Is Lunesta Addictive?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Let’s answer the question, “Is Lunesta addictive?”

Lunesta is the brand name of Eszopiclone, a non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic. In simpler terms, Lunesta is a sleeping pill that treats insomnia. In this article we ask the question: Is Lunesta addictive? To begin, we will examine what exactly Lunesta is. A non-benzodiazepine has similar benefits to benzodiazepines, but is unrelated on a molecular level. Benzodiazepines are minor tranquilizers and treat people with anxiety and sleep disorders. A sedative-hypnotic slows down and depresses the body. Lunesta, therefore, is a strong sleeping pill that works to relax and slow the whole body and aid sleep.

The trouble with Lunesta is that due to its beneficial effect on sleeping, a user may become dependent on taking it. Long term users have cited further declination in their insomnia problems when they have stopped taking Lunesta. It makes sense then that a patient will naturally want to take more of this sleeping pill, sometimes even more than the amount that has been prescribed for them.

From a recreational perspective, people who abuse Lunesta are not as common as say those who abuse Vicodin. There is still evidence that Lunesta is taken recreationally, mostly in combination with alcohol. The really worrying thing about Lunesta is that due to its sedative qualities, people have cited their inability to recall situations when they have taken it. Examples have included engaging in sexual activity and even driving while effectively being “asleep”. Very high doses of Lunesta can cause hallucinations and a euphoric effect, so it does run the risk of being addictive.

If you believe that a family member or friend is abusing Lunesta, it is important to examine the environment around them. Are they suffering from stress of some sort? Sleeping pill addiction is often correlated with mental health issues, particularly depression and it makes perfect sense. Those suffering from depression often seek a means of escape and sleep excessively. Sleeping pills such as Lunesta aid them to become sedate and slow, and offer a sort of escapism. On the opposite side of the coin, Lunesta can cause feelings of depression in someone who is not already suffering from it. Many of the side effects of Lunesta mimic depression, with feelings of nervousness, anxiety, loss of appetite and concentration, to name just a few. We can see then how Lunesta can possibly lead to a problem of dual diagnosis that is where mental illness and addiction are present in a patient.

Though a schedule IV controlled substance; meaning it has a low potential for addiction, it still has some very unpleasant withdrawal side effects. Withdrawing from Lunesta is known to take up to 3 weeks long, and the first 48 hours are naturally the most painful for the patient. Side effects include sweating, muscle spasms, tremors, and even flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases, addiction sufferers have been known to suffer from panic attacks and without medical intervention Lunesta withdrawal can be fatal.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is a consistent rise in the misuse of prescription drugs including sleeping pills. Now more than ever, we need to be aware of the signs of prescription drug addiction and BAC is a great website to start with. We offer a wealth of knowledge and information in prescription drug addiction. We have a collection of resources to help to guide you in the right direction towards recovery options, comprehensive advice and numbers of support services. If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to Lunesta, or other sleeping meds, don’t waste any more time in seeking assistance.

 

 

Source:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2010/09/prescription-drug-abuse