Sleeping Pill Withdrawal

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Purpose of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills, synthetic sleep aids and sedatives are frequently prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. Ambien is often prescribed as a sleeping aid with more than 38 million prescriptions written between 2006 and 2011. If you have become addicted to or are abusing sleeping pills, you will need to go through detox and withdrawal to recover. Many people consider sleep deprivation a kind of torture. If you do not get enough sleep, the quality of your life will suffer. 

Purpose of Sleeping Pills

Not getting enough sleep can result in relationship or family issues, can negatively impact your ability to fight off infection and negatively impacts your immune system. According to recent research, your brain can literally start to consume itself if your sleep deprivation is chronic. Mental health issues including anxiety and depression can also result from a lack of high-quality sleep. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder or problem, you probably believe sleeping pills are a blessing. 

Unfortunately, there is also a dark side to sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can become addictive. Once you stop using them after becoming addicted, you can experience rebound insomnia. This makes breaking your addiction even more difficult. Sleeping pills are easily available. Due to the addictive properties, physicians will only prescribe them for the short-term. Due to the ease of accessibility, a lot of people become addicted.

Dangers of Sleeping Pills

You may not have realized you developed an addiction or dependence until you attempted to stop using sleeping pills. You may have experienced unpleasant emotional and physical side effects in addition to rebound insomnia. If you tried to stop using sleeping pills and experienced symptoms of withdrawal, you are addicted. Withdrawal symptoms are a sign of both addiction and dependence. Some of the other signs your use of sleeping pills is not under control include:

  • Getting sleeping pill refills from two or more doctors
  • Experiencing cravings for sleeping pills
  • Frequent memory loss due to the sleeping pills
  • Trying to quit several times and failing
  • Continuing your use of sleeping pills in spite of the negative consequences

Your addiction can manifest itself in different ways and behaviors. You may increase your dosage without talking to your doctor, have a deep desire and need to take sleeping pills or have consistent cravings for the drug. There are several different types of sleeping pills frequently prescribed that have addictive properties including: 

  • Sonata
  • Lunesta
  • Belsomra
  • Halcion
  • Estazolam
  • Ambien
  • Restoril

Dangers of Sleeping Pills

If you are addicted to sleeping pills, your symptoms will be a lot like alcohol impairment. If you believe a loved one is abusing sleeping pills, you need to look for the symptoms and signs indicating there is an issue. This includes:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Euphoria
  • Denial
  • Slurred speech
  • Attempting to quit more than once and failing
  • Dry mouth
  • Problems remembering things or events and focusing
  • Taking more than the dosage prescribed
  • Stealing prescriptions from family or friends and shopping for doctors
  • Difficulty moving or walking
  • Lightheadedness
  • Becoming anxious at the idea of running out of sleeping pills
  • Cravings for sleeping pills
  • Issues with social functions and memory due to the drug

Taking sleeping pills can result in shallow and labored breathing, coma, dangerous seizures and death. The risk of overdosing on sleeping pills is rare, but if you abuse the drug you can develop parasomnia. This condition is a type of sleep disorder causing you to sleepwalk. While you are sleeping, you might assault or attack someone, walk or drive. You will be unaware of your actions and have no memory of anything you did. 

If you develop parasomnia due to your addiction, the risk of harming yourself or someone else increases. Some people experience an unexplainable weight gain resulting in additional health issues. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to sleeping pills, help is available. Inpatient rehab facilities and medical detox centers are staffed with trained therapists and experienced physicians to help you stop abusing sleeping pills and beat your addiction. 

Sleeping pill withdrawal is sometimes painful and can last for a long time. Medical detox was created to help you through your withdrawal and make the process as safe, efficient and easy as possible.

The Timeline for Sleeping Pill Withdrawal

The timeline for sleeping pill withdrawal consists of four different phases. Each phase includes a different series of emotional and physical symptoms. The length of time necessary for you to go through withdrawal depends on different factors including how long you have been abusing sleeping pills, metabolic rate, age, weight and any underlying health issues whether mental or physical. All of these factors combine to determine how long your withdrawal will last. 

The first phase starts within a few hours after your last dose of sleeping pills and continues for about 72 hours. The second phase lasts between seven and 10 days. During this phase, your physical symptoms will peak. If you do not have adequate support at this time your risk of a relapse is high. Your physical symptoms will start to dissipate during the third phase. There may be emotional turmoil at this time. This phase will last roughly two weeks. 

Severe depression or intermittent cravings are possible during the fourth phase. These symptoms can persist for months after you last took sleeping pills. When you are trying to recover from your addiction, you require enough support in place to remain sober and for the treatment of any depressive episodes. If your depression is not treated, it can lead to self-harm or suicide. 

Physical Symptoms of Sleeping Pill Withdrawal

The physical symptoms of withdrawal are extremely distressing. The most common symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Convulsions
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating

Your symptoms will appear within 24 to 72 hours after your last dose. The peak occurs after approximately one week. Your symptoms may linger for as long as three weeks after taking your last dose. For some people, panic attacks and anxiety have been triggered by the physical symptoms.

Emotional Symptoms During Withdrawal

Once you quit using sleeping pills, generalized anxiety is common during sleeping pill withdrawal. You may have a major panic attack as well. Most people also experience rebound insomnia. You may have hallucinations and confusion with depression developing after approximately three weeks. If you do not receive help for your addiction, deep clinical depression is possible. This significantly increases your risk for relapse and suicide. 

Effects of Sleeping Pill Abuse

The majority of doctors will only write a short-term prescription for sleeping pills in the event of severe insomnia. The prescription is not always on a strict schedule regarding the dosage. Sleeping pills act quickly and should only be used when needed. Unfortunately, a lot of people take sleeping pills when anything happens to make them feel anxious or if they have the slightest issue with sleep. If you use sleeping pills in any way other than what is prescribed by your doctor, it is classified as abuse. 

If you take a high dose of the drug, the feel-good and drowsy effect is very similar to highly addictive benzodiazepines. If you take the drug and do not sleep, the result is often a hallucinatory effect. Sleeping pills also result in:

  • Hallucinations
  • Dreamless sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lack of coordination

Effects of Sleeping Pill Abuse

Sleeping pills abuse has significantly increased for students in high school and college interested in having a good time. Sleeping pills can produce an effect similar to alcohol or increase the high or buzz associated with alcohol. When a young adult is living at home, getting a prescription for sleeping pills is generally far too easy. In some cases, the student accesses their parent’s prescription. The first time you use sleeping pills, your brain function can be affected. 

As time passes, recovery is harder because your brain becomes used to the effects of the drug. During recovery, you may suffer from a compounded insomnia or rebound insomnia much worse than what you experienced when you initially began using the drug. This side effect is common and is not a reason to continue abusing sleeping pills.

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What Happens if Sleeping Pills are Quit Cold Turkey?

Quitting any drug cold-turkey is not safe including sleeping pills. The result is usually longer lasting and more intense symptoms of withdrawal. If you are alone, navigating the withdrawal process is much more difficult. The severe psychological and emotional withdrawal symptoms are nearly impossible for your friends and family to handle. The trained staff at a detox facility is always available for anyone detoxing from sleeping pills. 

Tapering off the dosage gradually or the administration of a safer medication in a detox center makes your withdrawal easier and safer. This also decreases the risk or prevents you from developing rebound insomnia. If you do not have professional help, rebound insomnia is nearly unbearable. You can also develop dangerous hallucinations or relapse during rebound insomnia.

What Can Be Done Safely During Sleeping Pill Withdrawal?

Receiving an alternative medication that is safe and tapering off the drug is safe while you are in detox. If you experience psychological distress, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication and mood stabilizers can be prescribed by the doctors. Any emotional difficulties you experience will be navigated by therapists while you are in the facility. Medication is also available for nausea and stomach pain. 

What is Not Safe While Detoxing?

Quitting sleeping pills abruptly is not safe. Neither is self-medicating at home with other dangerous drugs or alcohol. Your risk of painful side effects and self-medicating increases if you are at home without the assistance of trained medical professionals. You risk developing serious medical complications or accidentally overdosing. Attempting to stop taking sleeping pills without the help of a trained therapist is not safe. 

If you experience persistent insomnia, your risk of developing depression is nearly three times greater than the general population. With an addiction to sleeping pills, your risk increases even more. More than 50 percent of all individuals admitted into rehab due to drug addiction are suffering from clinical depression. Doctors can have a hard time determining if the addiction or the depression occurred first. If you have a mental health issue, you will continue to struggle until you receive help from medical professionals.

What is Safe During Adderall Detox?

Taking gradually decreasing doses of Adderall during detox is safe. This prevents you from experiencing intense and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. You can also be given safe medications to offset the pain of withdrawal including difficulty sleeping and aches and pains. If you experience either anxiety or depression while in a detox center, you can be given medication. 

What is the process to Withdraw from Sleeping Pills?

During your withdrawal at a detox center, you will be assessed and monitored by doctors for any underlying health issues. Your vitals are also monitored in case there are signs of medical complications or physical distress. The doctor will create a schedule based on your unique needs and medical history to taper you off sleeping pills. During the few weeks necessary for the drug to leave your system, you will stay in a comfortable and serene environment. 

You will receive encouragement to work with social workers, counselors and therapists to address your psychological needs. If you are suffering from a mental health issue while recovering from your sleeping pill addiction, time is required to find the correct medication. Doctors in the facility are available 24/7 to ensure a safe sleeping pill withdrawal process. There is less inconvenience and a shorter wait to find the right medication or dosage for your needs. 

Your treatment plan will be tailored by therapists to ensure your maintenance plan is in place when you leave the center so you can live a sober life. Drug addiction is similar to a chronic illness in the sense it can be successfully managed. If you were diagnosed with a disease, you would not walk away and never talk to another doctor once you were stable. Return visits would be necessary for the proper management of your condition. 

Drug addiction and abuse work the same way. Both are diseases requiring ongoing treatment or you will continue suffering and struggling. If you want to stop struggling with your sleeping pill addiction, contact a detox center to receive the help you need. Do not attempt to quit your addiction on your own because it can be dangerous. Contact Asana Recovery today.

Get Help Now (949) 763-3440

Sleeping pill withdrawal can be dangerous and life threatening. Contact Asana Recovery today to start your new life.

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