The Dangers of Sleeping Meds

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Are You or a Loved One Taking Sleeping Meds? These are the Dangers Associated with These Medications.

Today, many people find that the demands of their daily life often make it difficult to get to sleep at night, or that they frequently wake up during the night. Poor sleep quality has been linked to a variety of medical problems, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke. A variety of sleeping medications are available to improve the length or quality of sleep, but these drugs often have a number of side effects or may pose a risk of sleeping pill addiction. If you use medication to help get a good’s night sleep, you should be aware of the risks involved in taking these powerful drugs.

Who Needs Sleeping Medications?

Sleep medications are generally prescribed by physicians for patients who are having sleep difficulties. These medications provide relief from poor sleep in individuals who work under stressful conditions or who have undergone a profound emotional upset in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one or an act of violence. Sleeping meds are recommended to be used only as a short-term remedy for sleeplessness or broken sleep, and not as a long-term treatment. The drugs work by affecting the brain to produce feelings of drowsiness that make falling asleep easier and staying asleep more reliable.

Common Sleep Medications

A number of prescription sleeping meds are commonly prescribed. Ambien (its generic name is zolpidem tartrate) is a widely known prescribed sleeping medication. This drug also comes in an extended-release form. Lunesta (generic name of eszopiclone) is another popular prescription sleep medication. Sonata, generic name zaleplon, is another drug. These drugs work on the gama-aminobutyric acid receptors in the brain to reduce anxiety and induce drowsiness. Benzodiazepines are a class of older drugs that are used to induce sleep. This category includes such drugs as Ativan, Halcion, Restoil, Valium and Xanax. These sleeping meds have a high potential for sleeping pill addiction and should only be used for a short time, and only under the close supervision of your physician.

Sleeping Pills and Alcohol

Individuals who are taking prescription sleeping pills for sleep problems are advised to avoid the use of alcohol when taking them. Alcohol enhances the effect of the drugs, which can lead to severe impairment when driving or when working with machinery. Even a very small amount of alcohol can lead to mental confusion, dizziness and fainting. The combination of sleeping pills and alcohol can cause serious falls and other accidents. It can even lead to death.

Sleeping Pill Addiction

All sleep medications pose a risk for psychological dependence, that is, individuals become accustomed to taking them and begin to believe they can’t get to sleep without them. However, some of these drugs can also cause physical dependence. Signs of sleeping pill addiction include inability to stop using the drug, even though you have the desire to stop, neglecting other activities in order to keep using the drug, needing more of the drug to get the same effect, and continuing to use the drug despite negative consequences that occur because of it. Individuals in the grip of addiction may neglect their appearance, develop health problems and experience problems in their relationships because of their continued use of the drug. However, professional treatment is available that can help individuals break free of the grip of addiction and return to normal function.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers continue to develop new medications that help to treat conditions and improve life for many people. However, many medications can cause unexpected effects that can have a dramatic impact on your health or your life. If you are prescribed a sleeping medication, ask questions about its side effects and the risk of sleeping pill addiction. If you develop a dependence on these medications, seek professional treatment that can help restore your life to normalcy. You are welcome to explore our site for more information about treatment options and resources.

If you or a loved one are struggling with dependency to sleeping meds or another substance, Better Addiction Care can help. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.