Understanding Sleeping Pills and Addiction

There are many reasons people use sleeping pills ranging from one or a few sleepless nights to longer term stress affecting sleep and everything in between.  While sleeping pills can be effective in helping those with a short-term bout of insomnia, they generally aren’t all they’re cracked up to be due to the risk of dependence.

The numbers are staggering, with nearly 38 million prescriptions being doled out for the common sleep medication, Ambien, between the years of 2006 and 2011. Much like any other drug, people wrongly assume that they won’t become dependent on the drug or just don’t see the dependency until it’s too late.

What can happen with sleeping pills is that soon you may take a higher dose to get them same effect you had the first time which was to fall asleep soon after taking the pill. When your body adjust to the new dosage, you’re able to fight that sleep for longer and the desired effect is fleeting. You may get cravings, be unable to quit after several attempts, and keep taking the medication even though you’re experiencing more and more negative consequences.

The difference between sleeping pill addiction and other addictions is that sleeping pills are categorized as sedative-hypnotics. This is the same category that includes benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Although most drugs in this category are benzo-hypnotics, sleeping pills are slightly different as they are sedative-hypnotics.

Even though most doctors prescribe sleeping pills for a short period of time, they are often given as a supply that patients can easily use not according to any dosage schedule set forth by the doctor. Because sleeping pills have other effects like reduced anxiety, the “high” like feeling of other stronger medications, etc. patients can begin to abuse them easily.

If you’re prescribed a sleep medication for any range of reasons, only take the medication according to dosing and scheduling instructions given by your medical care professional. Only you know if you truly need the medication but many unsuspecting patients fall into dependency because of a lack of knowledge, awareness, or full understanding of the medication they’ve been prescribed. Always make sure you understand the risks and benefits of any medication you may be prescribed.

 N.D. “Sleeping Pill Addiction and Abuse”. Addiction Center. (website). 2017
  • 3 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • My advice to people who struggle with sleeping or sleeping well is to try everything you possibly can before turning to sleeping pills. They are just too easy to become dependent on.
  • Sometime we all feel lack of sleep or unable to sleep. This is referred as insomnia. It can be short-term or long-term. The short-term insomnia can be treated with the help of antidepressants or sleeping pills. Sometime, people get used to these pills. They start using these pills at any-time when they feel trouble in sleeping or anything happened to them. Sleeping pills are in the category of sedative-hypnotics. As they include sleep, they are known as “z-drugs”. Doctor prescribe these pills according to patient's condition or need. They prescribe a limited dosage, patients are not asked to use it on regular basis. One who take these pills on daily basis, get addicted to it and caught by sleeping pills abuse.
    Common symptoms of sleeping pills abuse involves: Dizziness, Dry mouth, Memory loss, Itching and swelling, Difficulty with coordination, Unusual dreams and depressed breath rate.
    When people get addicted to these pills, they continue the use after the effects are less. Overtime, the tolerance of these pills leads to addiction.
    One who get addicted to this, have some symptoms like:
    Ignoring social, professional and familial gatherings, confused or frequently detached, Trying and failing to quit more than once and Need larger doses to fall asleep.
    So, one should take these pills for short-term not for long-term. If you feel like lack of sleep, use some natural ways, do not prefer sleeping pills.
Sign In or Register to comment.