Wellbutrin is a prescription medication used to treat seasonal affective disorder, depression, and as a stop-smoking aid. When taken as prescribed, there is a very low risk of developing an addiction to the drug. However, as with any medication, it is understandable that people want to know if you can get addicted to Wellbutrin. Join us as we answer the question: Is Wellbutrin addictive?
What Is Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin is the brand name of the drug bupropion. Another common brand name is called Zyban. When taken, Wellbutrin causes an increase in dopamine and norepinephrine, both neurotransmitters. Dopamine is associated with pleasure, while norepinephrine can cause an increase in adrenaline.
The elevation in these neurotransmitters helps alleviate depressive symptoms. In addition, when used as a stop-smoking aid, the drug reduces nicotine cravings and reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
How Is Wellbutrin Misused?
When Wellbutrin is misused, it is often referred to as “poor man’s cocaine.” The elevated levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in someone who uses the drug without a prescription can result in pleasurable sensations and feelings and increased focus.
The brain remembers this drug use as a positive behavior. As a result, the potential for misuse increases when the person continues to use Wellbutrin when they do not need it.
How Is Wellbutrin Similar to Cocaine?
The primary similarity between cocaine and Wellbutrin is the increase in dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Since both drugs do the same thing, this is why it is called “poor man’s cocaine.”
In addition, someone could get a Wellbutrin prescription for relatively cheap. They could even buy it illegally for a fraction of the cost of a gram of cocaine.
How Are Wellbutrin and Cocaine Different?
While the effects of the drugs may be similar, there are several differences. For starters, Wellbutrin is an antidepressant, and cocaine is a stimulant. Next, Wellbutrin comes in tablet form in different dosages, while cocaine is a powder or combined with baking powder and cooked to make crack.
Another major difference is the speed at which the drugs work and how long their effects last. Cocaine’s effects are fast acting and only last a few hours. In comparison, Wellbutrin’s effects take longer to experience and can last much longer. In addition, the body may not start to feel the effects of Wellbutrin until it has been taken for several weeks.
How Is Wellbutrin Misused?
Wellbutrin can be misused in several different ways. For example, some people will take numerous tablets, crush them into a powder, snort it, or mix it with water and inject it. By using multiple tablets, it can cause the drug’s effects to occur much faster.
Other people may take much higher doses of the tablets multiple times throughout the day. But, then, some people will mix Wellbutrin with other substances, like alcohol or cocaine, to enhance the effects of both substances.
Can I Get Addicted to Wellbutrin If I Use It Daily?
Suppose you are taking Wellbutrin as prescribed by your doctor to treat depression or seasonal affective disorder or using the drug as a stop-smoking aid. In that case, it is highly unlikely you will become addicted to the drug.
On the other hand, if you are taking Wellbutrin when you do not require the drug, then there is an inherent risk of developing an addiction to it.
Common Wellbutrin Addiction Signs
Is Wellbutrin addictive? If you are concerned you or a loved one may be addicted to Wellbutrin, you should look for the following signs:
- Wellbutrin is being taken when it was not prescribed for the individual.
- The person has been prescribed the medication but has started taking it in higher doses.
- The person attempts to get multiple prescriptions for Wellbutrin from different healthcare providers.
- The person is combining Wellbutrin with alcohol or other drugs.
- The person is crushing up the tablets, snorting them, or mixing them with water and injecting them.
- The person attempts to hide their Wellbutrin use from others.
- The person becomes defensive when questioned about their Wellburtin use.
- The person has started using other substances when they cannot obtain Wellbutrin.
- The person is withdrawing from friends and family.
- The person no longer finds pleasure in hobbies and activities they used to enjoy.
- The person cannot function without being under the effects of Wellbutrin.
Is Misusing Wellbutrin Dangerous?
There are dangers to misusing Wellbutrin. One of the more common dangers is an increased risk of seizures. Wellbutrin misuse can also increase blood pressure and heart rates, which could lead to heart attacks and heart failure. There is also the risk of accidental overdose when someone takes too high of a dosage.
Common Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms
When someone is misusing Wellbutrin, they can experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug wears off, including:
- Muscle Pain and Cramping
- Frequent Mood Swings
- Cravings for Wellbutrin
- Flu-Like Symptoms
- Decreased Appetite
- Joint Pain
- Excessive Sweating
Wellbutrin Detox Treatment in Pompano Beach, FL
If you or someone you care about is misusing Wellbutrin, help to quit misusing this drug is available at DCF and Joint Commission-accredited Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL. We offer medically supervised detox at our medical detox center. To start your Wellbutrin detox in a supportive, caring, and safe environment, contact us today.