic back and neck pain issues. That’s the drug’s dirty little secret. It has appeal because the drug produces effects like improved mood, motor skills, and energy levels.
Finally, there’s one other thing about Elavil (Amitriptyline) that makes it particularly dangerous. The FDA has not classified this drug as a controller substance. While users need a prescription to carry it, the penalties for illegal distribution are far less restrictive than the penalties for unlawful distribution of prescription pain killers, heroin, and meth.
Elavil (Amitriptyline) Side Effects
As is the case with any other medication, Elavil (Amitriptyline) does bring with it specific side effects. With proper use, the side effects should not be an issue. It’s when someone decides to abuse the substance that the side effects become more likely to appear. The most common side effects include:
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Difficulties with urination
- Increased appetite and sudden weight gain
- Constipation issues
- Skins issues like rashes and itching
- Headaches and blurred vision
There is one other significant side effect. Elavil (Amitriptyline) is highly addictive. Anyone who would decide to use this drug in ways their doctor did not intend would be subjecting themselves to the possibility of the occurrence of addiction.
Signs of Elavil (Amitriptyline) Addiction
Generally, experts don’t view antidepressants as addictive substances. The active ingredients in such substances don’t lend themselves to be all that addictive. Unfortunately, there’s something about the chemical makeup of Elavil (Amitriptyline) that does hold the potential of creating an addiction.
Because this drug does not show visible signs of being addictive, it takes a bit longer for someone to develop an addiction to it. It can happen with extended use or by the addiction sufferer taking large doses regularly. Regardless of how the addiction gets life, the signs of addiction look a lot like the signs one would expect to see with other addictive substances like prescription painkillers. As a point of reference, you should review this following list of addiction signs associated with Elavil (Amitriptyline):
- Losing interest in activities that used to bring enjoyment
- Increasing difficulties in personal relationships
- Increasing difficulty accomplishing tasks at home, work or school
- Obsession with procuring the substance
- Prescription shopping to stock up supply
- Lack of care about hygiene
- Sudden onset of behavioral issues, including criminal behavior
- Constantly increasing doses to get the desired effect
If you or someone you love show any combination of these addiction symptoms, it’s essential for that person to seriously consider getting addiction treatment from a reputable rehab facility like ours.
Getting Treatment for Elavil (Amitriptyline) Addiction and Abuse (Detox)
When someone ends up with an addiction to Elavil (Amitriptyline), there is only one way the addiction sufferer is going to be able to arrest their drug addiction. They will need to submit themselves for treatment from a professional and licensed drug and alcohol treatment center. To be clear, this is the only treatment option that has consistently shown any level of effectiveness at stopping Elavil (Amitriptyline) abuse.
The treatment process starts the second the client walks into the door of rehab. They will need to go through an entrance evaluation to help the facility’s administrators determine the proper course of treatment. They will do that by looking at the client’s drug abuse history and the circumstances surrounding the addiction.
Yes, any attempts by someone to stop taking it or to reduce doses will lead to withdrawal symptoms. While Elavil (Amitriptyline) withdrawal might not be as potentially devastating as heroin withdrawal symptoms, they still hold the potential of causing the addiction sufferer significant physical and psychological issues. To help you understand the dangers of Elavil (Amitriptyline) withdrawal, here are some signs of note:
- Hypersensitivity to stimuli like light and sound
- Nausea diarrhea, and vomiting
- Sudden decrease in appetite
- Muscle cramping throughout the body
- Headaches and dizziness
- Loss of the ability to hand basic tasks
- Psychological issues like depression, high anxiety, and suicidal thoughts
- Fatigue and sleeping problems
Given the dangers someone might encounter as they detox, the facility’s administrators are likely to prescribe for the client to go through a medically monitored detox program. The goal of a medically supervised detox program is to keep clients safe and secure while they deal with withdrawal. The hope is each client will be able to detox without medical intervention. However, medical staffers are standing by should the client start to show significant signs of discomfort. In such cases, a facility physician will have the option to prescribed relief medications.
Getting Treatment for Elavil (Amitriptyline) Addiction and Abuse (Therapy)
Following a successful stint in detox, the client will move forward to the therapy portion of the addiction treatment process. This is the “meat and potatoes” of treatment because this is where the client gets to learn the truth about their addiction. For the client’s part, they need to show commitment to the treatment process by being open and honest with their therapist.
For the therapist’s part, they need to direct the client towards an understanding of why the client fell victim to addiction in the first place. This information will serve as the basis for helping the client to develops better life and coping skills. Remember, there is no cure for addiction. The best a client can hope for is to arrest their addiction and leave it dormant for a lifetime.
To do that, the client will need life and coping skills that will help them manage their triggers and the temptations that cause in them the desire to abuse drugs like Elavil (Amitriptyline). The life and coping skills end up being the client’s last line of defense against relapses.
Getting Treatment for Elavil (Amitriptyline) Addiction and Abuse (The Final Chapter)
After doing all the hard work to find sobriety from a substance like Elavil (Amitriptyline), it’s incumbent on the client to do what’s necessary to protect their sobriety. That often means taking advantage of any aftercare option the rehab facility makes available. A typical list of aftercare programs is usually minimal but critical for someone serious about their recovery. Here are the most crucial aftercare options a person in recovery should consider when the recovery knees feel weak:
- Participation in 12 Step meeting (AA or NA)
- Spend time living in a sober living environment
- Involvement in rehab facility alumni programs and events
- Additional outpatient counseling
If someone in recovery is willing to use these resources, it’s a good bet they will be able to maintain their recovery well into the future.
If you have been abusing Elavil (Amitriptyline) or any other addictive substance, we want you to consider getting treatment. Remember, addiction is a one way street to devastation. The only way to set your addiction aside is by seeking help from a reputable rehab facility. We can offer you that help. All we need to help you get started on your recovery is a phone call that indicates you are ready to get help.