Often, when you think about addiction, you just see an image filled with illicit drugs such as marijuana, meth, cocaine, and heroin. However, there are many other substances that are highly addictive, and one of this is the sleeping pill. By knowing the signs of sleeping pill addiction, you might be able to save your life, or that of someone dear to you.
Insomnia can be a distressing, disconcerting condition that can leave you drained. It can take a toll on your daily life, your relationships, your body, and your mind. Many people who suffer from insomnia turn to various medications to cope with their sleeping difficulties. However, it is when you develop dependence on these sleeping pills over a long period of time that it becomes an addiction risk.
Sleeping Pill Addiction
Sleeping pill addiction can start as a rather harmless way of coping with sleeping problems. It becomes an addition when you become physically and psychologically dependent on the sleeping pill. In fact, battling with the compulsion to take sleeping pills may result to physical withdrawal symptoms.
Types of Sleeping Pills
There are many types of medications that are classified as sleeping pills. Despite their different ingredients and composition, they all help promote sleep.
Barbiturates such as Pentobarbital, Phenobarbital, and Secobarbital cause sedation by depressing the central nervous system. It is often used in larger doses as anesthetic to put people to sleep. However, they are not as commonly prescribed now due to its relatively higher risk of overdose.
Benzodiazepines. such as Librium, Valium, Xanax, and Ativan is a psychoactive depressant that has a sedative and calming effect to help people sleep. Using such medications for a long time can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
Nonbenzodiazepines have similar effects with benzodiazepines, and include medications such as Lunesta, Sonata, and Zolpidem.
Risks of Sleeping Pill Addiction
While your quality of life may be reduced due to insomnia and other sleeping problems, you may risk more problems when you rely on sleeping pills on a regular basis.
Such risks include:
- Increased tolerance
- Increased tolerance which can lead to increased risk of overdose
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Suicide risk due to depression
- Accidents due to poor coordination
- Damage to health
- Desire to have a regular supply, which can lead to breaking the law
Signs of Sleeping Pill Addiction
As with addiction to any substance, people who become addicted to sleeping pills will develop signs that are noticeable when you know what you’re looking for.
These signs include:
- dependence on sleeping pills
- withdrawal symptoms when dosage is reduced or medication is stopped altogether
- obsession over getting a steady supply of the drugs, especially even when access is denied to them
- defensiveness about drug use and possession
- increased tolerance to the drug
- inability to reduce dosage
- deterioration of physical hygiene and grooming
- loss of interest in hobbies or other activities
- inability to meet responsibilities
If you or someone you know exhibit one or two of these signs, then this can easily be an indication of addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms from barbiturate or benzodiazepine and nonbenzodiazepine include:
- flu-like symptoms
- body spasms
- body pains
- nausea and vomitting
- digestive problems
- changes in blood pressure, circulatory problems
- heart palpitations
- changes in respiratory rate or breathing
Treating Sleeping Pill Addiction
Treating sleeping pill addiction means making you come off the medication completely. However, this can’t be done by abrupt stoppage. You have to safely come off it through gradual tapering off of the drug. Often, this is done with medical supervision.
This is where residential rehab program comes in.