There are a lot of different antidepressants out there, but recovering drug addicts may be hesitant to seek medication to help them with their issues. For this reason, it’s important to try to figure out which is the best antidepressant for drug addicts?
That question depends on a lot of things since there are many reasons that people can develop depression. Before jumping straight into medication, it’s always a good idea to try out natural and herbal supplements to combat mental health issues. They may be as potent as antidepressants, but they generally have fewer side effects.
How to Figure Out the Best Antidepressant for Drug Addicts?
Antidepressants aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Different antidepressants work on different systems in the body. The main types of antidepressants are:
- SSRIs. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors allow your brain to more effectively use serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved with regulating emotion and stabilizing mood.
- NDRIs. Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors work in a similar manner as SSRIs, except they work on two different neurotransmitters: dopamine and norepinephrine. These two compounds are involved with energy, motivation, and mood.
- Tricyclic antidepressants. These antidepressants are not used as common anymore because the side effects tend to outweigh the benefits.
- MAOIs. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors prevent the brain from getting rid of a compound known as monoamine oxidase, which is usually responsible for breaking down neurotransmitters like dopamine. Less monoamine oxidase means more dopamine, which can help fight depression.
Using Your Addiction as a Resource
It can be hard to determine which antidepressant will be best for a recovering drug addict. However, there are some things to consider.
Why did you use drugs in the first place?
The first step is to figure out why you used drugs in the first place. Oftentimes, figuring out what underlying issue caused your drug addiction provides enough encouragement for people to work through these issues with the help of therapy or counseling. Stress-reduction and mood-balancing techniques can go a long way.
What type of drugs did you use?
The type of drugs you were using can indicate what sort of problem you were trying to mask.
For example, stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine produce energy and euphoria by targeting the dopamine and norepinephrine system. For these recovering addicts, NDRIs may be useful.
Opiate users, on the other hand, often use drugs in hopes of numbing psychological or emotional issues like anxiety or trauma.
People who abuse MDMA, MDA, or other serotonergic drugs may need to resort to a serotonin-based antidepressant.
It may be easier to make this decision after speaking to a therapist or counselor about your addiction. Therapists help you learn more about your addiction.
It’s also important that you bring up your ideas to a psychiatrist or doctor. The idea of matching antidepressants to a specific type of addiction is novel, and very few places have implemented this idea.
If you or a loved one need to know what the best antidepressant for drug addicts might be, the answer depends on you as an individual. Hopefully, this article helps you understand a bit more about how antidepressants affect recovering drug users.