Although people successfully treat short-term insomnia with sleeping pills, many become dependent on them.
People do not normally start out with the intention of becoming addicted. Many start off taking sleeping pills that have been prescribed by their doctor for medicinal purposes. They later become dependent on this medication and might take it even when it is not required. There are also those who use this medication as a means to enhance the effect of alcohol or other drugs. People can grow to like the way that this type of drug sedates them and calms down the mind. Taking sleeping pills can create similar feelings to being drunk on alcohol. It can be tempting for individuals to abuse these substances as a way to escape their problems.
The Dangers of Sleeping Pill Addiction
Sleeping pill addiction can lead to deterioration in the quality of life and there are possible health consequences as well. The dangers associated with sleeping pill addiction will depend on the type of drug that is being abused but will usually include:
- Withdrawals symptoms will commence if the individual tries to quit the drug or significantly reduces the dosage.
- Increased tolerance
- The individual will feel compelled to take higher doses of the drug. This means that there is the risk of overdose.
- This type of drug abuse can lead to depression. There is an increased risk of suicide.
- People can be at much higher risk of accidents. Sleeping pills cause deterioration in the individual’s sense of coordination.
- Abuse of these medications can damage body organs.
- Different physical symptoms are associated with different types of sleeping pill. For instance, benzodiazepine abuse can lead to blurred vision and respiratory problems.
- There will be an obsession with ensuring a regular supply of the drug. The individual may become willing to break the law or act unethically in their attempts to obtain sleeping pills.
Sleeping Pill Addiction Statistics
About 10% of adults in the US have a problem getting or staying asleep. Up to 40% of adults will occasionally have this problem. Benzodiazepine sleeping pills are the most widely prescribed with up to 100 million prescriptions a year. The number of people who rely on this medication to get to sleep is increasing each year. As more people use the drug there is sure to be a growth in the number who become addicted. Determining an exact figure for people who become addicted to sleeping pills is difficult. Many who end up seeking treatment will also abuse other substances such as alcohol as well.
Natiral Steps v. Sleeping Pills
Research suggests that the most effective method to cure chronic insomnia is to treat the underlying disorder rather than simply use sleeping pills. Cognitive behavioral therapy, in which individuals learn how to change their behaviors to promote better sleeping patterns, is considered the most effective treatment for chronic insomnia.
- Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
- Exercising routinely
- Avoiding caffeine
- Avoiding daytime naps
- Limiting stress
Cranial electrotherapy stimulation can improve sleep quality. You clip electrodes on to your earlobes for 20 minutes every evening to send tiny electric signals to the brain and help you feel more relaxed.