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Sleeping Pill Addiction

Why do people develop a sleeping pill addiction? Although people successfully treat short-term insomnia with sleeping pills, many develop a dependency on them. Between 2006 and 2011 there were approximately 38 million people prescribed to Ambien, a common sleeping pill. The numbers are not in their favour.

The ease of accessibility, and the praise from medical professionals the world over, it is no wonder that so many people fall prey to sleeping pills.

There are many people who believe you cannot get addicted to sleeping pills, and in some cases, people have claimed their doctor gave them such information. No matter where the information came from the outcome is the same. People will find they are unable to sleep without them and will be continuously increasing their dose to help them fall asleep.

Symptoms of a sleeping pill addiction

Many individuals do not realise they are addicted – until they stop taking the medication. Withdrawal symptoms follow and that is the telltale sign of an addiction.

Other signs that sleeping pill use has gotten out of control include:

  • Having several failed attempts to quit
  • Getting cravings for sleeping medications
  • Seeing more than one doctor for prescription refills
  • Continuing to take pills despite negative consequences
  • Experiencing frequent memory loss from the pills

A sleeping pill addiction begins when they up their doses without the guidance of a professional.

Understanding sleeping pills

Sleeping pills fall into a category of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics. This category also includes barbiturates and benzodiazepines like Xanax. Unlike other drugs in this category, sleeping pills are non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. They are commonly known as “z-drugs” since they induce sleep.

The 3 most common sleeping pills are:

  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Sonata (zaleplon)
  • Lunesta (eszopiclone)

Although most non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills have different molecular makeups, they all have similar effects. Sleeping pills bind to the same GABA receptors in the brain as benzodiazepines, but they are believed to have fewer side effects.

If you or a loved one has developed a sleeping pill addiction, contact us at Step One Recovery today and take your first steps on the road to recovery.

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