Sleeping pills have quickly become widely prescribed in order to treat a number of sleep problems that people may face. While seen as relatively harmless by many people, taking sleeping pills can quickly become a problematic habit that has detrimental physical and psychological symptoms. Depending on what kind of sleeping pill you are using, and how consistently, they can have different effects on your physical and mental health.
Despite the fact that sleeping pills can be useful for those who have problems trying to fall asleep, they also have the capacity to be abused and eventually create a pill addiction that can and will take over your life if you do not seek professional medical advice.
When we talk about sleeping pills, we are actually talking about a variety of branded drugs that help people who have trouble sleeping. They all fall into the category of sedative-hypnotics. They are a prescription sleep aid that can be very effective to induce sleep in people who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Almost 70 million people in the United States suffer from some type of sleep disorder- the equivalent of around 20% of U.S. citizens. Up to 10% suffer from an insomnia disorder. With so many people struggling with their sleep, sleeping pills have become seen as an easy fix and have become one of the most commonly prescribed medications available. However, depending on what type of sleeping pills you are prescribed they can have a wide array of detrimental effects on your body.
These sleep medications can be generally divided into two groups of common sleeping pills:
Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive depressant drugs that have a variety of uses. Aside from treating insomnia, they are also used to treat conditions such as anxiety, seizures, panic attacks, and epilepsy. They act by enhancing the effect of the GABA neurotransmitters in your brain and therefore slowing down your central nervous system.
Despite the fact that they have been in use for decades, there are serious concerns in the medical community concerning their high potential for abuse and addiction, which is reflected in their Schedule IV classification and the impact on the drug epidemic. They should only be administered for a maximum time period of a month. The most common benzodiazepines on the market for treating sleeping difficulties are:
They have a variety of side effects associated with them such as:
Aside from these unpleasant side effects, long-term benzodiazepine use as a result of dependence and abuse can lead to serious consequences for your quality of life. They have been associated with memory problems, and increased rates of depression, and can be extremely dangerous for the pregnant or the elderly. As a result of all the problems associated with benzodiazepines, there has been a strong call to move away from their use in treating sleep problems.
Non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills were created as a safer alternative to benzodiazepines. They act on the same GABA receptors as benzodiazepines but are considered to have less serious side effects. Unlike benzodiazepines, their only prescribed use is in treating insomnia. They include drugs such as:
Branded versions of these drugs, such as Ambien, have quickly become some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States for treating insomnia. This is largely due to how they are considered generally safer than benzodiazepines However they also have the capacity to cause other side effects such as:
As a result of these side effects, the FDA has released a warning on boxes of Z drugs that list serious reported side effects. Despite generally being considered safer, the effects of sleeping pills have not been sufficiently studied at this point. For this reason, always use caution if you are prescribed Z drugs as a sleep medication, or you might find yourself in need of a treatment facility to help you recover with the aid of medical detox.
Sleeping pills may be a common prescription medication in order for many people to get a good night's rest but that does not mean that you do not run the risk of turning to substance abuse. Since sleeping pills can be obtained illicitly, they have also become a common drug of abuse by many demographics.
In the case of benzos, they end up being used often for recreational purposes by young adults who tend to mix them with alcohol. Despite how rare benzodiazepine overdose is, they do have the capacity to be dangerous when mixed with alcohol, resulting in a possibly fatal overdose from alcohol poisoning. Drugs such as Ambien, which is extremely commonly prescribed, have also been reported to be dangerous in large doses.
We can see that sleeping pills have found use outside of their function of helping people fall asleep. Both categories of sleeping pills have a capacity for abuse, and therefore should only be used within the context of professional treatment advice. There are some signs you can look for in people who abuse sleeping pills, such as:
Both benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines carry a high capacity for abuse that may prove dangerous to you in the long term. Whether you have a valid prescription or not, you should take care not to fall prey to sleeping pill abuse, especially when so little research has been conducted on the latter.
However, new research has brought to light that the common conception that non-benzodiazepine prescription drugs for treating insomnia are harmless is not necessarily true. A cycle of abuse can make it very easy for you to start facing an addiction to sleeping pills, regardless of the type of sleeping pills you are using.
If you continue taking sleeping pills despite the worrying side effects and the dangers of abuse, it is likely that you have formed a physical dependence and a sleeping pill addiction. Both types of sleeping pills carry this risk, although benzodiazepines have been reported to have a more severe risk of addiction and abuse.
Considering that the effects of sleeping pills may feel initially quite pleasant, and the time period in which addiction forms is extremely short, many people may find that casual use turns into a proper substance abuse disorder.
Addiction to sleeping pills may be visible in behaviors such as:
Overcoming sleeping pill addiction can be difficult, and it may require a treatment center and specialized addiction treatment in order to recover. Beating sleeping pill addictions can be difficult considering their capacity to induce a strong physical dependence, and the likelihood you will suffer from episodes of rebound insomnia as your body struggles to normalize in absence of the drug.
As you continue taking sleeping pills, your body will form a stronger tolerance to them and will require higher doses to reach the same effect. You will feel compelled to take more and more, making it harder to eventually stop. However, this does not mean that treatment is not effective, and it can make your life much easier.
Dependence can be both physiological and psychological. Physical dependence is distinguished by the fact that when you stop, your body experiences physical withdrawal symptoms. Prescription sleep aid use can quickly develop into dependence, which is why they are only advised for use within small time periods. If you experience withdrawal symptoms it could mean you have already fallen into a cycle of addiction.
Depending on the type of sleeping pill you are abusing you may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms as a consequence of your addiction to sleeping pills, such as:
There are only some of the withdrawal symptoms you may face if you try to overcome your sleeping pill addiction, and they may start within a few hours after your last dose. It can be an uncomfortable process to go through by yourself. For this reason, you should always try to reach out to a certified addiction professional to help you through this journey. With the correct treatment facility, you will find that overcoming your sleeping pill addiction is not impossible.
Everyone deserves a good night's rest, but we should all be properly aware of the negative consequences involved with using sleeping pills as a means of getting to sleep. Any addiction can have terrible effects on your quality of life. As with any disease, sleeping pill addiction requires proper treatment and care and should be conducted in a specific treatment center that truly cares about you and your health.
If you are suffering from sleeping pill addiction, you are not alone. It is a problem that affects many Americans across the country, and you do not need to feel ashamed. It is for this reason that we at Cirque Lodge devote ourselves to helping people overcome substance abuse issues such as addiction to sleeping pills. If you are looking for that specific treatment center, then you should look no further than Cirque Lodge to help you deal with the damage that severe addiction can cause.
Here, we provide premier addiction treatment that not only looks after the needs of your body but also seeks to satisfy your mind. In doing so, we can help you heal properly from the damage that sleeping pills have inflicted on you. Sleeping pill addictions are not something you have to deal with alone. Drug addiction can lead to you becoming socially isolated from friends and family, but we are always available to help you deal with your problems. So do not wait, get in touch today.