Abilify is an antidepressant medication that is typically prescribed by physicians to boost the effectiveness of an antidepressant drug that the patient is already taking. In some circumstances, a patient may be taking an anti-depressive medication that is not achieving quite the level of results that the patient seeks, and so a physician may prescribe Abilify on top of the use of that medication in order to see if better results can be experienced by the patient.
Abilify is also considered for the treatment and maintenance of Schizophrenia in adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years and adults, as well as the maintenance treatment for the manic episodes associated with Bipolar Type 1 Disorder, especially in situations where the manic episodes involve psychotic features.
The most common way that Abilify is abused is when a patient takes it in a manner that is not indicated by the prescription. Examples of this include taking higher dosages than what is recommended, taking dosages more often than what is recommended, taking the drug for longer than is recommended, or taking the drug in a manner that is not recommended.
Some people that choose to abuse Abilify do so by taking it in a manner that is not recommended by the prescription. Abilify comes in a tablet form that is meant to be consumed orally with water. People have attempted to feel the results of the drug more quickly by crushing the tablet into a fine powder and either snorting it up the nose or dissolving it in water and attempting to inject it directly into the blood stream intravenously. While this can cause the drug to be absorbed or metabolized more quickly, it also has negative side effects including creating a much stronger physical dependency on the drug, which is only going to make the abuse of the drug even more necessary.
It is quite common for people to experience a growing physical dependency on this and other anti-depressant medications over a period of time. Often it will feel to them as if the medication is no longer working, and that greater amounts of the drug are necessary just to produce the same feeling. When this happens, the patient should consult their physician, but they often do not do so assuming that they can simply achieve the same results as before by modifying their own prescription.
Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms
Abilify is considered to be a drug that is difficult for patients to stop taking, especially once a true physical dependency has been developed. There are a number of different symptoms associated with Abilify withdrawal, including:
- Feelings of Anxiety
- The Onset of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
- Autism Response
- Abrupt Changes in Mood or Mood Swings
- Development or Worsening of Post-Partum Depression
- Disruptions in Sleep
These symptoms can occur in isolated incidents from one another, or several may occur at once primarily depending on the person's physical dependency on the drug and how much Abilify they were actually taking prior to stopping. One should never quit taking Abilify "cold turkey" without consulting with a physician or an addiction rehabilitation specialist.
Abilify Abuse Treatment Options
The withdrawal process from taking Abilify is something that should only be done with help from a licensed health practitioner. The safest way to overcome Abilify withdrawal and an addiction or dependency to this drug is in the care of a drug rehabilitation center, because they are well equipped to handle both the physical and the psychological aspects of the addiction together.
The first step of a detox and rehabilitation program is to remove the drug from the system. Because the drug can be difficult to stop taking, the best course of action is to wean the body off the drug slowly in order to avoid the potential for withdrawal symptoms. Once there is no longer a trace of Abilify in the system, then that is when true rehabilitation can begin, which involves cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, behavior modification and the development of new, healthy habits in order to eliminate the emotional and psychological hold that the drug had on the person.
Both the physical and emotional aspects of the addiction need to be taken care of in order to prevent relapse or re-occurrence from becoming a problem. This is why working with a licensed rehabilitation facility is absolutely essential. The right drug rehab facility is going to have the tools and the staff required to help the patient overcome this addiction not only in the short term, but once and for all.