can sertraline get you high?

Can You Get High Off Sertraline?

No. When used as prescribed, sertraline (generic name Zoloft) is not psychoactive and does not create feelings of intoxication. 

Less than 1% of those who take Zoloft experience a sense of euphoria.

Antidepressants such as Zoloft are not happy pills; they merely alleviate depression.

The most prevalent description of Zoloft’s effects is a gradual feeling of relief from depression — not of euphoria or a high state of mind.

Can You Get High off Sertraline?
Can Sertraline Get You High?

What is Sertraline?

Sertraline is a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used to treat major depressive disorder, social anxiety, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

What is Sertraline Used For?

Sertraline is used to treat several mental health conditions like major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

How How Does Sertraline Work?

Sertraline works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. This action increases the level of serotonin in the brain and helps to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Sertraline Side Effects

Common side effects of sertraline include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremor or shaking
  • Increased sweating
  • Drowsiness or tiredness
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Decreased sex drive or difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

Less common side effects of sertraline include:

  • Rash or hives
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

If you are taking sertraline and experience any of these side effects, it is important to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional. They may be able to recommend a different medication or adjust the dosage of your current medication to reduce the severity of the side effects.

Antidepressant medications, including sertraline, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 24. It is not clear if the medication itself increases the risk or if it is due to the underlying condition for which the medication is being taken.

If you are taking sertraline and have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it is important to seek help immediately. You can call your doctor, go to the emergency room, or call a suicide prevention hotline. Some options for suicide prevention hotlines include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States (1-800-273-8255) and the Samaritans in the United Kingdom (116 123).

It is also important to tell your doctor if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or behavior, as they may need to adjust your treatment plan.

Normal Dosage Of Sertraline

The normal dosage of sertraline is between 50 mg and 200 mg.

It does not appear to be effective below 50 mg and there is no evidence of real benefits over 200mg

Can You Abuse Sertraline?

Overusing sertraline is not common as a form of drug abuse. Antidepressants such as Zoloft do not induce happiness. They have what is called a serenic effect that means you are just less concerned about things.

On the downside this can mean you are less excited by happy things as well as less worried about anxious things. This emotional numbing is why many people stop taking these SSRIs.

The majority of antidepressant abuse (not just sertraline, but fluoxetine, citalopram, etc) instances have occurred in people with who already had drug addiction and substance abuse propblems.

The most frequently cited reason for substance misuse is the desire for a psychostimulant-like effect. In ordinary language, they wanted a buzz or to get high. This doesn’t really happen with SSRIs though.

The majority of people who are prescribed antidepressants do not abuse them. Certain kinds of antidepressants do, however, have misuse potential.

Is Sertraline Addictive?

In many individuals, Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants like fluoxetine (prozac) can be addictive. But this is a psychological dependence rather than a chemical one.

We might even see it as a ‘safety behavior’ which is a term from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for when we do certain behaviors to make us feel safe even when they have no material effect.

About 50% of people treated with SSRIs exhibit this addictiveness. As noted, People do not generally have cravings for SSIRs however.

I haven’t found abuse of sertraline (Zoloft) to be a problem with my patients, but other sources on the internet do see it.

They say that Zoloft is also one of the most often misused medications available. This is partially due to its accessibility. Zoloft addiction is more likely to develop in those who abuse the medication by using it excessively or improperly.

Continual use is also problematic. As an individual’s tolerance level rises, he or she may require higher doses to produce the same impact. It can also be problematic if someone uses Zoloft chronically and abruptly discontinues use. The individual may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

My experience is that substance abuse with Zoloft is rare.

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Can Sertraline Get You High?

Withdrawal From Sertraline

If you have been taking sertraline for an extended period of time and wish to stop taking it, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you gradually reduce your dosage over time in order to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms from sertraline can vary in severity and may include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness

If you experience any of these symptoms after stopping sertraline, it is important to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance. They may recommend that you resume taking the medication at a lower dosage and gradually decrease your dosage over time to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

Stopping Sertraline

Firstly, you don’t need a detox and you don’t need specialist addiction treatment. I find that people can come off sertraline from 50mg to zero, but if that’s too much for you, you could cut the pill in half (with a pill cutter) though pharmacists hate you doing that. Or you could try taking 50mg every other day though that might give a yo-yo effect.

Serotonin Syndrome

We need to give a warning about Serotonin Syndrome. This syndrome is a very rare but potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body has too much serotonin. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome can include:

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Heavy sweating
  • Occasionally hallucinations

If this happens after taking high doses of antidepressants or a combination of antidepressants and other serotonin increasing drugs like when amitryptiline or nortryptiline are given for nerve pain, or sumitriptan or other migraine drugs are taken, then you need urgent medical attention.

It’s rare, but if it happens, then don’t delay.

Conclusion: Can You Get High Off Zoloft (Sertraline)?

The short answer is that you don’t get high from Zoloft even if you snort it. I don’t think anyone has ever injected it. Apparently snorting it is very painful. I wouldn’t try.

Psychological dependence can develop, but even that is rare with Zoloft, and you can suffer discontinuation syndrome if you come off it too quickly.

Also, Zoloft abuse is rare. Remember, If you are taking Zoloft for a mental health disorder, usually anxiety or depression, then it is not intended to get you high.

It doesn’t.

Remember that if you have any issues or questions you should seek help from medical professionals.

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Can Sertraline Get You High?


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