Sleeping Pill Addiction Treatment

Sleeping pills seem harmless enough. You can get them over-the-counter and they can help you if you have trouble sleeping at night. Sounds like a win-win right? Unfortunately, though, while prescription sleeping pills can be helpful, they contain ingredients that can lead to heavy dependency and even addiction.

Unfortunately, with sleeping pill dependence comes the posibility of sleeping pill addiction and the negative health conditions that accompany that. But, the good news is that a sleeping pill addiction treatment program can provide hope for recovery. Here at North Jersey Recovery Center, we strive to offer help and healing to those who are suffering from all types of substance use disorders, including sleeping pill abuse. 

What is a Sleeping Pill?

sleeping pill addiction treatment

Sleeping pills are sedative drugs and they fall under the category of sedative-hypnotic. Other pills that fall in this category include barbiturates and benzodiazepines such as 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 most common sleeping pills found on the market are:

  • Ambien
  • Lunesta
  • Sonata

Sleeping pills are made differently than pills like Xanax. Still, they react to the brain similarly. Like benzos or barbiturates, sleeping pills bind to the same GABA receptors which can lead to dependency and addiction.

How Exactly Do Sleeping Pills Work?

Sleeping pills depress the central nervous system and calm the brain down enough to be able to go to sleep. These drugs, whether they’re over-the-counter or prescription-strength, tend to be short-acting. This means that your brain will begin to grow a dependency on the substance to be able to go to sleep quickly. Certain prescription sleep aids, such as Ambien and Lunesta, are touted to be fast-acting and non-habit forming. Even those aids can result in dependency and addiction over time though.

Additionally, sleep aids have been shown to be abused more often than over-the-counter pills. In fact, sleeping pills, such as Ambien, have the potential to cause individuals to experience a “high.” This “high” particularly occurs when people take sleeping pills and then force themselves to stay awake.

Some individuals who have taken Ambien before have even described experiencing feelings of euphoria after taking it and staying awake. This euphoric feeling only leads people to begin to misuse sleeping pills.

Why Do People Use Sleeping Pills?

Many people start using sleeping pills because they suffer from sleep disorders. One such disorder is a condition called insomnia. Individuals who suffer from insomnia struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia is also a common symptom of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Thus, many people begin using sleeping pills to help them manage the symptoms of their mental health disorders. 

For those who don’t realize that they suffer from depression or anxiety and are thus, not also receiving treatment for their mental health, taking sleeping pills is a slippery slope to a never-ending cycle of drug abuse. This cycle of sleeping pill abuse combined with a mental illness like depression or anxiety can then lead to suicide or emergency health situations. 

How Does Sleeping Pill Addiction Develop?

People often begin abusing prescription sleeping pills unknowingly by taking more than what is prescribed in hopes that it will cure their insomnia quicker. Other people unknowingly abuse these drugs by taking them for a longer period of time than they’re supposed to because they are suffering from insomnia for a longer period of time than expected. People often suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders longer than expected because they aren’t treating the core underlying issues of their conditions. 

Regardless, once people begin to chronically abuse sleeping pills, they often develop an addiction to these substances. Once this happens, professional rehab is necessary to help fight substance abuse. Sleeping pill addiction treatment can help end the struggle in a person’s life. For those who suffer from a sleeping pill addiction and co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety, dual diagnosis treatment is necessary.  

Signs of Sleeping Pill Addiction

There are numerous signs that your sleeping pill use is turning into an addiction. For example, if you’ve tried to stop using sleeping pills but can’t due to withdrawal symptoms, then you’re probably addicted to your sleeping pills. 

You’re also likely addicted to sleeping pills if you crave them regularly. Once a sleeping pill addiction becomes severe, you may even begin seeing multiple doctors and pharmacies to obtain multiple sleeping pill prescriptions. This is known as “doctor shopping”.

If you are physically dependent on sleeping medication, you experience negative consequences such as frequent memory loss. Those who suffer from sleeping pill addictions sometimes become so desperate to upkeep their addictions that they’re willing to go through severe negative life consequences to do so. 

Side Effects of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills have some common side effects on top of dependency and addiction. Some common side effects of taking sleeping pills include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Shakiness and tremors
  • Nightmares or unusual dreams

In addition, continuous sleep medication abuse can result in an extreme side effect known as parasomnia. Parasomnia is essentially extreme sleepwalking. People with parasomnia can do things like eat, talk on the phone, and even have sex while still asleep. Just like when sleepwalking, people with parasomnia are completely unaware of the behaviors that they’re participating in.

What Happens If I Mix Sleeping Pills With Other Substances?

It’s absolutely imperative that you don’t mix sleeping pills with alcohol or any other type of substance. You should especially not mix sleeping pills with other sedatives. Examples of other sedative-based substances include opioids and benzos. 

Mixing sedative medications and other depressant substances together can lead to very dangerous drops in a person’s respiration. A significant drop in respiration can lead to significant health issues such as severe brain damage, coma, or even death. Brain damage can result in issues such as memory loss, behavioral abnormalities, and cognitive dysfunction. 

Can Abusing Sleeping Pills Lead to Other Types of Substance Abuse?

sleeping pills addiction

Prolonged sleeping pill use can result in dependency and addiction. It can also cause abuse and addiction to other substances. A common example of this is sleep pill dependency and Adderall abuse.

Sleeping pills help people get to sleep and stay to sleep. As a result, people who use sleep aids might wake up feeling groggier or more fatigued than normal. This is especially true when individuals wake up before the medication wears off. 

When that happens, people might turn to Adderall or another type of stimulant to counter their grogginess. This could lead to an addiction to stimulants as well as sleeping pills.   

Treatment Options For Prescription Sleep Aid Addiction

Opting against getting treatment for your sleep aid dependency is dangerous. It could cause you to develop severe health complications and other substance addictions. That’s why getting treatment for any sort of sleep aid addiction is crucial. 

Here at North Jersey Recovery Center, we strive to find the best rehab program for our clients. We understand the need to address a person’s unique and individual needs. So, we offer help in various forms and approaches.

Detoxification

Typically, the first step in the sleeping aid addiction treatment process is detox. The detox process will rid your body of any harmful substances and toxins. Also, medical detox can help you to get through the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.

Due to the nature of the entire process, detoxing should be done under constant medical supervision at a treatment center. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can even lead to the occurrence of a medical emergency. Fortunately, however, drug and alcohol detox professionals can help you safely end substance use.

Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment

Once detox is complete, it’s time to enter either outpatient treatment or inpatient treatment. Your treatment professional or doctor will determine which form of treatment is best for you, depending on the severity of your addiction.

Inpatient rehab requires individuals to live at a treatment center for the duration of their addiction treatment. Outpatient rehab allows individuals to live either at home or in a sober living environment while getting treatment for substance abuse. Both outpatient and inpatient treatment can be effective in addressing addiction.

Addiction Therapy Services

During treatment, you can attend therapy sessions. There are various types of addiction therapy that can help you to remain free from substance use disorder. Some of the main types of therapy include individual therapy (one-on-one counseling) and group therapy (meetings involving peers and therapists). Also, family therapy can help to support the family members of individuals who are struggling with addiction. Finally, support groups can help provide accountability and encouragement for those in recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Many people who suffer from substance use disorders also have mental health disorders. When it comes to receiving rehab at an addiction treatment facility, it is important for people to get the help that addresses all of their needs. For many people, this includes co-occurring mental health challenges.

Dual diagnosis treatment can offer people the help they need when living with co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders. This type of treatment addresses both disorders simultaneously, rather than only focusing on one disorder. For instance, a person who is living with an anxiety disorder and alcoholism can benefit from dual diagnosis rehab. This program will treat anxiety while also addressing alcohol use disorder.

Are You Suffering from Sleeping Pill Addiction?

The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep can be a challenging issue. It can deprive people of a peaceful night’s rest and make it difficult for individuals to remain awake and alert throughout the day. It can challenge one’s ability to focus on important tasks and remain mentally present at work or school. The use of sleeping pills is often necessary for those who are dealing with sleep disorders.

But, while sleep aids might seem harmless enough, what begins as an attempt to treat insomnia could quickly become a substance use problem. While this is not always the case, it is important to be aware of this possibility. Not only can they lead to dependency and addiction, but they can also lead to addiction to other substances. All of this can lead to major health complications if not addressed and treated right away. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to sleeping pills or has developed an addiction to another substance as a result of sleeping pill use, you must receive treatment. It’s crucial for your overall health and well-being. 

North Jersey Recovery Center Can Help You Overcome Your Addiction

treatment for sleeping pill addiction

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we understand everything that struggling individuals go through and how it can lead to a sleep pill addiction. That’s why we offer a substance abuse treatment program that’s just for those working to recover from addiction. 

Our rehab facility offers prescription drug addiction treatment for those who are suffering from physical dependence on these substances. We understand the challenges recovering addicts face on the road to freedom from addiction. So we work to make sure our clients have access to the best treatment options for their needs.

To learn more about our New Jersey addiction treatment facility and the services that we offer, contact us today! Our team is more than willing to answer any questions that you may have. 

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.