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Treatment for Cymbalta Addiction

Medications, therapy, and support groups could all help you to stop abusing Cymbalta. And after a formal treatment program, you can build your own relapse-prevention network to help you avoid relapsing. 

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Cymbalta (generic name duloxetine) is a prescription medication used for depression and some forms of pain. At high doses, this drug can cause euphoria and a burst of energy. Sometimes, people develop addictions to these feelings. 

During medication trials, researchers didn’t notice drug-seeking behavior or addictions. As a result, they didn’t develop therapies made just for Cymbalta abuse. But there are plenty of treatment options for people who can’t stop taking Cymbalta, even if they want to. 

3 Treatment Options for Cymbalta Addiction

Addictions are chronic conditions. While it’s very hard for people to quit using Cymbalta alone, treatment programs can help. 

A successful addiction treatment program can help you to do the following:

  • Stop: You won’t use Cymbalta or any other drug at the end of a successful treatment program.
  • Stay sober: You’ll learn how to avoid returning to drugs. 
  • Contribute: You’ll learn how to be a productive and helpful member of your family and society.

Your treatment program may include some of these elements. 

1. Medications

Quitting Cymbalta abruptly can lead to serious side effects, including seizures. Your brain needs time to adjust to the lack of drugs, and often, a slow taper makes that possible. 

Your team develops a taper schedule based on how much you take and how long you’ve abused drugs. Each day, you’ll take a little less. In time, you’ll take nothing at all. 

Side effects like depression and anxiety may also respond to medications. Your doctor might provide small doses of medications to help you stay calm and comfortable while your brain heals. 

2. Behavioral Therapy

Some people call behavioral therapy talk therapy. This term might minimize the amount of help you can get. Working with a therapist can help you dig deeper into why you used drugs, what makes you keep longing for drugs, and what you should change to stay sober. 

Multiple types of therapy exist, including these:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Your therapist helps you spot your relapse risks and cope with them. You might practice your skills both in sessions and the real world. 
  • Multidimensional family therapy: Young people who abuse drugs can benefit from this form of therapy. Everyone in the family joins in sessions, and together, you work through challenges and find a path forward. 
  • Motivational interviewing (MI): Your willingness to get sober can wax and wane with time. MI techniques can help you build on your successes and remain deeply committed to your recovery.
  • Contingency management (CM): Getting sober is rewarding in time, but some people need successes earlier. CM involves gifts, treats, and other small rewards to help you stay on the right path. 

Some people need multiple forms of therapy to avoid relapsing to Cymbalta or other substances. You might use one treatment early in your recovery and switch to another later. But you may also find a form of therapy that works for you and stay with it for the duration. 

3. Support Groups

Experts say support groups pair perfectly with therapy. While you might pick up formal tools in a therapy session, you can learn from peers in support groups. And they may have suggestions that are just right for you.

Peer-led support groups that follow the Alcoholics Anonymous model allow you to do the following:

  • Learn: Many support groups use books, booklets, and videos to help people learn more about how addictions work and how people recover. 
  • Lean: People new to the support groups are often paired with experienced peers who can support them during tough times. 
  • Support: As your recovery advances, you may be asked to mentor someone new to the program. 
  • Share: You may have stories from your addiction that aren’t appropriate to share with your friends and family. You can tell these stories to the people in your support group. 

Some treatment programs include support groups within them. Others offer alumni support groups, so you can connect with people who used the same program you did. 

Types of Treatment Programs

Understanding the aspects of Cymbalta addiction treatment is just part of your journey. You must also work with your team to pick the right treatment format. Several types are available.


If you’ve tried treatment before and can’t make it stick, inpatient care could be right for you. You’ll move into a treatment facility and get care around the clock. 

Your program might include both detoxification (to help you get sober) and rehabilitation (to help you stay that way). You’ll be supported by plenty of rules and regulations to offer stability so you can focus on your sobriety. 


Just like an inpatient program, a residential program involves moving into a facility for around-the-clock care. But unlike an inpatient program, you may not get medical care in a residential program. Instead, you’ll focus on therapy and strengthening your will to stay sober. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

You need more care than you can get at home, but you don’t need around-the-clock services. An IOP could be right for you. 

On most days, you’ll head to a treatment center for therapy, and you’ll stay there throughout most of the day. You’ll head home on weekends and evenings to spend time with your family. 


You’ve spent time in a residential or inpatient program, but you need more help to stay sober and avoid Cymbalta. An outpatient program could be right for you. 

Treatment teams tailor the program to meet you where you are. This means you might get therapy just a few times per week, or you might participate every day.

Life After Rehab

Treatment programs aim to counteract your Cymbalta addiction. For many people, entering treatment is incredibly difficult, but leaving it brings different challenges. 

Experts say people who maintain their sobriety change several parts of their lives, including these aspects:

  • Self-awareness: They learn more about triggers that lead to drug use, and they develop skills needed to block those triggers. 
  • Self-care: They learn how to eat right, get enough exercise, and sleep through the night. 
  • Balance: They learn how to take care of themselves and others, without putting one ahead of the other. 

Relapse prevention is a critical part of life after treatment. When you return to your home, community, and workplace, you may be surrounded by triggers that you thought you left behind. Your triggers could include the following:

  • Situations: Places or people that you associate with drug use could be powerful triggers. 
  • Circumstances: You might be tempted to return to drugs to deal with challenges like job loss, eviction, or social pressures. 
  • Conditions: Physical and mental health issues could spark a longing for drug use. 
  • Guilt: If you return to drug use, you may feel so upset about it that you beat yourself up and feel even more guilty and likely to relapse. 

Experts say you can focus on what’s important for your recovery. Follow these tips:

  • Change your life so it’s harder to use drugs.
  • Be honest with yourself and others.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Focus on self-care.
  • Don’t break the rules.

There’s no harm in staying connected to your treatment team. You may need periodic touchup sessions to help you stay on the right path. But spending time with others in recovery could help too. 

Support Group Options

No specific support groups for Cymbalta addiction exist. But you have plenty of opportunities to connect with others in recovery.

Many Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs allow people who also take other substances. You’re all struggling with addictions, so you have more in common than you thought possible. 

Some programs like LifeRing could help you connect with others in recovery, and some offer online meetings that could be right for everyone. 

Your treatment team can also help you find a support group when you’re about to exit your program. Tell them what you’re looking for in a support group, and explain that you need help. 

Don’t feel obligated to stay in a support group that isn’t right for you. Attend a few meetings and see if the format and peers are right for you. If they’re not, find another program to try. In time, you’ll find the one that’s the right fit for you. 

Updated June 9, 2023
  1. Cymbalta Prescribing Information. (January 2017). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  2. Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. (January 2019). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  3. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. (2005). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  4. What Types of Addiction Treatment are Available? (October 2022). Partnership to End Addiction.
  5. Reducing Relapse Risk. (March 2022). U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  6. Relapse. Alcohol and Drug Foundation.
  7. Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. (September 2015). Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.
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