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Some anxiety pills can be addictive, while others are not viewed as habit-forming medications. There several types of antianxiety medications, each with respective risks, benefits, and appropriate uses, some of which include the following, provided by the Mayo Clinic

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): work by slowing the reabsorption of serotonin (the neurotransmitter known to help with mood regulation and anxiety) in one’s brain. SSRIs are not considered habit-forming. They can take up to several weeks to achieve their maximum effectiveness. Common examples of SSRIs include:
  • Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): work by reducing the reabsorption of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in one’s brain. They can be prescribed to treat anxiety, depression, and some chronic pain conditions. SNRIs are not considered addictive. Akin to SSRIs, SNRIs can also take several weeks to achieve their full effect. Common examples of SNRIs that are used to treat anxiety include:
  • Benzodiazepines: a type of sedative that alleviates muscle tension and can reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. They work by interacting with the neurons in one’s brain to suppress and calm down electrical excitement. As a fast-acting medication, benzodiazepines are often prescribed to help manage symptoms associated with short-term anxiety. They have highly addictive qualities and are considered habit-forming even when they are prescribed at a therapeutic dose. Common examples of benzodiazepines that are used to treat anxiety include:

As is true with taking any type of medication there are associated risks. The specific risks will vary from person to person, as they will depend on several contributing factors (e.g., individual health history, the presence of any comorbid mental health disorders, genetics, etc.). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires antidepressant medications to clearly display a black box warning indicating the possibility of increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors when taken by some individuals under the age of 25. Depending on the individual, and when taken exactly as prescribed, antianxiety medications can be effective in reducing anxiety with a low risk of addiction. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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