A common assumption about drug rehab is that it’s reserved for people who abuse cocaine, heroin, and other dangerous illegal drugs. However, many of the people who go to Florida inpatient treatment have actually abused legal medications. In many cases, they’ve become addicted to powerful painkillers – but sleep aids can also be extremely habit-forming. To avoid even higher rates of addiction and help those in need, society needs to understand more about the dangers of sleeping pills.
How Sleeping Pills Work
The ultimate goal of taking sleep aids is always the same, but different products work in different ways. For example, pills which contain trazodone usually increase the body’s concentration of serotonin – a mood-elevating hormone which makes people drowsy. It is used for patients who struggle with both insomnia and anxiety, and it’s often prescribed alongside other psychoactive drugs.
On the other hand, popular drugs such as Ambien contain zolpidem – a chemical similar in composition to benzodiazepines. Zolpidem is responsible for a variety of sedative effects, and most doctors consider it to be a safer alternative to benzodiazepines themselves. However, it can still be extremely addictive when it’s used for more than a few weeks.
Finally, some people will take actual benzodiazepines in attempts to sleep better. The most common of these is known as Valium, the brand name for the chemical diazepam. Valium, Xanax, and similar drugs are usually prescribed to treat anxiety, seizures, and even alcohol withdrawal. They are extremely powerful, and using them as sleep aids almost always leads to abuse and dependency.
The Dangers of Sleep Aids
Sleep aids can certainly be effective for people with chronic insomnia. Unfortunately, they are easily abused and carry a great number of side effects. Some of the dangers of prescription sleeping pills include:
- Loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Loss of motor skills
- Slurred speech
- Blurry vision
- Memory loss
- Lack of mental clarity
- Chest and stomach pains
- Spasms and seizures
- Frightful dreams
Furthermore, many people who use sleep aids come to rely on them completely. They may finally be able to sleep well, but their problems worsen as soon as they stop taking the drugs. This often occurs because of underlying anxiety or depression. Some people appear to be physically healthy, yet they can’t sleep because of racing thoughts and constant worries. Sleeping pills can raise their serotonin levels, making them feel tired and at ease – but this is only a short-term fix. Just like people who endure marijuana withdrawal, they often become even more stressed and depressed once they try to quit their medications.
How to Treat Addiction
Treatment for sleeping pill addiction must be two-fold. Chemical dependency must be addressed through detox and counseling. Addicts must then develop strategies for avoiding the cravings they will inevitably experience for years to come.
Just as importantly, patients must undergo psychiatric care for the underlying problems which led to their addictions. In most cases, this means treatment for anxiety – one of the most common causes of insomnia. The only way for sleeping pill addicts to stay clean in the long term is to finally get healthy sleep on their own.
If you’re struggling with sleeping pills or any other drugs, there is no time to waste. Call the number for a free consultation, and learn how Florida inpatient treatment can help you. We’re standing by around the clock, and we can’t wait to get you started on your recovery.