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Treatment for Zoloft Addiction

Zoloft is an antidepressant medication that can potentially be abused. Antidepressants aren’t common drugs of abuse, but addiction can form if Zoloft is repeatedly abused.

Struggling with Addiction? Get Help Now

If you are addicted to Zoloft, there are various treatment approaches available, including detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and 12-step programs. A combination of these treatments is typically used in comprehensive addiction treatment programs. 

There is no cure for addiction, as it is a chronic condition, but treatment can lay the foundation for a lifetime of successfully managing it. Support groups can help you maintain your sobriety, and they provide a positive source of encouragement.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Zoloft Addiction?

The right treatment approach for you will depend on the specifics of your situation. For example, if you abuse Zoloft in combination with other substances, you’ll need a care plan that is tailored to the specific type of detox you might need. Choose a treatment provider that will tailor treatment to your specific needs. 

Here are some of the options in Zoloft addiction treatment: 


With addiction, physical dependence on the substance of abuse is generally present. Zoloft use alters some physiological processes in the brain. This can form a type of dependence over time. 

Most often, doctors will recommend a tapering approach to withdrawal when stopping antidepressant use. They may gradually reduce your dose over a period of weeks until you are no longer taking the medication. 

If you engage in polysubstance abuse, you may need a different detox approach. Your treatment team will assess your particular case and recommend the best withdrawal approach. 

Ultimately, detoxification allows you to eliminate Zoloft and other substances from your system under the controlled supervision of medical professionals. These experts can help you manage symptoms of withdrawal and ensure that you safely get through withdrawal without relapsing.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehabilitation involves residence in a care facility that is staffed with highly trained and qualified professionals. These professionals can provide you with the physical, psychological, and social care you need in order to begin the path to a full and long-term recovery. 

Inpatient rehab is usually recommended for those with severe or long-term addictions. If you are only misusing Zoloft, you may not need this kind of intensive treatment. But if you are abusing Zoloft in combination with other substances, this type of care might be appropriate. 

As a resident in an inpatient care facility, you can generally expect the following:

  • 24-hour access to clinical and medical care 
  • Support in creating and maintaining a consistent daily schedule and routine, which can help prevent exposure to stimuli that may otherwise elicit a relapse
  • Participation in individual therapy sessions to help you understand addiction and recovery processes, as well as other forms of therapy, like behavioral therapy
  • Participation in group therapy sessions, where you can begin to build self-efficacy by giving and receiving support to others

Outpatient Treatment

Some people transition to outpatient treatment following inpatient rehab, whereas many others start with outpatient care. Evidence suggests that treatment programs lasting fewer than 90 days are significantly less likely to facilitate long-term sobriety than those lasting longer. Since outpatient treatment allows flexibility and accessibility, it can foster longer times in treatment. 

Outpatient rehabilitation allows you to continue your path to recovery while reintegrating into the community and maintaining a more independent lifestyle. During outpatient treatment, you can generally expect the following:

  • Access to medical and clinical care
  • Weekly or biweekly individual therapy sessions to help you build and maintain the coping skills and resources you need to cope with environmental triggers
  • Living at home or within a group housing situation where your recovery can be maintained in a supportive environment
  • Homework assignments involving addiction recovery
  • Support in creating and maintaining a daily schedule and routine that is conducive to recovery and rehabilitation

12-Step Programs 

Peer support groups, like the popular 12-step models, are highly popular and effective options for many. These programs are based on the same 12 steps in the original Alcoholics Anonymous framework, but tailored toward specific substances or sources of addiction, such abuse of prescription medications. 

Progressing through the 12 steps involves a complete personal and spiritual transformation based on the recognition of a higher power, taking a complete moral inventory, and making amends for past wrongs. While AA has Christian underpinnings, the idea has evolved into a belief in a higher power of any kind, defined as a “power greater than ourselves.”

There are secular alternatives to AA that don’t involve any mention of a higher power, such as SMART Recovery or LifeRing Secular Recovery. These might work better for some people.

Peer support groups are beneficial because they provide instant access to social support and an environment that is conducive to sobriety. They also offer mutual accountability centered on the sponsor/sponsee relationship. These groups are also usually free, anonymous, and widely available throughout the world. 

Therapy Options Used in Treatment

The type of therapy you receive in your treatment will depend on your needs and preferences, as well as the recommendations of your healthcare provider. If you’ve been abusing Zoloft, you might have initially been prescribed the antidepressant, so you have a co-occurring condition of depression. This will also need to be addressed in therapy. 

Here are some types of therapy you might potentially engage in:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy

Life in Recovery

Sustaining a life of sobriety after addiction treatment is an ongoing process. Some experts suggest that participation in group therapy or peer support groups is a lifelong necessity once you have dealt with addiction to a medication like Zoloft. 

Some strategies that can help you maintain your recovery include the following

  • Maintain a regular exercise or physical activity schedule. This can promote overall wellness and help you deal with cravings.
  • Seek social support. Build a network of supportive family and friends who do not abuse drugs or alcohol. When you encounter a relapse trigger, call them for support.
  • Find hobbies you enjoy. When you stop abusing Zoloft, you can begin to find joy in other things.
  • Volunteer. When you give back to the community in this way, it can boost self-worth and foster relationships.
  • Eat a healthy diet, and drink plenty of water. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you are more likely to relapse.
Updated June 9, 2023
  1. Opioid Medication Discontinuation and Risk of Adverse Opioid-Related Health Care Events. (August 2019). Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.
  2. Overview, Essential Concepts, and Definitions in Detoxification. (2023). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
  3. Zoloft. (1991). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  4. Abuse and Misuse of Antidepressants. (August 2014). Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation.
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