Is Seroquel Addictive? The Strange Truth About Seroquel Abuse

Is Seroquel addictive?

Today, we’re asking the question, “Is Seroquel Addictive?” And yes you guessed it, I’m going to share my extensive experience with being a bipolar addict in recovery who is currently prescribed Seroquel.

Also, we’ll look at what the experts are saying about the addictive potential of Seroquel.

There’s a recovery joke going around, and it goes something like this, “Hey, what’s your DOC? Well, right now it’s Seroquel.”

This refers to the absolute fact that addicts who have just started their journey in sobriety get prescribed Seroquel like they are Tic-Tacs.

This short-acting antipsychotic is a mood stabilizer usually prescribed to people with mental health issues like schizophrenia and bipolar depression. However, it’s also prescribed to people with general anxiety and/or major depression.

I just thought of another joke floating around the recovery community. “Seroquel…..because you can’t get high if you’re asleep.” Seroquel is a very strong drug and can knock you out with as much as 50 mg if you are someone who doesn’t take it regularly.

Now, I’ve made my rounds in the rehab community as a patient and a 12th stepper in the past 3 years, and it’s very noticeable to me that yes, addicts get prescribed Seroquel like crazy in these places. 

Let’s dive into the wild world of Seroquel in recovery.

Is Seroquel Addictive? First, What Do We Mean When We Say “Addictive?”

OK, OK… I gotta get something out that’s really grinding my gears. Are we talking addiction or dependence? 

So I’ve been on Seroquel for a while for anxiety and bipolar depression. Let me tell you, it has worked wonders for me.

Now anybody who knows me knows that if a pill is addictive, then I’ll be swallowing them by the bottle.

This is definitely not the case when I take Seroquel; there is no phenomenon of craving once I ingest it, I don’t have terrible consequences as a result from taking it, and I’ve never obsessed about scoring Seroquel (The most I’ve ever wanted a Seroquel is when I was going through withdrawal from meth!)

So for me, the cycle of addiction doesn’t follow when I take any amount of Seroquel.

But what about dependence? Can you take Seroquel for a significant amount of time and then abruptly stop safely (without any withdrawal symptoms)?

Both I and the medical field agree that abruptly stopping a Seroquel regiment that has been going on for a long time is not a good idea.

The medical field refers to what will happen to a person when they stop abruptly as discontinuation syndrome. (Fancy term! Why didn’t I think of that?)

So what are some of the symptoms of this discontinuation syndrome?

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

That doesn’t sound too fun.

So here’s some more of my experience: if I were to stop taking Seroquel abruptly right now, I would be up for days and appear somewhat manic for who knows how long. My anxiety would reach a breaking point, and I may find myself in the local psychiatric hospital.

I’m basing this off of my experience. So you can become dependent on Seroquel, but addicted like addicted to Xanax?

I don’t think so.

However, the professionals don’t necessarily agree with me on this.

What the Pros are Saying About Seroquel Abuse and Addiction

Susie-Q? Snoozeberries? Who the fuck is calling Seroquel by these names?

Well, I’ve done some digging, and apparently, there’s Seroquel being hustled on the street and people are using silly, silly names as slang for it.

Ok, so I can’t keep going without giving my two cents. I have spent more time than I care to admit scoring drugs in the ghetto, the streets, the lowest of the low roach motels, and I even was a street person for a short period of time.

I’ve never seen anyone crawling around the corner looking for Snoozeberries!

But according to some reliable sources, Seroquel can be crushed up and snorted or used intravenously, and this causes a sudden rush of dopamine (Don’t get any ideas, guys and gals!)

I’m sorry, but even upon reading this for myself, this sounds terrible… like taking a shit ton of Imodium terrible or snorting Wellbutrin in jail terrible: there just isn’t any appeal there for me.

Yet here we are—people are abusing this drug, and it’s not even considered a controlled substance. 

Now I have legitimate mental illness, and I react to Seroquel a certain way. However, people who don’t suffer from mental illness are having a different reaction than me when they take Seroquel.

Apparently, they are getting high, and over any considerable amount of time, they need to take more and more to experience the euphoria they felt when they started taking it.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that sounds like addiction to me.

Seroquel Is not a Controlled Substance

So, is Seroquel addictive? Well, Seroquel is overprescribed in large doses and is not labeled as a controlled substance, yet people are abusing it.

So if you’re an addict or have addictive tendencies I would advise you to proceed with caution when taking this medication, prescribed or not.

And for the love of God, please do not inject Seroquel… bad, bad idea that you may not recover from (that’s right, I’m talking “lights out!”)

I think Seroquel abuse is a good topic that needs to be discussed between addicts in recovery and doctors.

Have you ever been prescribed Seroquel? Do you or anyone you know abuse it? Have you wandered the streets in a bad part of town and seen zombies looking for Snoozeberries?

Please let me know in the comments—I would love to hear from you.

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Michael Palma

Michael Palma is a drug addict in recovery who is passionate about recovery and recently has taken to writing about his own experience, strength, and hope and hopes to share this with as many people in recovery as he can. He has been a professional jazz pianist for over 20 years. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Cobb (drummer for Miles Davis), Daniel Platzman (drummer for Imagine Dragons), Robert “Sput” Seawright (drummer for Snoop Dogg and Snarky Puppy), Greg Osby, and Terri Lynn Carrington to name a few.