Table of Contents

The Basics of Trazodone Rehabilitation

The first step in trazodone rehabilitation is to tour the treatment facility and learn about the programs and services available. This orientation session is followed by an intake assessment to define the individual’s needs and develop a customized treatment plan, which improves the chances of a successful recovery. Once the individual’s needs have been identified, he or she goes through a medically supervised detoxification period in which trazodone is eliminated from the body. The gradual detoxification process reduces the risks associated with trazodone withdrawal.

Following the supervised detoxification period, the individual has the opportunity to participate in therapy sessions and receive support from staff members and other substance users. Social support is essential for changing harmful thoughts and behaviors, and it also helps in maintaining sobriety. Once the initial treatment plan is complete, additional services are available to help the individual avoid relapse.

Description of the Four Steps of the Rehab Process

For more information, read our guide to the rehab process.

What Makes Trazodone Rehabilitation Difficult?

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does not consider trazodone a controlled substance. Therefore, trazodone has no DEA schedule number. This does not mean there is no potential for misuse, however. In a 2015 article published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Michael Weaver stated that drugs with sedative properties may be used to reduce stress, help people fall asleep, or improve an individual’s mood. The desire to experience these effects can lead some people to misuse trazodone.

Trazodone works on serotonin and other chemicals in the brain, producing a desirable sense of well-being and increasing the risk of dependence, which makes it difficult to stop using the drug. Furthermore, many people have high levels of stress, causing them to rely on trazodone to help them feel calmer and more relaxed. For people who develop a tolerance to trazodone, it can be difficult to recover successfully or avoid relapse in the future.

The Unique Struggle of Trazodone Addicts
  • increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which has a calming effect that some users find desirable
  • produces serious physical and psychological symptoms when a user attempts to withdraw from it
  • recovery is difficult to maintain when a user experiences high levels of stress
  • dependence forces the user to take larger amounts of the substance to experience the same calming effect

Trazodone Rehabilitation Statistics

Trazodone Treatment Admissions by Gender

47.9% Male
52.1% Female

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated in 2015:

  • 2,919,000 individuals aged 12 and older (0.2% of the population) reported misusing sedatives at least once within the past year.
  • 102,000 individuals who misused sedatives were between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • 265,000 individuals who misused sedatives were between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • 1,143,000 individuals who misused sedatives were 26 or older.
  • 2,801,000 individuals aged 12 and older in need of treatment (0.2%) enrolled in a rehabilitation program for prescription sedative abuse.

Demographics of Individuals Seeking Treatment for Sedative Addiction

According to a 2017 SAMHSA report that charts admissions to and discharges from publicly funded substance use treatment facilities, women are slightly more likely to seek treatment for sedative abuse, which includes trazodone and similar substances. The gender breakdown of treatment admissions for sedatives was 52.1% female and 47.9% male. While sedative addiction occurs in all age groups, the most common age group admitted to a treatment facility for sedative use was individuals aged 25 to 34, with 42 being the average age of all individuals from all age groups who are seeking rehabilitation.

Sedative Admission Treatment Percentages by Age Group, 2017
Age at the Time of Treatment Admission Percentage of Sedative Treatment Admissions
12-17 6.3%
18-24 15.2%
25 – 34 25.6%
35 – 44 15.8%
45-54 10%
55-64 7.8%
65+ 19.7%

Trazodone Detoxification & Withdrawal Process

Long-term trazodone recovery begins with a detoxification process to eliminate the substance from the user’s body. Trazodone has a half-life of 10 to 12 hours, which means approximately half of the substance is removed from the user’s body during this period. Depending on the individual’s health status, metabolism, and other factors, this initial detoxification period usually lasts for about two days. It may take several weeks for the user to stop experiencing cravings and other effects of trazodone use.

Long-term users of trazodone may continue to experience withdrawal symptoms for up to a year after they stop using the substance. The amount of time it takes for these symptoms to go away depends on how long the individual has been taking trazodone, the amount of trazodone taken each day, and whether the individual has any chronic health problems that could result in a lengthier withdrawal process.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Body Mind
Short-Term Symptoms Dizziness
Prickling sensations
Burning sensations
Tightness in the chest
Mood swings
Thoughts of suicide
Visual or auditory hallucinations
Long-Term Symptoms Difficulty sleeping

Suddenly stopping trazodone can have serious psychological effects

Trazodone is an antidepressant, so abruptly stopping it may lead to worsening depression. Since trazodone is also used in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, sudden withdrawal from this drug can cause increased anxiety or difficulty sleeping.

Trazodone withdrawal may lead to worrying symptoms such as visual and auditory hallucinations

Sudden withdrawal from trazodone can cause an individual to see and hear things that are not really there. In addition to these hallucinations, the individual may experience high levels of irritability and agitation, mood swings, or worsening depression.

The effects of trazodone withdrawal are especially pronounced in people with a history of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders

When an individual stops taking trazodone, the substance is eliminated from the body, which may cause serotonin levels to become unbalanced. A chemical imbalance can make depression worse, increasing the risk of suicide.

Trazodone withdrawal can be dangerous for users with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure

While withdrawing from trazodone, a user may experience heart palpitations or an increase in his or her heart rate. For people with conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure, these heart-related withdrawal symptoms can increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other complications.

Trazodone Detoxification Medications

In some individuals, antidepressants can be used to prevent depression symptoms from becoming worse during the trazodone withdrawal process. Anti-anxiety medications may also be used to prevent anxiety and irritability associated with trazodone withdrawal. Depending on the individual’s health history, other medications may be used to treat physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate, sweating, nausea, and dizziness.


For more information about withdrawal, read our guide on Trazodone Addiction.

Treatment for Trazodone Addiction

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has not approved any medications specifically for the treatment of trazodone addiction, but the medical detoxification process may include medications to treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal. During this process, a user slowly tapers off trazodone instead of stopping it suddenly, which can help prevent harmful side effects.

Behavioral therapies are also used to address the root causes of an individual’s trazodone addiction. These issues include poor coping skills and high levels of stress. If the individual has any co-occurring disorders, such as depression or alcohol dependency, these issues are also addressed in therapy. A qualified therapist can help a trazodone addict develop a recovery plan and avoid relapse.

Rehabilitation Settings

Within either an inpatient or outpatient setting, treatments such as detoxification services, behavioral therapies, and medication-assisted treatments are offered for varying lengths of time.

Inpatient treatment involves living full-time (including overnight) at a treatment facility for a set period. Outpatient treatment involves scheduled appointments at a facility in which you are free to come and go. Within each category, there are several distinctions.

Trazodone Treatment Programs
Setting Type of Treatment Description Duration Time Commitment
Inpatient Short-Term Residential Intensive treatment, sometimes in a hospital setting. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Long-Term Residential Intensive treatment in a non-hospital setting, most often a therapeutic community with other patients. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-12 months Hours Per Day:



Days per Week:


Partial Hospitalization Intensive treatment in a hospital setting. Patients do not stay overnight. Considered inpatient due to the hospital setting. Extensive services are provided and require a near full-time commitment every week. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:



Days Per Week:


Outpatient Intensive Day Treatment Extensive services of an inpatient program but patients return home each day following treatment. After completion, patients often transition to less intensive counseling. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-4 months Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Counseling Both individual counseling and group counseling focus on short-term behavioral goals to develop coping strategies. Therapies offered are moderate. Medication-assisted treatment is not available. As long as desired Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Support Groups Support groups center on maintaining abstinence after another form of treatment. Typically meet one day a week for 1-2 hours As long as desired Hours Per Day:



Days Per Week:


Behavioral and Medication-Assisted Therapies

Behavioral therapy for substance addiction seeks to identify and manage addictive behaviors that lead to use and prevent relapse. Behavioral therapy is based on the concept that all behavior is learned, and, thus, unhealthy behavior can be changed through learning coping skills and increasing awareness of negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to substance abuse.

Behavioral Therapies for Trazodone Addiction
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Further reading:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a structured form of behavioral therapy that helps the user develop appropriate coping skills. CBT also gives trazodone users the tools they need to avoid relapse.


During CBT, the user develops personalized goals and learns how to form healthier habits and behaviors. This type of therapy helps users learn how to uncover their true feelings, which can help with the recovery process and help former users maintain their sobriety.

12-Step Facilitation Therapy


Further reading:

12-Step Facilitation Therapy is used to encourage trazodone users to become actively involved in a 12-step program for addiction recovery. The 12-step program involves acknowledging the addiction, accepting support from other people, and attending 12-step meetings on a regular basis.


Participation in 12-Step Facilitation Therapy usually occurs in combination with other treatments for trazodone addiction. This form of therapy, along with participation in a 12-step program, may help reduce the risk of relapse.

How to Find Help

Finding a Rehabilitation Center for Trazodone Addiction

Sudden withdrawal from trazodone can have serious consequences, so it is important to look for a rehabilitation facility that offers a supervised medical detoxification process. Experienced, knowledgeable staff members can provide physical and emotional support during the initial withdrawal period.

Rehabilitation centers that offer cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation therapy, and social support can help trazodone users recover successfully and avoid relapse after the initial treatment period ends. For long-term trazodone users, the structured environment of an inpatient rehabilitation program is especially helpful. While receiving inpatient treatment, trazodone users have an opportunity to improve their coping skills, learn how to avoid addiction triggers, and receive treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Our Directory

Our directory of rehab programs includes a comprehensive list of available treatment centers and programs as provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In the directory, you will find tools to filter the programs by setting, price, and location.