Is Buspirone Addictive? - Garden State Treatment Center

Developing addiction is a common concern people have regarding taking buspirone medication.

We have good news: this drug has a low potential for developing addiction if taken under medical supervision.

Buspirone doesn’t develop a dependence in most cases, as it lacks abuse liabilities found in other anxiolytics, according to animal studies.

Still, the drug might come with a risk of abuse and side effects in some cases.

In this post, we’ll hone in on the dependence development potential of Buspar and the other hazards it may pose. More importantly, we’ll guide you on how to treat buspirone abuse.


What Is Buspirone?

Buspirone is a uniquely formulated prescription drug for generalized anxiety disorder. Its special formula makes it much safer than most other anti-anxiety medications on the market such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Buspirone medication was introduced in 1975 as a treatment for psychosis. Soon after, researchers discovered its potential effectiveness in alleviating anxiety symptoms.

It became an FDA-approved anti-anxiety medication in 1986. Although invented decades ago, the medication has become widely used only in recent years.

The increase in the use of this medication started following research results that showed its high efficacy and safety compared to its alternatives.

Besides its use as an anti-anxiety medication, psychiatrists prescribe buspirone to alleviate the symptoms of some addiction types.

Buspirone comes in tablet form and is sold under the brand name Buspar. It’s available in five different concentrations as follows:

  • 5 mg
  • 7.5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 30 mg

How Does Buspirone Work?

The complete working mechanism of buspirone is still mysterious despite the drug being out there for years.

That said, research has confirmed the drug’s healing properties when used to treat anxiety disorder and some addictions.

Let’s zoom in:

Buspirone is a serotonin receptor agonist, meaning, it increases serotonin receptor activity in the brain. Since serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, taking Buspar significantly alleviates anxiety symptoms.

With that in mind, buspirone doesn’t produce immediate effects. Instead, it takes between two to four weeks to achieve its desired impact.

Better still, buspirone is highly effective in treating different types of drug addiction.

The reason is that buspirone can temporarily block dopamine receptors in the brain, decreasing the likelihood of the abused drug producing a “high”.

As a result, it’ll gradually restore the chemical balance of the person’s mind.

Buspar Addiction: Is It Possible?

Studies found that buspirone has a relatively low potential for abuse compared to its anti-anxiety alternatives.

They also showed that buspirone doesn’t produce a euphoric feeling. This is another indication that it has a considerably low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

For these reasons, many consider buspirone a breakthrough in the area of anxiety treatment. Nonetheless, the abuse potential of buspirone isn’t zero. It’s still present in some cases.

Why Is Buspirone Abused?

Despite its low potential for addiction, people may abuse buspirone for multiple reasons. Some patients with anxiety misuse it to feel extremely sedated.

Those who do so increase the likelihood of experiencing the side effects of the drug.

Self-treating opioids using buspirone is another way of misusing the drug. In addition, some people combine Buspar with alcohol to produce a potent “high” that can’t be achieved using either substance independently.

In this case, the person may experience one or more of the following adverse effects:

  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy appetite
  • Heart problems
  • Vomiting or anorexia
  • Aggression and agitation
  • Insomnia

Is It Bad to Take Buspirone in the Long Term?

Studies on the long-term use of buspirone have found no unexpected side effects in most cases. This is, of course, when used under medical supervision and at appropriate doses.

In these studies, the patients took 15 mg of buspirone a day to treat the symptoms of anxiety disorder. In some instances, healthcare providers increased the dose.

However, the maximum daily dose didn’t exceed 60 mg at any point throughout the research.

Is Buspar Less Addictive Than Xanax?

Looking at the addiction potential of the two medications, Buspar is considerably less addictive than Xanax and all other benzodiazepines.

The reason is that Xanax has a completely different working mechanism than Buspar. It produces its anxiety-alleviating effect by slowing down brain functions to achieve deep relaxation.

It also produces strong “highs,” unlike Buspar. The brain adapts to the presence of Xanax with continued use, making it pretty challenging to quit the drug later.

What Are the Side Effects of Buspirone?

Buspirone comes with its share of adverse effects reported by some people. Luckily, these side effects are uncommon. In addition, medical professionals may decrease the dose to reduce their severity.

Let’s take a look at the list of these adverse effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness

Besides the above side effects, the following are some rarer ones:

  • Dry mouth
  • Rash
  • Numbness and tightening
  • Shaking
  • Poor concentration
  • Chest pain
  • Hostile outbursts
  • Aches and pains
  • Ringing in the ears

Does Quitting Buspirone Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

As we mentioned earlier, there’s a low possibility of developing dependence on Buspar.

However, if this happens, a person suffering from this dependence will encounter a variety of withdrawal symptoms when quitting the drug.

Agitation, tremors, fevers, irritability, cramps, insomnia, and even seizures are some of these symptoms.

These withdrawals might drive a person to continue drug abuse to avoid them. In this case, the patient will need intervention from a healthcare provider to help them break free from buspirone misuse.

How to Treat Buspar Abuse in New Jersey?

Is using buspirone getting out of hand? Despite their mild severity in most cases, not all individuals can tolerate the withdrawal symptoms of buspirone.

This makes having medical supervision a wise idea when you undergo Buspar detox. It can help patients get over any intolerable withdrawals.

Luckily, when the detox is managed properly you can quit buspirone abuse in as little as only two weeks.

That said, you’ll need to undergo a variety of psychological assessments after treating this substance abuse.

These assessments aim to discover the root cause of buspirone abuse and any mental health problems that might’ve led you to this issue. This is to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.

If you used to combine Buspar with alcohol, you might need to go through additional addiction treatment to break free of the dependence on the two substances.

Moreover, you may need to undergo behavioral and psychological treatments such as cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy. These therapies arm the patient with the essential coping mechanisms to handle any possibility of relapse.

You can go through the treatment plan in an inpatient or outpatient setting depending on your case and preference.

The recovery journey might seem a bit complicated, but it’ll be much simpler with a team of trusted medical professionals.

Ready to Break Free from Buspirone Abuse?

Are you or your loved one looking for the most suitable treatment option for buspirone abuse in New Jersey? We’re here to help!

Our medical team at Garden State Treatment Center will provide you with a personalized treatment program that perfectly fits your case. We’ll also guide you at every step to achieve full recovery safely.

Our drug rehab center has helped thousands of patients break the chains of addiction. Based on their feedback, we have a 4.8-star rating on Google.

It’s your turn to join our thousands of recovered clients and reclaim your life. Contact us now to learn more about our recovery plans.


Published on: 2024-06-06
Updated on: 2024-06-06

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