While addiction to prescription medication is not a new phenomenon, there are drugs whose addiction potential has been in question. In fact, even now, some of these drugs have quite a lot of questions as to their addiction potential. Most of the prescription drugs that have been known to be highly addictive have already been outlawed from use in health care facilities while the prescription and use of others has been placed under control. This is in an effort to bring an end or to lower the addiction rates of these drugs.
Whether or not it has worked is still arguable, however. The fact remains that there are numerous other drugs still prescribed in medical facilities simply because they are not thought to come with as much addiction potential. This, however, does not undermine the fact that some of them actually are habit forming, especially when taken for extended periods of time.
One drug that has elicited a lot of debate as to its addictive potential is Seroquel. Also known as “quetiapine fumarate,” this drug has been extensively used in the treatment for conditions such as schizophrenia or manic depression, also referred to as bipolar disorder. It is important to acknowledge that the drug does not cure these conditions, but, rather, only assists in the control of their symptoms.
The drug is categorized in the class of medications known as second generation, or atypical antipsychotic, medications. The working of this drug has, however, been more or less unknown, especially as far as treating manic depression or schizophrenia is concerned. Nevertheless, it is understood that the drug lessens or blocks the effects of a number of brain chemicals. The chemicals (including serotonin and dopamine) are elevated in individuals who have these disorders.
Studies have actually shown that individuals who were taking the drug for treatment of manic depression symptoms show quite a lot of improvement in comparison to those who were not taking it. The drug was also shown to be effective in treating bipolar disorder. Not only have the studies shown the drug to be effective in treating depression episodes, but also in prevention of a return of their symptoms. For episodes of bipolar depression, the drug lowers suicidal thinking, not to mention improving the quality of the individuals’ overall life. As for episodes of bipolar mania, the drug helps in reducing manic symptoms.
While this drug is quite useful in assuaging these symptoms, there have been cases where it has been reported to be addictive. Many individuals have found it quite difficult to stop taking the drug, especially after consuming it for a prolonged period. Physical and psychological dependences, especially for recreational users, develop with the body depending on seroquel instead of its normal functions.
Since the levels of the serotonin and dopamine that the body becomes used to would only be attained through consumption of the drug, the individual has more or less no option but to take it. Addiction is always characterized by loss of one’s control for the consumption of the drugs. It is always precedented by dependence. At this stage, it is important that the individual consults a qualified medical practitioner rather than make any alterations as to the dosage one takes.