Sleeping pills are meant to be used to encourage drowsiness for people who have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. They fall into a category of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. These pills control the part of a person’s brain that affects your ability to focus and relax. This is known as GABA receptors. Sleeping pills are not innately harmful when they are taken as prescribed and only occasionally. Most doctors only prescribe sleeping pills to be used for short-term use. Sleeping pills are the most commonly prescribed type of medication in the United States. Prescription sleeping pills pose more of a risk for addiction that over-the-counter sleep aids do however, all sleeping pills pose a risk of addiction whether it is physical or mental. The 3 most common and very strong prescription sleeping pills on the market are called:
- Ambien (zolpidem) – Marketed as being “less addictive” than benzos, but due to its fading effectiveness, addiction can happen within 2 weeks.
- Sonata (zaleplon) – Only come in 1-3 mg and should only be taken for a short time.
- Lunesta (eszopiclone) – This is known for being one of the fastest working sleeping pills available.
While the 3 pills do have a different molecular makeup, they all create similar effects on the body. These are meant to be taken for a short period; unfortunately, a lot of people begin taking sleeping pills any time they may have trouble sleeping or even when they must face something that creates anxiety.
How Are Prescription Sleeping Pills Abused?
Any time one of these sedatives are used in a way that is not prescribed by a doctor, it is considered drug abuse. When taken at higher doses, sleeping pills produce the sale “feel good” and the drowsy effect that benzodiazepines create, making them dangerous. They can also even produce hallucinatory effects when taken and the urge to fall asleep is fought. A lot of times, addictions to sleeping pills happen without even realizing it. You begin taking it as prescribed, but continue using it to fall asleep every night out of fear you will not be able to sleep. As time passes, your brain becomes accustomed to the effects produces by sleeping pills, making it more and more difficult to sleep without them. Rebound insomnia is something a person will experience when they stop taking sleeping pills after being on them for a very long time. Insomnia can become worse than before they started taking the drug in the first place. In this case, users quickly realize that they are dependant on sleeping pills and have probably developed a tolerance. Once you’re addicted, reaching out for professional help to get off these pills is highly recommended because you can easily relapse and fall back into the cycle of taking them every day.
Are You Addicted to Sleeping Pills?
Sleeping pill side effects may not be as strong as other drugs out there, but they still do have the ability to control someone’s life like any other drug. Addiction may not always be the easiest to identify with sleeping pills, but common signs of addiction include:
- Using a sleeping pill any time you want to fall asleep
- The prescribed amount of the drug has stopped working for you
- Upping the dose without consulting with a doctor first
- Attempting to quit but not being able to
- Taking the pill only to feel the hallucinogenic effects
- Craving it when you don’t take it to sleep
- Seeing more than one doctor fill prescriptions
- Memory loss
- Continuing the use even when you experience negative consequences
Treatment for a sleeping pill addiction is an effective way to help a person efficiently recover from their addiction. Even if you never meant to get addicted to these pills, it still happens and help is available to you at Evoke Wellness, FL. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.