According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 48 million adults misuse prescription drugs on an annual basis. A great number of individuals use prescription sleeping pills to deal with legitimate, medically diagnosed conditions, such as insomnia.
However, many individuals use sleeping pills not as prescribed in higher doses or to create a buzz, often leading to substance dependency. Over the past several years, the rate of prescription drug abuse has increased across the United States, and this includes sleeping pill abuse. This is partially related to how readily-available such medications have become, but misinformation about prescriptions also leads to high rates of abuse and addiction. If a doctor says it’s okay, then it must be okay – right? Wrong. Prescribed medications are amongst the most habit-forming.
Help With Sleeping Pill Abuse
If you believe that someone you love is struggling with a sleeping pill addiction, or if you believe that you, personally, may be in need of treatment, there are several signs and symptoms of abuse and dependency to keep an eye out for.
- Craving sleeping pills at other times of the day. Generally, sleeping pills are taken right before bed. However, those that are struggling with dependency may crave the medication throughout the day.
- Strained relationships with friends and family members. One of the most telltale signs of substance dependency is a strain in interpersonal relationships. If your friends or family members have expressed concern if you’re unable to show up for them in the ways, you used to, or if you find that you are fighting with or avoiding your loved ones, you may be struggling with addiction.
- Problems at work or at school. If your performance at work or school is suffering – if you are calling out, accumulating more absences, or experiencing a decline in grades, for example – you may want to consider seeking treatment for a sleeping pill dependency. A steep decline in motivation is a good indicator that a ‘habit’ has progressed into a legitimate problem.
- Harshly disrupted sleep patterns. Those who are prescribed sleeping pills by a doctor probably suffer from disrupted sleep. The point of the medication is to improve sleep patterns and provide individuals with deep, restful sleep, coupled with a sense of relief. Those who are addicted to sleep medication will experience the opposite – extreme fatigue and insomnia.
- An inability to focus. We all need a good night’s sleep in order to focus on the task at hand. If you are abusing prescription sleep medication, you will have a very difficult time feeling well-rested. Thus your focus will suffer significantly.
- Weight loss/weight gain. Sleeping at random hours – whether you are sleeping more or less than you normally would – can lead to inexplicable weight loss or weight gain, depending on your personal habits.
Sleeping Pill Addiction Treatment
We at Garden State Treatment Center deal with drug addictions of all kinds – including addictions to prescription sleeping pills. The treatment process is similar to what it would be if any other drug was concerned – medically-monitored detox, inpatient treatment, and comprehensive aftercare. Because withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially dangerous, medical detoxification is a necessary first step when sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms are concerned.
Once an individual has successfully undergone the worst of withdrawals, he or she will be transferred to an inpatient rehab facility. In most cases, inpatient treatment will last between three and six months. The length of the stay will depend on how severe the drug addiction was – the amount that was used on a regular basis, and the frequency of use. Finally, after an individual has completed inpatient treatment, he or she will have the opportunity to stay at a sober living house for an extended period of time. This allows for a smooth transition back into independent living.
We are Here to Help
If you believe that you may be struggling with an addiction to sleeping pills, there is help available. For more information on substance dependency or on our unique program of recovery, please feel free to contact us today.