Intentional Thorazine abuse is rare for any reason besides attempted suicide. It is not prone to abuse and has not been shown to cause physical or psychological dependence.
Thorazine — a brand name of the drug chlorpromazine — is a tranquilizer, sedative, and antiemetic (treats nausea and vomiting).
- Thorazine is prescribed for the following conditions:
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Acute intermittent porphyria (nerve and skin issues)
- Intractable hiccups (hiccups that will not stop)
- Pre-surgery apprehension
Thorazine is also used in conjunction with other medications to treat tetanus.
Perhaps one of Thorazine’s more famous applications is for patients who are experiencing acute manic or psychotic episodes. It is often used to quickly calm these people down with an injection (a shot). Then, a series of shots are given while they are calmer, working to ideally get them on an oral dose of the drug instead.
This is done to prevent patients from harming themselves or others and ensures that medical care can be provided. This is in addition to stabilizing patients, which allows them to make more rational choices.
Is Thorazine Addictive?
Multiple reputable sources note that Thorazine is not addictive. It does not cause psychological or physical dependence.
It is still important to note that someone taking Thorazine may be addicted to any other drug. Thorazine can infrequently cause seizures in people who are in alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Can Thorazine be Abused?
Any drug can be abused, and unfortunately, Thorazine is sometimes used in suicide attempts. The Prescribers’ Digital Reference notes the association of conditions that might warrant Thorazine use with depression.
Schizophrenia, especially if the patient is experiencing acute episodes, can make life incredibly difficult. It can be hard to work, maintain a social life, and even function on a day-to-day basis without help.
This is on top of the fact that the mental illness can distort your way of thinking. Paranoid delusions (beliefs divorced from reality) that you are in danger or that someone thinks ill of you are not uncommon with schizophrenia.
A person who is depressed (which is not exclusive to people with schizophrenia) or does not fully understand the consequences of their actions might be inclined to attempt suicide. The dangers of this type of willful abuse are obvious.
Overall though, the risk of Thorazine abuse is quite low. It does not have any particularly exploitable effects for drug abusers to latch onto, and it does not cause any serious physical or psychological dependence.
Abruptly stopping a high-dose course of Thorazine can sometimes cause nausea and dizziness. Generally, a doctor will wean a patient off such high doses before stopping use completely.
How Do I Identify Suicidal Tendencies?
For someone who is not a medical professional, it can be difficult to properly detect thoughts of suicide in others. This may be doubly true if the other person has schizophrenia, as they can often seem depressed or withdrawn regardless, and their thinking can be distorted and difficult to parse.
There are questionnaires and similar resources that have been developed by qualified professionals to detect potentially suicidal individuals, but these should ideally be administered by a professional. Do not try and administer these tests yourself.
The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER) notes that developing open communication can help to find the early warning signs for suicidal thoughts in a person, including:
- Frequent talk of suicide
- Acquiring a means to die, such as a gun or pills
- A sense of hopelessness
- Changing common routines
- Giving away property, especially personally important or expensive property
- Saying goodbye to people as if they will never see them again
- Engaging in actively self-destructive behaviors (dangerous driving, drug abuse, unprotected sex)
If you believe you or someone close to you is at risk for suicide, call 911 if the risk is immediate.
How Dangerous is Thorazine?
Thorazine is not perfectly safe, and it is certainly dangerous if abused. However, it is no more likely to be abused by most people than any other medication or common poison. It does not cause any of the common effects that lead people to abuse drugs, such as euphoria, excitement, or numbness.
Whether taken as prescribed or administered, the biggest risk for most people who use Thorazine is tardive dyskinesia, a condition that causes involuntary face, arm, leg, and torso movements. Report this condition immediately to a medical professional if you experience it. The risk of long-term damage increases the longer you are on Thorazine, and the condition can be irreversible.
Overall, Thorazine is categorized and treated as it should be — as a fairly serious prescription drug that is poisonous if abused. It is not especially prone to addiction or abuse, but users should understand the other risks involved. If you are worried about how Thorazine will affect you, feel free to talk to your doctor and ask any questions you have.
Talk to a Doctor
Thorazine can affect different people in different ways, and it is not effective in all patients. Some people have particularly adverse reactions to it that will cause a doctor to stop a Thorazine regimen immediately. If it makes you feel strange, especially if it is causing twitches, discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible.