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Understanding BuSpar Abuse

a person looks anxiously out of a window possibly struggling to understand buspar abuse

The addictive nature of anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium are well known. However, doctors commonly prescribe other drugs to help treat anxiety that can also be abused and trigger the cycle of addiction. Although these drugs can provide immense relief to people who need them,  they can sometimes cause more harm than good. One popular anxiety medication that more people are beginning to abuse is buspirone, which is available as BuSpar.

If you or a loved one struggles with BuSpar addiction, get help now. Prescription drug addiction treatment can help you understand how BuSpar abuse affects your life and the lives of people around you. The team at Northpoint Seattle knows how important it is to find a substance abuse treatment center to help break your addiction. Call 425.414.3530 today to start making your personalized treatment plan.

What Is BuSpar?

What Is Buspirone HCL

BuSpar is the brand name for buspirone, an anti-anxiety medication that belongs to a class of drugs called azapirones. BuSpar is typically used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), characterized by excessive worry, fatigue, and restlessness. Although BuSpar can be an effective treatment option for GAD, it is also commonly abused.

Like other anti-anxiety medications, BuSpar affects the central nervous system to help calm nerve activity in the brain. This calming effect allows people dealing with excessive worry and stress to become more relaxed and less anxious.

Uses of BuSpar

Off Label Purposes

Because doctors primarily prescribe BuSpar for anxiety, it can beneficially affect your mood. People who take BuSpar feel more relaxed, less worried, and content.

In addition to treating anxiety, BuSpar has been found effective at treating other issues, such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Tension headaches
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

However, people who struggle with BuSpar abuse will take the medication recreationally to achieve a state of euphoria.

BuSpar Abuse

Can Buspar Be Abused

Although BuSpar is not as well-known as other anxiety medications, many people still abuse it. People who abuse BuSpar do so for the pleasurable effects the drug produces. When taken in large doses or more frequently than prescribed, BuSpar can cause a sense of euphoria and relaxation.

People who take BuSpar recreationally may do so by crushing the pills and snorting them. Others take the medication without a prescription or mix it with other drugs and alcohol for an enhanced effect. However, these behaviors increase your risk of dependence on the drug since it can create an increased tolerance. 

If you’re wondering if someone you love is abusing BuSpar, there are some signs to look out for, including:

  • Taking more BuSpar than prescribed or taking it more frequently
  • Trying to get multiple prescriptions from different doctors
  • Stealing or lying about using the drug
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Excessively talking or making plans but not following through with them

BuSpar vs. Xanax

Are Buspar and Xanax the Same Thing

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications. Like BuSpar, it affects the central nervous system to calm brain activity and produce a sense of relaxation. However, Xanax is more potent than BuSpar and creates more intense effects.

People who abuse BuSpar may do so because they cannot get Xanax or prefer the milder BuSpar effects. However, both drugs carry a risk of addiction and should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor.

Mixing BuSpar with Alcohol

The Dangers of Mixing Buspirone with Alcohol

Although BuSpar is not considered as harmful as other anxiety medications, it can still be dangerous when mixed with other substances. People who abuse BuSpar may mix it with alcohol to enhance the effects of both drugs.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can cause drowsiness, slurred speech, and impaired judgment. Combining alcohol with BuSpar, which also depresses the central nervous system, can amplify these effects. Taking BuSpar with alcohol can also increase your risk of falling asleep and losing consciousness.

Side Effects of BuSpar

Side Effects of Buspar Abuse

Like all medications, BuSpar can cause side effects. The most common side effects of BuSpar include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasms

Serious side effects like seizures and hallucinations are less common but are more likely to occur when someone abuses BuSpar.

Dangers of BuSpar Withdrawal

Buspar Withdrawal and What to Expect

When abused, BuSpar can create dependence and tolerance. If you are dependent on BuSpar and decide to stop taking it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

It’s essential to seek professional help when trying to quit taking BuSpar. Treatment options may include therapy, support groups, and medication. Recovery specialists and medical professionals help ensure the safety and comfort of people going through withdrawals.

Sings of BuSpar Addiction

Are You Addicted to Buspar

Recognizing the signs of BuSpar addiction can be vital to helping someone find the treatment they need to address their addiction. Some signs of BuSpar addiction include:

  • Taking more than prescribed and increasing your dose
  • Taking BuSpar more frequently than prescribed
  • Lying about your use of the drug
  • Struggling to cut down or quit taking BuSpar
  • Switching to another brand of bupropion to stop abusing BuSpar
  • Experiencing cravings for BuSpar when not taking it

BuSpar Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

If you or someone you love is addicted to BuSpar, we can help. At Northpoint Seattle, our addiction specialists will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Treatment may include individual and group therapy, relapse prevention, and an intensive outpatient program.

Call us at 425.414.3530 today to learn more about our BuSpar addiction treatment program and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey to recovery.

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