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Treatment Options for Tianeptine Addiction

Tianeptine addiction, akin to opioid addiction, is treated with medication-assisted treatment (MAT), combining medications like buprenorphine with therapy. Individualized care, addressing co-occurring disorders and unique recovery needs, is crucial, with therapy, counseling, and support groups integral to successful treatment and long-term sobriety.

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Tianeptine addiction is often treated similarly to opioid addiction due to the drug’s similarities to opioids. Recommended treatment approaches include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), therapy, and aftercare support.

While tianeptine is an antidepressant that is used in other countries, it has properties that are similar to opioids. It is not approved for use in the U.S. due to its potential dangers. Still, it is gaining increasing popularity as a substance of abuse.

The intensity of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the addiction. Factors like co-occurring disorders and abuse of other substances alongside tianeptine will also influence the level of treatment recommended.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Tianeptine Addiction?

Tianeptine addiction specifically isn’t well studied, although the disorder seems to share some similarities with opioid addiction. Notable treatment options for tianeptine addiction include the following:

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Due to its similarity to opioids, tianeptine abuse may be treated in a similar way to opioid abuse, and the gold standard in treatment for opioid use disorder is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This involves a combination of medication (such as methadone or buprenorphine) and therapy.

Tianeptine use disorder has been successfully treated with buprenorphine-naloxone combination medication, such as that seen in Suboxone. Naloxone serves as an abuse-deterrent component. 

Therapy is essential in MAT. While medication may control withdrawal symptoms and cravings, therapy is needed to address underlying issues that prompted tianeptine abuse. Without addressing these issues and building a new life in recovery, relapse is highly likely.

Therapy & Counseling

In therapy, you’ll work with a therapist to identify ways to avoid drug abuse. You’ll reorganize your thinking and daily habits to improve your overall mental health. 

One of the most common ways addiction is treated is through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In this type of treatment, you work with a therapist to understand your own mind and what can trigger an impulse to abuse tianeptine or any drug. You then work to reorganize the way you think and act to channel the things you’re feeling in healthier ways.

Many therapists draw from multiple schools of therapy in their sessions. It’s also likely that your overall therapy plan may change as you progress in recovery.

Addiction Support Groups

While there aren’t generally addiction support groups focused on tianeptine addiction specifically, many groups are open to people struggling with any type of addiction. Since tianeptine is commonly linked with opioids, you may find solace in groups dedicated to opioid abuse.  

These groups give you a safe space to discuss your problems and get advice from people who have often dealt with very similar issues in their own lives.

The Importance of Individualized Care

If you’ve been using tianeptine in any way, it’s a sign of misuse in the U.S. since it isn’t approved for medical use. Some states have banned the drug due to its harmful effects.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer in addiction treatment. It’s essential that your addiction care is catered to your individual needs, including accounting for any co-occurring mental health conditions, your history of substance abuse and prior treatment, and any other substances you may use in addition to tianeptine.

Recovery isn’t a linear path. The intensity of your treatment may rise and fall throughout your recovery journey, and you may even relapse on your path to sustained sobriety. Relapse is not a failure. It simply means you need to refocus your recovery efforts.

Whether you’ve been using the drug recreationally for its opioid-like effects or using it in an effort to manage mental health symptoms like depression, it’s a clear sign that you need help. Addiction treatment professionals can help you stop all substance abuse and manage your mental health at the same time. Reach out for help today.

Updated November 21, 2023
Resources
  1. Tianeptine Products Linked to Serious Harm, Overdoses, Death. (February 2022). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  2. Use of Buprenorphine-Naloxone in the Treatment of Tianeptine Use Disorder. (July/August 2019). Journal of Addiction Medicine.
  3. Tianeptine Abuse and Dependence in Psychiatric Patients: A Review of 18 Case Reports in the Literature. (July/August 2018). Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
  4. Nursing Implications for Tianeptine Use and Misuse. (April/June 2023). Journal of Addictions Nursing.
  5. Online Sales of Unscheduled Pharmaceutical Agents: A Case Report of Tianeptine Use in the United States. (September/October 2017). Journal of Addiction Medicine.
  6. Is It Possible to Be Dependent to Tianeptine, an Antidepressant? A Case Report. (April 2007). Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.
  7. FDA Warns Marketers of Products Labeled as Dietary Supplements That Contain Tianeptine for Making Unproven Claims to Treat Serious Conditions, Including Opioid Use Disorder. (November 2018). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  8. Tianeptine in Dietary Supplements. (February 2023). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  9. Tianeptine. (May 2023). Drug Enforcement Administration.
  10. Characteristics of Tianeptine Effects Reported to a Poison Control Center: A Growing Threat to Public Health. (February 2021). Clinical Toxicology.
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