Granite Recovery Center has helped many people with substance use disorders. There are many types of this disorder, and each requires a specialized treatment program. One type of abuse we continue to see involves sleeping pills.
Not getting enough sleep is a big problem in the United States. Being able to sleep is vital, yet countless Americans can’t fall asleep easily or can’t stay asleep long enough to get a good night’s sleep. Folks who can’t sleep well deal with issues like:
- Trouble controlling their moods
- Compromised the immune systems
- Increased chances of developing health conditions like diabetes and heart disease
- Higher likelihood of becoming obese
It’s easy to see what drives people to seek out some kind of remedy for their lack of sleep, and many of them turn to medication. For the most part, these pills do a lot of good, but just like any other drug, they can be abused.
What Are Sleeping Pills?
First, you have to understand what these pills are so that you can understand the side effects. There are many sleeping pill options, like doxepin, temazepam, triazolam, and Lunesta, just to name a few.
Some of these are meant to help a person fall sleep faster, and others are meant to keep folks asleep. The sleeping pills most people abuse are the ones that contain benzodiazepines although the pills ones without this ingredient still get abused, too.
In essence, a sleeping pill is a sedative meant to help people who need can’t sleep. One reason people tend to ignore this type of substance use disorder is that they don’t think it’s possible to become addicted or to abuse these pills.
A simple drug that’s meant to help you sleep may seem harmless, but that’s not always the case. You’d be surprised how many people start to abuse sleeping pills because they thought this medication was harmless. Experts at the Granite Recovery Center have been fighting this misconception, and we’ll keep doing so because better understanding the medication can help.
The reality is sleeping pills are drugs, and they come with a string of side effects that could affect you even if you aren’t dependent on these drugs just yet. The following are some of the side effects linked to general sleeping pill usage:
- Some people who take sleeping pills experience constipation that could be mild to severe.
- A few people experience a loss of balance, which is the reason you can’t operate heavy machinery when on these pills.
- Dry mouth is another side effect that some people have.
- Some users deal with excessive gas whereas others have a loss of appetite.
- Mental impairment could happen to some people, and others might have memory loss.
- Shaking and general weakness throughout the body are other side effects a user might experience.
- A person could experience mild to severe headaches after taking a sleeping pill.
Most of these issues can be addressed by changing the prescription or by lowering the dosage. Figuring out how to address these issues will be up to the doctor, but any symptom must be reported so that the doctor can monitor and make proper changes.
The side effects that a person experiences by taking the pill vary from person to person. All sorts of factors have to be taken into account, including age, overall health, and much more. It goes without saying that no sleeping pill should be taken with alcohol. People can overdose with that combination, and that could be deadly.
What Is Sleeping Pill Abuse?
There are a lot of ways to answer this question. For one, abuse starts with disrespecting the drug. If a person doesn’t look at the sleeping pill as a drug, then the likelihood of this person abusing it is high. It’s important to give the sleeping pill the respect that it deserves.
The disrespect some people have toward the drug can lead to those people using the medication improperly. Such incorrect use could mean the person stops reading the instructions on the label or does not read them at all. It could also mean that a person might take more of the medication than what was specified.
Sometimes, this person could get used to taking sleeping pills even when it’s clear they don’t need the drugs any longer. If a person is misusing sleeping pills, you’re likely to see even more strange behavior, like cravings that the person can’t do anything about.
If this person doesn’t get the sleeping pills, he or she may feel mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. This could include varied types of discomfort and irritation.
Some people experience vomiting, and others could develop some form of depression. A mental ailment such as depression could really hurt a person suffering from a substance use disorder. It could further cement the disorder and create a new set of issues or obstacles.
This substance use disorder can take a turn for the worse, too. Some people who develop a serious disorder do things they know are wrong, like attempting to get more prescriptions even though they shouldn’t. They do this by visiting several doctors and not telling each physician they’ve already received a sleeping pill prescription.
When a person jumps from one healthcare professional to another, it’s referred to as doctor shopping, and the situation is quite serious. Doctors do their best to monitor these sorts of actions and have enough tools in place to catch on to the scam sooner or later.
If for some reason, you discover that a loved one is doctor shopping, it’s important to take action. Inform the doctor or nurses that you suspect something is happening so that they can take the proper steps for the sake of your loved one.
Our people at the Granite Recovery Center have been able to help many individuals dealing with varying degrees of this substance use disorder. It’s not easy. That’s something we’ll admit to anyone who comes to the center, but the difficulty doesn’t mean overcoming this disorder is impossible.
The process will take a lot of work. However, we have enough inpatient treatment programs designed to make a difference in the lives of the patients who give us a chance, and it all starts with one call or visit.
Treatment can involve everything, from straight-forward counseling to cognitive behavioral therapy. These options should help ensure you or your loved one goes back to normal.
Our treatment is going to involve a gradual letting go of the sleeping pill. If we do this part slowly, it should help reduce withdrawal symptoms, which tend to make this process harder than it needs to be.
What Are the Side Effects of Severe Sleeping Pill Abuse?
You already know the effects of this type of disorder on a person’s life, and you know how it can affect you even if you take the pills normally. However, the story doesn’t end with those side effects. A person who uses sleeping pills heavily is going to start experiencing other side effects, and you should know what those are.
The following are side effects linked to heavy substance use disorder:
- Overdosing is a potential side effect.
- A person could easily slip into a coma if the disorder isn’t addressed properly.
- Someone who continues to disregard the disorder could develop shallow breathing, which means less oxygen to your brain that could cause damage over time.
- The heart rate of a person dealing with this disorder could start to slow down, which means fewer nutrients being pumped through the body.
Every so often, people who have been dealing with this disorder long enough develop something called parasomnia. This is a scary development that needs to be confronted immediately because it puts you, your loved ones, and others in danger.
In essence, a person dealing with parasomnia performs actions like driving or walking while asleep. In essence, you’re sleepwalking but doing much more intense activities during these hypnotic states, and that makes it a scary development.
These are all scary side effects and potentially deadly. It’s of the utmost importance that you reach out to our Granite Recovery Center before anything bad happens to you or your loved one. Callers are welcomed, and our team is ready to lend a hand. We’ll walk you through everything so that you understand what to do next. You can ask us questions about this type of substance use disorder and how we deal with it. You can even ask us about patients who’ve come to us with this disorder, and we’ll tell you how they’ve overcome it.
We know that admitting you have a substance use disorder isn’t easy. We know the kind of courage it takes to take that first step, so when you or your loved one chooses to get help, we won’t take that commitment lightly.
What to Do to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is something everyone should do. It ensures that you don’t have to resort to prescriptions that expose you to these dangers of addiction. The good thing is there are several things you can do to try to sleep better. There are natural options like:
- You could try to make your room a bit cooler. A few degrees under typical room temperature should be good enough to get your brain to produce more of the sleep hormone.
- People have gotten some positive results by taking melatonin or the sleep hormone.
- It’s important that the room where you sleep is completely dark. If needed, you could purchase blackout curtains to make the room even darker.
- There can’t be any lights on when you’re trying to sleep, and this does mean phones and other smart devices should be off. Smart devices keep you up and can be addictive. Lock them away before sleeping.
- A white noise machine could help soothe you to sleep.
- The solution could be just making the room quieter by installing sound barriers or by wearing earplugs.
- Sometimes, all you need to do is relax before you head to bed, so a good bath could work.
These are some things you can do to try to get a good night’s sleep without resorting to more drastic measures. Of course, sometimes alternative options don’t work, and you have to take a prescription medication, but at least you now know how serious the side effects could be if the drug is abused.
Having the knowledge should help prevent the issue from starting or at least help you be more vigilant. If addiction or sleeping pill abuse is already happening, then you or your loved one can get help to overcome this problem at our Granite Recovery Center.
We’re only one phone call or one email message away from helping you, so go ahead and help your loved one take a big step forward. You or your loved one will be in good hands. We know this because our staff at Granite Recovery Center is passionate about helping people overcome substance use disorders.