Where to Find Help for Sleeping Pill Addiction

As necessary as a good night’s rest can be in today’s hustle and bustle society, sleep aids provide a type of quick and effective remedy for overcoming sleepless or restless nights. Albeit so, sleeping pills should only serve as a short-term reprieve during especially hectic periods in a person’s life.

With long-term use, the likelihood of developing sleeping pill addiction increases substantially. Once addicted, users come to “need” the drug’s effects in spite of seeing diminishing returns with each successive dose. Some of the more commonly used prescription sleeping aids include:

  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Seconal
  • Brevital
  • Buspirone
  • Zolpidem

As with other forms of addiction, people struggling with sleeping pill addiction often require professional treatment help in order to break the drug’s hold on the body and mind. Fortunately, a number of treatment options exist to help addicts overcome sleeping pill addiction and take back control of their lives.

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Sleeping Pill Addiction

Sleeping Pill Addiction

Detox and rehab can help you overcome sleeping pill addiction.

Sleeping pills come in three varieties: benzodiazepines, barbiturates and non-benzodiazepine/barbiturate. Of the three, barbiturates carry the highest addiction potential, followed by benzodiazepines. In fact, non-benzodiazepine and non-barbiturate alternatives were developed in an effort to market a less addictive sleep aid alternative.

According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, all types of sleeping aids, also known as sedatives, depress the central nervous system in one way or another. Sleep aids work by increasing GABA chemical outputs in the brain.

GABA, one of a handful of essential neurotransmitters, regulates brain electrical activity in terms of how quickly signals travel from one neuron to another. Increases in GABA output slow electrical activity in the brain, which inevitably affects a range of bodily functions along with sleep cycles. Sleeping pill addiction takes root within the chemical imbalances that develop over time.

With long-term use, chemical-secreting cells become overworked causing gradual damage to cell structures. As a result, cells lose their ability to produce needed GABA supplies and so come to rely on the drug’s effects more and more. At this point, physical dependency has taken hold.

With continued sedative use, growing chemical imbalances start to offset the brain’s mesolimbic reward system, which plays a central role in developing sleeping pill addiction. For the most part, this system determines a person’s overall life outlook in terms of his or her belief systems, motivations and priorities. Once the reward system becomes dependent on the drug’s effects, a sleeping pill addiction takes hold.

Treatment Considerations

For many people, the source of a sleep problem stems from some type of insomnia-based disorder. When considering treatment options, it’s best to go with a program that treats insomnia as well as sleeping pill addiction.

Oftentimes, insomnia develops out of underlying issues or stressors that may or may not be associated with a psychological disorder. For this reason, most all sleeping pill addiction programs offer some form of behavioral treatment to help a person work through any issues or conditions that further aggravate his or her inability to sleep.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

Treatment Options

As with other forms of addiction treatment, treatment for sleeping pill addiction happens in stages. Anyone struggling with sleeping pill addiction will likely require one or more of the following treatment options:

Detox Treatment

In light of the dependence that’s developed, stopping sedative use all at once leaves the brain in a state of total disarray. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, sudden drops in GABA levels can bring on life-threatening symptoms that require round-the-clock medical care. As withdrawal symptoms can start anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after a person’s last dose, it’s important to enter detox treatment prior to stopping drug use.

Detox programs provide 24-hour care and monitoring and typically run from 14 to 28 days in duration. In case of severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, these programs can administer medication therapies to help stabilize a person’s condition and ease withdrawal discomfort.

Residential Treatment

People recovering from sleeping pill addiction will likely experience intense drug cravings for several months after stopping drug use. While it is possible to maintain abstinence on one’s own, the daily reminders of drug use coupled with the nighttime struggle to get to sleep may well be too much to bear alone.

Residential treatment programs operate as live-in treatment facilities designed to help recovering addicts develop the types of daily habits and routines that make ongoing abstinence possible. These programs run anywhere from a month to six months in duration.

Considering the long-term effects of sleeping pill addiction on a person’s thinking and overall lifestyle, anyone coming off a chronic or long-term addiction should seriously consider entering a residential treatment program after completing detox.

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Outpatient Treatment

Unlike residential programs, people attending outpatient treatment can live at home so these programs offer considerably more freedom and flexibility. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these programs work well for people who still have work responsibilities and may suffice in cases where a person has a healthy support network at home. People at the early stages of sleeping pill addiction may only require outpatient care if they’ve only been using for two or three months in duration.

Outpatient program offer the same types of services as residential treatment except it’s considerably less intensive. Patients typically attend treatment sessions for three or four days a week for as long as needed.

Support Groups

Most all types of addiction programs offer support group services as a part of their overall treatment approach. Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous provide an environment where recovering addicts can work through the daily obstacles and challenges of the recovery process. For someone recovering from sleeping pill addiction, support groups can be used as a type of long-term maintenance treatment once he or she completes detox and/or residential care.

Call 800-934-1582(Who Answers?) toll free anytime for help finding treatment.

Tips for Finding Help with Sleeping Pill Addiction

  • Ask your doctor for referrals to treatment programs or to other physicians who specialize in addiction treatment
  • Attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and ask about treatment programs in the area
  • Do a search at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator, a database that’s run by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
  • Talk with admission staff at a local treatment facility to get information on available treatment options in your area

the Take-Away

An addiction to sleeping pills can cause serious trouble in your life. There are detox programs, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers that can help you overcome.