Sleeping pills are a classification of drugs that help induce sleep and treat short-term insomnia. These medications slow down the nervous system and work on the brain receptors to promote drowsiness. Because of how accessible it is, many people find themselves being completely dependent on the drug. In most countries, you don’t need a prescription to acquire over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills, which leads to many falling victim to the drug’s power.
Some people wrongly assume that sleeping pills aren’t addictive. In fact, a lot of them don’t realize that they’ve become dependent (or addicted) until they stop taking them. Sleeping pill addiction is a real disease and it’s something that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent serious ramifications from occurring. Here’s everything you need to know about sleeping pill addiction.
Signs and symptoms of sleeping pill addiction
There are a couple of telltale signs that may indicate a person is addicted to sleeping pills. These signs include:
- Frequent memory loss
- Lack of focus in day-to-day tasks
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady walking
- Sudden euphoric feelings
- Uncoordinated movement patterns
Both the short-term and long-term effects of sleeping pills are enough to warrant immediate concern when using them. The problem is that many people aren’t aware of how dangerous sleeping pills can be. In rare cases, people may develop parasomnia, a sleep disorder that affects the nervous system and contributes to abnormal behaviours like sleep-walking, sleep-eating, and other related activities.
The side effects of abusing sleeping pills can range from a minor fatigue to a coma. Some of the common symptoms and side effects of sleeping pill addiction are:
- Dry mouth
- Depressed breathing
- Weird, unusual dreams
How to recognize a sleeping pill addiction
Due to the accessibility of sleeping pills, these drugs pose a serious risk of physical dependence. If not careful, a person may become dependent on sleeping pills after using them for more than two weeks. Tolerance can develop quickly in sleeping pills, especially if you go beyond what’s normally prescribed by your physician. People who develop sleeping pill addiction often increase their dosages in order to achieve the effects that have diminished.
At first, individuals may find it difficult to recognize they have an addiction to sleeping pills. But the most important thing is for you to be transparent with yourself. Have you been taking more pills than what’s recommended by your doctor? Do you rely heavily on sleeping pills almost every day? If the answers are yes, then you need to take action right away.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders have outlined several criteria for the clinical diagnosis of sleeping pill addiction. The criteria highlights physical, psychological, and behavioural symptoms that result from prolonged usage of sleeping pills. Individuals who are addicted to sleeping pills may exhibit the following:
- Increasing dosages to fall asleep.
- Failing to quit using sleeping pills several times.
- Disregarding professional, social, educational, and family obligations
- Distancing oneself from loved ones and friends
- Frequently confused or detached
- Exhibiting dangerous behaviour while under the influence of sleeping pills
- Showing signs of withdrawal symptoms
- No longer participating in hobbies or interests
- Intense cravings on sleeping pills
- Frequent mood swings
During the withdrawal stage, the person may experience both physical and psychological discomfort. The withdrawal symptoms will vary from individual to individual, but the most common ones are:
- Body spasms
- Increased heart rate
Treating sleeping pill addiction
Medical detox is the safest way to manage withdrawal symptoms. During medical detox, the patient will be monitored closely and undergo a detox program to cleanse the body from the drug. A medical team will examine the patient’s progress to ensure the withdrawal symptoms don’t lead to unstable conditions. The medical team will adjust the treatment plan depending on how severe the symptoms are. This allows the patient’s body to adjust accordingly.
Calm Rehab professional team are highly experienced in dealing with sleeping pill addiction and all other kinds of addiction. The team at Calm Rehab are specialists in helping people overcome their addiction. Learn more about what Calm Rehab do as a leading rehab center in Bali to help people from all over the world.