Sleeping pills are a group of medications which are responsible for assisting those who have difficulty sleeping. Sleeping pills come in different brands and ingredients, and they may also differ in the way they function. Generally, all sleeping pills can be broken down into three categories, and these are barbiturates, benzodiazepine and non- benzodiazepine. Barbiturates cause a user to become sedated by depressing their central nervous system. Benzodiazepines are psychoactive depressants which produce a calming and relaxing effect which helps the user sleep. Non-benzodiazepine is akin to benzodiazepine except its chemical structure is distinct.
Sleeping Pill Addiction
The majority of people who become addicted to sleeping pills have no intention of doing so. They will typically be patients with sleeping difficulties who are prescribed the pills by their doctor. However, they gradually become dependent, taking the pills even in situations where they shouldn’t. Some addicts will also use sleeping pills to heighten the effects of other drugs and alcohol. The relaxing and calming effect seen in sleeping pills makes many want to continue using it, as it alleviates stress and allows the user to escape from daily problems.
Warning Signs of Sleeping Pill Addiction
The specific warning signs associated with sleeping pills will depend on the brand that is being abused, but there are general signals that a person will give off which indicates a possible addiction. Addicts will develop a tolerance, which will cause them to increase the dosage in order to achieve the same effects as in the past. Higher dosages increase the chance of overdose. Sleeping pill addicts may also become depressed, and may contemplate suicide. Long term users may severely damage their organs, and because sleeping pills reduce both reaction time and coordination, users are accident prone. Other warning signs include:
- Obsession with obtaining the pills
- Loss of interest or apathy
- Decreased hygiene
- Defensive about their addiction
- Becomes irresponsible and unreliable
Side Effects of Sleeping Pill Abuse
There are a number of undesirable side effects which are associated with misusing sleeping pills. It is not necessary for someone to exhibit all these symptoms in order to be addicted. Even a couple of the side effects below could be an indication of a serious problem. Some of these include:
- Vision becomes blurred
- Respiratory problems
- Death (due to overdose)
- Increased fatigue
- Refusal to lower dosage
Sleeping Pill Rehab
An individual who has abused sleeping pills for an extended period of time should be placed into rehab. The reason for this is because of the withdrawal symptoms, which can be harsh for long term users. In recent years a growing number of people have been seeking rehab services for sleeping pill addiction.
Addiction treatment is an excellent solution because the user will receive a lot of physical and emotional support, and will learn how to live drug free. Paying for rehab services out of pocket may be cost prohibitive for some, but there are many payment solutions available, including private insurance.
Contact us at NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic, where we can assist you in eliminating addiction and living a fuller, happier life.