Zoloft is a brand-name antidepressant medication that is generically known as sertraline HCI. It can exist in the form of a pill, tablet, or liquid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Zoloft in 1991, and it is currently approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder (social phobia). It is also approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults, children, and adolescents aged 6-17 years. Occasionally, Zoloft is used off-label to treat eating disorders and insomnia.
Zoloft belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In general, SSRIs work in the brain by slowing the reabsorption of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that directly influences one’s sleep, mood, and emotion), which subsequently, increases the overall levels of serotonin available to interact within the brain. Although research has proven that it can be an effective source of treatment, as is true with taking any type of medication there are associated risks, including risks for misuse, dependence, withdrawal, and overdose. Further, there are several drug interactions, and mixing Zoloft with other substances may lead to severe short- and long-term consequences.
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD) is a chronic, neurological condition that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The Mayo Clinic explains addiction as a disease “that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication” without regard for consequence. An individual that struggles with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her substance cravings above all else. The development of substance use disorder does not occur immediately, nor will recovering from addiction be achieved instantaneously. The path of recovery from substance abuse and/ or addiction will not be the same for every person, as everyone is unique, with nuanced and distinct needs. Though prescribing Zoloft to an individual who struggles with addiction comes with risks, a medical professional will be able to assess whether the benefits will outweigh the possible risks and advise accordingly.
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.
If left untreated, substance abuse, addiction, and/ or mental illness can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process.