Can You Overdose On Sleeping Pills And What Are Your Addiction Treatment Options?

Between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, and 4 percent of the population turns to medicine in order to get a good night’s sleep. If you have problems sleeping on a regular basis, it’s a sign that something is amiss. It might be as easy as consuming too much coffee or staying up late watching TV, your phone, or other devices. However, it might also be an indication of a medical or psychological issue. But whatever the cause is, sleeping drugs will not fix it in the long run because sleeping medications are, at most, a band-aid solution. At worst, they’re an addictive crutch that can exacerbate sleeplessness over time.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take medication. Instead, you should assess the advantages against the hazards of using it. Sleeping medications and sleep aids, in general, are most helpful when taken sparingly for short-term conditions like traveling between time zones or recuperating from a medical treatment. To minimize reliance and tolerance, it’s better to take sleeping pills solely on a “as required” basis if you want to use them for a long time.

Can you overdose on sleeping pills?

Due to the lower chance of someone overdosing on the newer versions, modern sleep drugs are not as potent as prior generations. Despite the many safeguards put in place, the answer to the question “Can you overdose on sleeping pills?” is a resounding yes.

What happens during a sleeping pill overdose?

When a person is overdosed on a sleeping pill, they will have trouble functioning as they normally do. They will be overly sleepy and possibly have trouble breathing.

Drowsiness is also something that happens on a sleeping pill overdose. The person will eventually feel so sleepy that they fall asleep.

In case it’s impossible to wake up the person, make sure you call for help as soon as possible because it’s one of the final stages of sleeping pill overdose.

a woman with a night mask associating that she has sleep problems

The most addictive types of sleeping pills

Since the 1960s, benzodiazepines, sometimes known as “benzos,” have been a popular sleep aid. Benzodiazepines were the most often prescribed drugs in the world in 1977, as they are also used by doctors to treat restlessness, anxiety, and muscular spasms.

To create a sedative effect, benzodiazepines act on the central nervous system by targeting certain receptors in the brain. These medicines create sleepiness by depressing the central nervous system. Some of the most accessible benzodiazepines are Diazepam, Estazolam, Flurazepam, and Temazepam.

The pharmaceuticals zaleplon, zolpidem, and zopiclone are referred to as “Z drugs.” These medicines are effective at assisting users in sleeping; however, they are not long-lasting sleep aids. They have a similar effect as benzodiazepines, but Z medications can also promote sleepiness the next day. They have been related to harmful sleep activities including sleepwalking, sleep eating, and sleep driving on rare occasions. Some of the most accessible z drugs are Ambien, Lunesta, Imovane, Sonata, and Intermezzo.

Antihistamines are the active element in over-the-counter sleep aids, which is commonly related with allergies and common cold symptoms. These medications act on the brain in the same way that other pharmaceuticals do, but users are taking them for the side effects rather than the cure. Its main purpose is to treat allergies, with sleepiness as a side effect. Some of the most accessible OTC sleep aids are Unisom, ZzzQuil, Simply Sleep, Kirkland Sleep Aid, and Melatonin.

Sleeping pills overdose symptoms and side effects

At the correct dosage, sleeping pills are harmless, but in big doses, the difference between drowsy and sedated is harmful and obvious to notice.

An overdose occurs when a person who has taken sleeping medications becomes unable to function normally. The symptoms of sleeping pill overdose are quite notable and easy to spot since the majority of prescribed sleeping drugs produce an inappropriate level of sleepiness.

When we sleep, our breathing naturally slows down, but no sleeping aid should make breathing difficult. Irregular or excessively sluggish breathing should never be ignored because it’s a sign of a sleeping pill overdose.

If a person using sleeping medications is so drowsy that they cannot be awakened, their life is most certainly in jeopardy. This is one of the most critical symptoms of an overdose.

In addition to the risk of overdose, sleeping medications can have negative side effects even when taken as directed. If a person becomes hooked and consumes more than the advised dose, the risk of adverse effects increases.

Some side effects of sleeping pills use include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Memory problems
  • Shakiness
  • Headaches
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling weak
  • Difficulty paying attention

Signs and symptoms of sleeping pills addiction

Some of the most common symptoms of sleeping pills addiction and abuse include:

  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Unsteady gait
  • Impaired memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual euphoria
  • Inability to focus
Hand holding blue pills

Health concerns of prolonged sleeping pill use

When a person takes sleeping drugs for longer periods of time or in larger quantities, the likelihood of unpleasant side effects increases.

These medications have been associated to a wide range of health issues, including:

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Sleep walking
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Impaired motor skills and lack of coordination

Furthermore, medicines including Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta have been linked to an increased risk of falls, injuries, and automobile accidents.

According to several studies, people who take sleeping drugs on a daily basis are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. When used with other prescription drugs, sleep aids can have serious side effects by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate.

Sleeping pill addiction treatment options

Given the potential for sleeping pill side effects such as prolonged daytime dizziness, morning headaches, grogginess, short-term memory loss, nightmares upon stopping use, aches and pains, increased risk of dementia after prolonged use, and the risk of drug dependence and addiction, overcoming a sleeping pill addiction has numerous advantages.

Sleeping pill detox

When a person develops a dependence on these drugs, sleeping pill detox becomes essential.

It’s the process of the body being cleansed of the poisons and chemicals that have accumulated over time as a result of sleeping pill misuse that has gone untreated.

Generally, the sleeping medication detox method takes three to seven days and should be done by medical professionals who are trained and experienced in their field. A considerable increase in the likelihood of recurrence is observed in those who attempt to detox from sleeping medications without the support of qualified doctors and nurses.

hand holding a glass of water with fruit

Inpatient sleeping pill rehab

Inpatient treatment is particularly beneficial for those who have been taking sleeping drugs in large quantities for a long time. Rehab takes patients out of situations where sleeping drugs are readily available and starts the process of teaching them appropriate sleeping habits, self-care, and relaxation skills to help them cope with stress and worry.

Those struggling with polydrug addiction and/or co-occurring disorders may benefit from inpatient treatment. If untreated, those with underlying mental problems such as depression are more prone to relapse. Furthermore, because mental illnesses are frequently the cause of insomnia, addressing the disease is a crucial component of the rehabilitation process.

Inpatient treatment might last anywhere from 28 to 90 days.

The length of time each patient spends in treatment is influenced by factors like the severity of the addiction, the existence of co-occurring mental health and medical issues, and insurance limits.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most dependent people require at least three months of therapy to significantly reduce or stop their drug use, with longer treatment periods yielding the greatest results.

Outpatient sleeping pill rehab

Outpatient treatment is a great option for people who want to quit using their drug of choice but need the flexibility of a program that fits into their schedule.

Outpatient rehab programs include drug and alcohol therapy as well as support groups that may be attended during the week.

Patients can keep their usual obligations and live at home under this plan, but they must check into treatment at their scheduled times for counseling and medicine.

Outpatient programs occur in a variety of styles, intensity levels, and services, but the main focus is on counseling, education, and building a support network.

Sleeping pill withdrawal duration and symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms and duration vary in severity from one person to another. Depending on the period of usage, age, gender, dose levels, and other factors, withdrawal symptoms might last a few weeks.

Symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Sadness
  • Muscular tension
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures (rare)

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Can you take sleeping pills permanently?

Long-term use of sleeping tablets is not recommended for insomnia or other sleep problems. They have the potential to have serious health implications, but they also do not provide a solution to the problem.

Is it healthy to take sleeping pills every night?

Patients should utilize sleep aids every night for two to four weeks, according to physicians. If you require assistance for a longer amount of time, it is recommended that you take the medication just as necessary, such as three evenings per week. It is not healthy to take them every night, especially in the long run.

How quickly can you get addicted to sleeping pills?

A dependency on sleeping pills can happen in as little as 7 days.

What happens when stopping sleeping pills?

Former sleeping pill users will feel physical and psychological anguish during withdrawal. Individuals have different withdrawal symptoms when they stop using sleeping drugs. Some withdrawal symptoms may include seizures, insomnia, body spasms, depression, confusion, sweating, hand tremors, nausea, vomiting, irritability, anxiety, drug cravings, and other symptoms.

How long does it take to get sleeping pills out of the system?

It can be found in urine for up to 48 hours and in blood for up to 20 hours. It can be detected for up to 5 weeks using hair testing.

What are the side effects of taking sleeping pills daily?

Some potential side effects of taking sleeping pills daily may include dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, drowsiness, allergic reaction, sleep-related behaviors and memory issues.

How can I sleep without sleeping pills?

There are a few things you can try to help you fall asleep without using sleeping pills.

  • A soothing nighttime ritual. At least one hour before bedtime, turn off all technology and instead spend the time doing things that are peaceful and soothing like reading, moderate yoga, or listening to soft music. Reduce the quantity of light in your room in order to naturally raise your melatonin concentrations.
  • Breathing from the abdomen. The majority of us do not breathe deeply enough and it can truly improve the portion of our neural system that governs relaxation when we breathe deeply and profoundly, engaging not just the chest but also the abdomen, lower back, and ribs. Close your eyes and attempt to take slow, deep breaths, each one deeper than the last. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale deeply through your mouth. Try to exhale for a bit longer than you inhale the air.
  • Progressive muscular relaxation is not as difficult as it appears. Make yourself comfortable by lying down. Tense your muscles as much as you can, starting with your feet. Hold until a count of ten before relaxing. Work your way up to the top of your head, doing this for each muscle group in your body.

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