Can the medications used to treat serious mental illness (antipsychotics and antidepressants) be addicting?

Some of the medications prescribed for people with serious mental illness can induce physical and psychological dependence. The American Society of Addiction Medicine website provides a definition of addiction.

Benzodiazepines are one example of medications that can be helpful but can also cause difficulty. The current opiate crisis has been driven in part by over-prescribing of these addictive compounds. Psychostimulants like Adderall and Ritalin can be misused in addictive ways as well. Antidepressants and antipsychotics do not have these same addictive risks. However, all medications have side effects and it is important to have a good understanding of them. To help you better understand the side effects of medication, the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) has created fact sheets for a number of medications, available through the NAMI website. These fact sheets are easy to read and review the intended uses of the medication, as well as the risks that may occur. This is provided as a public service to help people know which side effects are common and which are worrisome.

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