How Can Paxil Help You in Addiction Recovery?

Paxil, a SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is an antidepressant that is often prescribed to treat anxiety or depression. It blocks serotonin reuptake, allowing for more space between the brain’s nerve cells. In turn, this gives serotonin a greater chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell, decreasing symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Early recovery can be difficult for many people, and symptoms of depression or anxiety may be present. Additionally, many individuals struggling with addiction also have co-occurring disorders. If someone has co-occurring disorders, it is generally best to treat both disorders simultaneously. Paxil, when taken as prescribed and under a healthcare provider’s supervision, can be beneficial to people on their recovery journey.

Paxil’s Use in Addiction Treatment

doctor helping patient

Paxil is often prescribed in addiction rehabilitation centers. Many people struggling with addiction are also dealing with co-occurring mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, undiagnosed mental illness is a very common reason that people self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

In a rehab setting, mental health and addiction treatment experts develop strategies for treating co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. These strategies use evidence-based treatments and may also include the use of proven medication treatment. This is where Paxil may come in.

While anxiety is just one of the common symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, its effects can be crippling. When dealing with anxiety disorder, or other mental health disorders, people in addiction recovery may find it difficult to focus on the recovery process. In these instances, Paxil may help to alleviate symptoms of mental illness, allowing clients to fully focus on treatment.

What makes Paxil a good choice for people in recovery? Paxil is not considered habit-forming, therefore not as addictive. Other kinds of medications, such as benzodiazepines, like Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax, come with a higher risk of dependency the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physician reports.

Side Effects of Paxil

Virtually all pharmaceutical medications involve side effects of some kind. Even when taken as directed, Paxil may cause uncomfortable side effects in some people. Normal use of Paxil can result in the following issues:

  • Belching.
  • Congestion.
  • Sour stomach.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Heartburn.
  • Problems urinating.
  • Sleepiness.

Who Should Not Take Paxil?

While Paxil is safe for most people, it is not recommended for everyone.

  • Children and adolescents should not take Paxil. Paxil can trigger serious suicidal thoughts in people under the age of 18.
  • Pregnant women should also avoid taking Paxil. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), research studies have shown that taking Paxil during early pregnancy can result in a higher likelihood of birth defects
  • Drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can negatively interfere with the effects of Paxil. Alcohol and drugs can weaken the effectiveness of the medication and increase the sedation effect associated with Paxil.

The Need for Comprehensive Treatment

Paxil can be a useful tool in addiction treatment for many people. Supervising physicians, in conjunction with the entire treatment team at a Hollywood, FL drug and alcohol rehab, will make the decision regarding use of Paxil for specific clients. Medications like Paxil are only one aspect of addiction treatment; they should be used in conjunction with comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment to ensure the best chances of sustained recovery.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment in South Florida

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder or a co-occurring mental health disorder and addiction, there is help available. The expert team of addiction recovery specialists at Recovery First Treatment Center in Hollywood, FL has decades of experience helping people find healing from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Call our admissions navigators today at to find out more information about our addiction treatment levels of care, using your insurance to pay for treatment, and to learn about other ways to cover the cost of inpatient rehab. They’ll also be happy to help you navigate the admissions process and answer your questions about what to expect in treatment.

Contact us today to begin your journey to hope, healing, and recovery.

The Price of Not Getting Help
When contemplating the costs of addiction treatment for yourself, child, or loved one, consider the costs, or consequences, of “things as they are now.” What would happen if the substance abuse or addiction continued? Contact Recovery First, and we will help you or your loved one get the treatment needed to stop the dangerous, progressive effects of addiction.