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can you get addicted to sleeping pills


Can You Get Addicted To Sleeping Pills?

Insomnia can be brought on by excess stress, anxiety, or the inability to quiet one’s thoughts. So, you may take sleeping pills to help you fall asleep when you are struggling with insomnia. It is understandable you may have concerns and wonder whether you can get addicted to sleeping pills.   

What Are Sleeping Pills?

Sleeping pills are a form of sedative-hypnotic drug that helps calm and relax the body to help you fall asleep. There are prescription sleeping pills, such as Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata. Sometimes doctors prescribe benzos like Klonopin or Xanax since their effects are similar to sleeping pills if your insomnia is related to stress and anxiety. There are also over-the-counter sleeping pills and medications. 

Effects of Sleeping Pills

The primary effect of sleeping pills is to sedate the body to make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. In addition, most sleeping pills activate the GABA receptors in the brain, a neurotransmitter that communicates with the central nervous system (CNS). 

When the GABA receptors activate, they help the body relax and cause a person to become sleepy. Then, as the medication is digested, it attaches itself to the GABA receptors to prevent them from deactivating. So, once they attach, they help keep a person relaxed, so they remain sleepy.

The effects of sleeping bills continue to metabolize throughout the night. By the time a person wakes in the morning, the person fully metabolized the medication, and it is no longer in the body. 

Can You Get Addicted to Sleeping Pills?

Certain sleeping pill medications do have a higher risk of addiction than others. However, anyone can become addicted to any type of sleeping pill, whether it is a prescription or an over-the-counter drug. 

Initially, you may find you develop a psychological dependence on sleeping pills. This type of dependence is where you believe you cannot function without the medication. In this case, you believe you cannot fall asleep without taking a sleeping pill. 

Next, the longer you take sleeping pills, the higher your body’s tolerance to the drugs. When you first start taking sleeping pills, you often notice you can drift off to sleep fairly quickly. However, as the body begins to develop a tolerance to the medication, you might notice you are not falling asleep as quickly and may not remain asleep all night. 

Unfortunately, many people start self-medicating their sleeping pills by increasing the dosage without consulting their healthcare provider. By increasing the dosage, they can achieve the desired effects as they did previously. 

However, they can soon find they get into an endless cycle of increasing sleeping pill dosages as the body continues to increase its tolerance to the drugs. Sadly, once a person reaches this point, they have developed an addiction to sleeping pills. 

Signs and Symptoms of Sleeping Pill Addiction

The signs and symptoms of sleeping pill addiction can be challenging to recognize because their addiction is related to their sleep cycles. Although some of the more common signs and symptoms of sleeping pill addiction to be aware of include:

  • • Attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions from different providers
  • • Combining prescription sleeping pills with over-the-counter sleep medications
  • • Self-medicating and increasing one’s dosage 
  • • Spending an excessive amount of time sleeping
  • • Using alcohol to attempt to enhance the effects of sleeping pills
  • • Combining sleeping pills with prescription or illicit opioids 
  • • Having difficulties concentrating and focusing upon waking
  • • Developing a craving for sleeping pills during normal waking hours 
  • • Experiencing financial problems from spending an excessive amount of money on sleeping pills

When you notice a sleeping pill addiction, you need to consider alternatives to help you with a sleeping issue. Often, holistic therapies, like yoga or meditation, can help a person relax enough to fall asleep. In addition, your doctor might prescribe medications that aren’t addictive.

How Sleeping Pill Addiction is Treated

Long-term use of sleeping pills often results in experiencing withdrawal symptoms once you are ready to overcome your addiction. Fortunately, sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening and could include:

  • • Insomnia
  • • Headaches
  • • Anxiety
  • • Uncontrolled sweating
  • • Hot and cold flashes
  • • Depression
  • • Hallucinations
  • • Nightmares
  • • Muscle aches and pains
  • • Irritability 
  • • Memory/concentration problems

However, they can still be quite unpleasant when you attempt to quit “cold turkey” on your own. Therefore, you should undergo a medically supervised detox from sleeping pills with the help of a medical professional. 

There are different types of supervised detox treatments that can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to overcome your sleeping pill addiction. For example, you can gradually wean off the sleeping pills, or medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with other non-addictive medications can help lessen withdrawal symptoms. 

At-Home Sleeping Pill Detox Treatment in Beverly Hills, CA  

If you believe you have a sleeping pill dependence or addiction, it is easy to detox safely and comfortably at home in Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles area with assistance from MD Home Detox. We offer concierge-level medically supervised detox programs tailored to your specific needs and objectives. 

After you complete detox, we work with you to determine whether you should continue addiction treatment through our extensive network of referred professionals. Please feel free to contact us today to start your at-home sleeping pill detox treatment or for further information about getting addicted to sleeping pills. 

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