Sleeping Pill Addiction Addiction and Abuse | Detox Plus UK

sleeping pill addiction

Do you have trouble sleeping and wish there was something you could take to drop off? You are not alone. Many people use sleeping pills to get some rest. As a matter of fact, there is an excess of 15 million prescriptions written in the UK each year. It is also becoming commonplace to purchase sleeping medication over the counter without a prescription.

They are only supposed to be taken for a week or two, but some use them over the recommended time frame. Some may take a sleeping pill for years until they have become almost an everyday part of life. However, you must be careful your use of sleeping pills does not go beyond the medicinal, to the extent you are abusing the drug, or that you develop a sleeping pill addiction.

Types of Sleeping Pills

The two most widely prescribed sleeping pills in the UK are Zopiclone and Temazepam. Common sleeping pills which our patients become addicted to include:

  • Ambien (Zolpidem)
  • Amytal
  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone)
  • Sonata (Zaleplon)
  • Restoril (temazepam)

Some people also take sedating antihistamines and have become addicted to a variety of sleeping pills, be they sedatives or tranquillizers, amongst other types.

It may mean that you have difficulty getting off to sleep, or you may wake up for long periods during the night, or you may wake up too early in the morning. ‘Sleeping tablets’ like zopiclone are considered to be a last resort, but they are sometimes prescribed for a short period of time to help with a particularly bad patch of insomnia.

Many take sleeping pills to counter the effects of insomnia under the direction of their doctor. However, If you have become accustomed to using a sedative to get to sleep at night, you may continue taking them. it is an unfortunate fact that some drugs can be addictive and habit forming and having a dependency on sleeping pills is becoming more of a widespread issue in this country.

What are sleeping pills?

Also known as hypnotics, sleeping pills are obtained via prescription following consultation with a doctor. The name ‘sleeping pills’ is an umbrella term that covers several different types of sleep medication: hypnotics that induce sleep and tranquillizers which lower anxiety levels. This medication uses chemical elements like benzodiazepines, which are in large part responsible for the risks of dependency.

Those who have developed an addiction to sleeping pills may acquire them through various means, not just through a prescription from their GP or over the counter. Many go online and attempt to purchase illicit batches of sleeping pills over the dark web or on the street, where sleeping pills are known by many different names, from `downers`, to `tranks` and `bye-byes`.

However, some do not fully appreciate the risks of taking sleeping pills passed the prescribed level.  It can be hard to predict their effects as there are different kinds of hypnotic drugs which can affect brain chemistry in various ways.

You should be aware that hypnotic drugs are depressants affecting the central nervous system, where the strength and intensity are based on how much you take. If you only consume a small amount, it will generally have slightly sensitive results. By increasing the dosage, a little, you may experience a sedate numb like feeling, which is usually the required state for people taking sleeping pills, who are looking for a relaxing, comfortable rest. However, if you consume the drug at a higher dosage, it can bring on complete anaesthesia, which can make them incredibly dangerous if taken to excess as they can lead to unconsciousness.

The dangers of sleeping pills

You can quickly descend from having a much-desired sleep to losing track of how much you have taken. This is especially true if you have taken the drug over an extended period and have built up a tolerance. However, some people get used to their sedative properties where they feel themselves drifting away, calm and relaxed, despite the inherent risks in taking too much. As a matter of fact, in a tragic irony, some believe it is these relaxing calming properties, and the notion it may be a more painless option that is why many people wishing to take their own lives choose to take sleeping pills. It is a sad reality that they may be the drug most commonly associated with suicide, which only highlights just how dangerous they can be.

Some people erroneously believe it is not possible to become addicted to sleeping pills and may not even realise they have a dependency until they stop taking the drug and suffer the symptoms of withdrawal.

Signs of addiction and abuse

There are various signs to look out for which may indicate you may have an addiction. You may have tried to stop taking sleeping pills and couldn’t, or you may feel a craving for the medication when you don’t have it. If you do have a dependency, you may also go to extreme lengths to acquire the drug, from making continual appointments to the doctor to have your prescription filled or increasing the dosage you take without consulting a doctor.

However, you may find yourself continually taking sleeping pills despite full knowledge of the risks it may be taking to your health. You may suffer ongoing memory problems from taking pills. You can experience other physical and psychological side effects such as dizziness, a loss of coordination, light-headedness and dreamless sleep, alongside many others.

Rebound insomnia

If you have been taking sleeping pills over an extended period, eventually your brain will get used to the effects, making it more difficult if you wish to quit and enter recovery. In some cases, people addicted to sleeping pills may experience what is known as compounded or rebound insomnia, where, ironically enough, you may suffer a worse case of sleepiness than what led you to start taking the drug in the first place. It is a customary symptom of sleeping pill addiction, which often leads some people to relapse or keeps on taking drugs.

Finding rehab treatment for sleeping pill addiction

A stay at a residential rehab clinic can eradicate the problem of taking sleeping pills from your life.  Providing ideal surroundings to carry out a full rehabilitation programme to help you overcome your dependency for good. You will be cared for by highly skilled doctors and nursing staff as you undergo detoxification, where the toxins are gradually cleansed from your system. Rest assured our qualified medical professionals will keep a close eye on your condition. They will prescribe any medication you need to take the edge of the symptoms of withdrawal while stabilising you if need be during detox.

When you have completed your medical detox, you can be guided through some of the mental, along with the physical, aspect of your dependency by undergoing counselling. Patients will attend both group and individual group therapy sessions where you will have the opportunity to discuss any triggers or underlying issues which may have played a role in your addiction. You can also examine any follow-up or aftercare programme which could be essential in continuing your recovery and avoiding relapse when you leave the rehab clinic and go home.

Millions of people around the world have an addiction to sleeping pills. If you are ready to enter residential treatment for your sleeping pill addiction then give Detox Plus a call. We can help you rid yourself of your dependency once and for all. Sleeping pill addiction treatment could save your life and the cost of the treatment is usually minuscule in comparison to the cost associated with the continuation of addiction.



Drugs faq

Which medications are used during detox?


Different medications are used to treat different withdrawal symptoms. Some of the drugs that are prescribed in detox include: Benzodiazepines- These drugs reduce anxiety and irritability. Anxiety is a common symptom of withdrawal from many drugs, including cocaine and opiates, like heroin. Benzos have a sedative effect, which helps ease alcohol withdrawals.

Doctors are cautious about prescribing benzos because they are addictive. Antidepressants- Without drugs, an addicted person cannot produce natural amounts of happiness-inducing chemicals in their brain. Because they’ve relied on drugs to keep them happy for so long, people in detox often experience depression. Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac can help relieve these feelings until the brain is able to produce happiness-inducing chemicals on its own again.

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