Can Buspirone Be Abused?
Anxiety disorders have become a common diagnosis in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that around 15 percent of Americans live with some form of anxiety disorder. Some people can carry on with normal life with lifestyle changes or a strong support network. Patients with moderate to severe cases, however, may need more intensive treatment. Buspirone is one option for treatment. Buspirone has proven to be effective for many patients, but some may worry about dependence issues. Here, we will try to answer some common questions, including:
- What is anxiety disorder?
- How does buspirone help?
- What are alternate treatment options for anxiety?
- How is buspirone dependence treated?
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is diagnosed in patients who experience significant worry over a period of six months. This worry can be general, or specific to a certain aspect of life (job, finances, children,etc.) Anxiety disorder can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Symptoms include:
- Feeling restless or on-edge
- Muscle tension
- Inability to control feelings of worry
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
GAD is sometimes linked with other disorders, such as panic disorder or various phobias. Panic disorder causes patients to feel unexpected feelings of terror. These attacks usually come on quickly, and last for a few minutes. Phobias are an intense fear of a particular place, situation, or thing. There is no comprehensive list of phobias. However, some common phobias include fear of heights, flying, certain animals, or public situations.
How Does Buspirone Help?
Buspirone is one of several medications used to treat GAD. This medication works by regulating some natural substances of the brain. Buspirone increases the uptake of serotonin by the brain’s neurotransmitters, which has a calming effect. Medication is taken orally, twice a day for most patients. Some medical practitioners will prescribe buspirone along with other medications, or as a replacement to another medication. Patients generally stay on buspirone for up to one year depending on symptoms. Side effects can include:
Buspirone is generally considered one of the safer medications in terms of potential abuse. However, like any drug, buspirone can be misused. Misuse simply means any use not prescribed by the patient’s doctor. The most common misuses are accidental, such as taking the wrong amount or at the wrong time. In some cases, recreational users have used the buspirone for its calming effects. This intentional misuse is classified as drug abuse. In these cases, users can either orally ingest or snort the ground-up pill for a more pronounced effect. If you are currently living with alcohol use disorder (AUD,) be sure to let your doctor know. Since buspirone is a calming medication, it should not be taken with alcohol.
What Are Some Alternative Treatments For Anxiety?
Only your doctor can decide if buspirone is right for your specific situation. However, there are many other treatment options available for patients with anxiety. Your doctor can prescribe other daily medications, or as-needed medications such as Xanax. Other alternative treatments include therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or trauma informed therapy. Many patients benefit from the identification of triggers and coping strategies developed in these sessions. Your care team may also recommend other treatments, such as lifestyle changes, meditation, or art/music therapy. All of these alternatives have value, and should be considered whether or not you choose to use medication.
How Is Buspirone Dependence Treated?
If you are currently living with a dependence on Buspirone, programs like ours can help. Treatment generally consists of two phases. The first phase is medically supervised detoxification, or detox. In detox, you will be monitored for safety and comfort as your body flushes substance from your system. This can be done either inpatient or outpatient depending on the program and your needs. Your care team may give you medication to control symptoms of withdrawal for your comfort. This process generally lasts 1-2 weeks.
Once detox is complete, you will start the main treatment regimen. Depending on your program, you will likely start out as either inpatient or in a partial hospitalization program (PHP.) Inpatient programs allow you to stay at the treatment facility 24 hours a day. Partial hospitalization typically involves treatment during the day, and spending evenings at a sober living house. These houses have all of the comforts of home, without the temptation to use. Treatment may consist of medical checkups along with individual and group therapy. Your program may also include other activities, such as yoga, music therapy, or 12 step groups.
ARIA Can Help
If you are currently living with a drug addiction and anxiety, contact us today to learn how we can help. Addiction is a medical condition, not a moral failure. We accept most major insurance plans, and are well equipped to help you achieve a full recovery.