Trazodone vs Benzodiazepines

trazodone vs benzodiazepines

When someone needs help improving their mental health, the topic of medications often comes up. It can be confusing knowing what drugs belong to what family and which ones may be right for you. A common question people ask is this: “Is Trazodone a benzodiazepine?” Tampa Bay Recovery Center employs a staff of medical experts who understand how each medication works. We use a variety of prescription drugs as part of our overall treatment program. Additionally, we can help people overcome addiction to drugs through our outpatient addiction treatment. 

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are classified as sedative-hypnotic drugs. Many physicians commonly prescribe benzos for people who suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, or seizures. Some of the most well-known brand names of benzos include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin.

What is Trazodone?

Trazodone is an anti-depressant medication available by prescription. It is used to treat depression by increasing the brain’s production of serotonin. It can also be used to treat anxiety disorders and insomnia. It comes in a pill form and is usually taken one or two times daily. Common brand names for trazodone include Oleptro, Desyrel, and Desyrel Dividose. Trazodone can be used long-term, which allows people to enjoy its benefits for several months or years. The doctor will monitor the person taking trazodone for any side effects and how well it helps manage the person’s symptoms.

Is Trazodone a Benzodiazepine?

People often confuse medications used to treat similar conditions for being the same type of drug. Is Trazodone a benzodiazepine like Xanax? No, it is not. It is a member of the anti-depressant family, while benzodiazepines are their own classification of drug. 

Can You Take Trazodone and Benzodiazepines Together?

Sometimes a person will be prescribed both trazodone and benzos at the same time. These medications take effect on different parts of the brain but can co-exist in some cases. Trazodone can take a few weeks or longer to take effect. For this reason, a doctor may have their patient start taking a benzo drug at the same time because they will typically feel its effects sooner. However, taking both drugs simultaneously can, in some cases, increase the likelihood of a person experiencing negative side effects from either or both medications. 

Can You Get Addicted to Trazodone or Benzos?

People may wonder “Is trazodone a benzodiazepine in terms of the risk of addiction?” Virtually any drug holds the potential for someone to become addicted to it, whether it’s physically, psychologically or both. Having said that, there is a difference in the risk of addiction for trazodone vs. benzodiazepines. 

While benzos can be quite beneficial for many, they also carry an elevated risk of addiction. A 2019 report showed that approximately 30 million adults reported using benzodiazepines in the previous year. Of those, 17.2% misused or abused the drug. Doctors recommend that benzo be taken on a short-term basis, in great part due to the potential to develop an addiction to them.  

On the other hand, trazodone has a much lower likelihood of someone becoming addicted to it. It does not produce a high, but people can begin to rely on its sedative effect. This can happen to people who have a prescription for it or who use it recreationally. This can occur when a person takes trazodone in ways not prescribed, such as crushing and snorting the tablets or smoking it with marijuana. 

As well, some people take both benzos and trazodone together and also may even use other drugs, such as opioids. When they develop an addiction, it may not be clear which drugs contribute to the substance use disorder. A physician or qualified therapist will need to make a diagnosis in order to understand the situation. 

How are Depression and Anxiety Treated?

When someone develops depression or an anxiety disorder, they require professional treatment. Talk therapy serves as the backbone of treatment for mental health disorders. Services such as individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy can serve to help people understand their diagnosis and manage their symptoms. As well, usage of any medications such as trazodone or benzos can be monitored.

How is Addiction Treated?

Alcohol and drug rehab begins with going to a detox program. From there, people either transition to a residential program or an outpatient program. Outpatient programs offer several levels of help and require anywhere from one to several days per week of attending treatment sessions. Often, someone with a mental health disorder also has a substance use disorder. This is called dual diagnosis, and a person can receive treatment for both conditions at the same time. 

Get Help For Addiction and Mental Health Disorders in Tampa

Someone who develops a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety may find they turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. When this happens, an addiction can develop. Tampa Bay Recovery Center treats multiple types of mental health disorders that co-occur with a substance use disorder. We assess each person in order to create a plan that addresses all of their needs. We offer several types of therapy modalities that teach people to understand both addiction and mental illness and work to heal from both. Our highly skilled staff guides those who come to us for help through the outpatient program that best fits their needs. 

Visit our admissions page today and let us help you start recovering from poor mental health and addiction. Our staff can answer your questions including ones about insurance coverage.