Sleeping Pills Can Become A Nightmare
Sleeping pills are usually prescribed to those diagnosed with acute or chronic insomnia. These meds are usually categorized in one of two groups:
- Pills that induce sleep.
- Pills that help a person stay asleep.
But over time, sleeping pills can cause you nightmares rather than helping you improve your sleep. How can you know if use has turned into abuse? What to do if you can’t live without them?
We review the signs of a problem here. We’ll also walk you through medical treatments for sleeping pill problems and what you can expect at each stage. Plus, we offer a section for loved ones and suggestions on how to help someone with a problem.
Are Sleeping Pills Addictive?
Sleeping pills can be addictive when used for a prolonged period and/or when not used as directed by a doctor. At higher doses, sleeping pills produce a drowsy, feel-good effect similar to the high of benzodiazepines. How do you identify a problem? People who become addicted to sleeping pills can manifest the following symptoms:
- Constantly being forgetful, confused or detached
- Ignoring social, professional and family obligations
- Not being able to quit after several attempts
- Requiring larger doses to be able to sleep
People misuse sleeping pills for various reasons. Some people continue to take them in order to stay sedated. Others take sleeping pills recreationally to enhance alcohol effects. If you use sleeping pills in a way not prescribed by a doctor, it is considered abuse…and you can benefit from medical help.
How To Break Free From Sleeping Pills?
The only person who can decide to quit using sleeping pills is YOU. To be able to work on a possible addiction, you have to take two first steps:
1. Be honest with yourself about the problem.
2. Be ready to commit to recovery and do what it takes to get better.
The first part of any addiction recovery journey is establishing control over that little critical voice inside your head who’s repeating “I can’t”. Since our thoughts define our actions, you’ll have to find a way to motivate yourself and transform “I can’t” into “I’ll try”. Recovery is a process that brings opportunities rather than limitations. The only thing that can limit you is the destructive force of your addiction disease.
In order for a person to change a destructive habit, one must find a reason to quit. Here’s how you can motivate yourself to stop abusing sleeping pills:
- Educate yourself about the harmful effects of sleeping pills and write them down on a piece of paper to be reminded of the dangers that can happen if you do not stop.
- Make a list of all the reasons why you would like to overcome the problem and write down the benefits of quitting sleeping pills.
- Make another list of all the fears and other limitations that are stopping you from quitting.
…. But what then? What do you do with all these information?
There is a quote that says: “You can’t do it completely on your own”. So, the next step you should take is REACH OUT FOR HELP.
Fear Of Sleeping Pill Withdrawal
Sleeping pills carry the risk for physical and psychological dependence. These medications are very addictive and sometimes users develop dependence after taking them for only a few weeks. What happens when you lower doses or quit using them?
When you develop dependence on a sleeping pill, withdrawal symptoms occur as a result of the body’s adaptation to their presence. Once the pills are gone, the body seems to “amps up” its reactions as it adjusts to the new chemical state. But take hope! With medical management, withdrawal does not need to be scary or painful.
We understand that withdrawal from sleeping pills can be physically and emotionally challenging due to the dangers and complications which might occur. Because of this, it’s best to withdrawal from sleeping pills with the help of professionals in a licensed detox clinic. Detox supervision can help monitor and address symptoms AS THEY OCCUR. You can receive both medication and emotional support for overcoming withdrawal symptoms such as:
- increased heart rate
- nausea and vomiting
Withdrawal from sleeping pills should be supervised by a medical professional.
Basic Choices In Addiction Treatment
Hearing the word “addiction” can be shocking for you. After all, sleeping pills are legitimately prescribed by doctors.
KNOW THIS: Addiction is a medical condition. It causes changes in the brain that can be addressed medically. You do not need to suffer alone. Instead, seek help from professionals who understand how to address the central nervous system depressant effects of sleeping pills…using a combination of medical interventions + talk therapy.
When you are ready for help, the basic choices which will determine appropriate treatment include:
- Treatment Setting
- Treatment Duration
- Treatment Type
1. TREATMENT SETTING
The selection of an inpatient or outpatient treatment setting is influenced significantly by YOUR current situation. Before choosing a treatment setting, carefully examine your:
Current employment status. Review your options and see if you are able to temporarily leave your job to get better or you are obligated to continue your work duties.
Home environment. If you have little kids you might not be able to leave them alone. Explore the option of bringing your kids in treatment with you, or find a close family member you can entrust them to.
Mental health history and severity of addiction. A long history of substance abuse, severe cases of addiction, or Co-Occuring mental health problems usually require long term residential treatment.
Support system. Addiction acts like a cancer in the family. When one family member is ill, then the whole system suffers the consequences. This is why it’s vital for your family members to also take an active part in treatment.
Inpatient (residential) treatment is a highly suitable option for those who live in a stressful environment and are constantly exposed to triggering situations. This type of treatment provides high level of support, safe and clean environment that is ideal for those who tried but realized they can’t quit on their own.
Outpatient treatment centers are suitable for individuals who need treatment for addiction but are unable to stop working or attending school to get it. The advantage of these programs is their level of flexibility. However, these programs might not be able to answer the needs of people who require intensive medical and psychological recovery services.
2. TREATMENT DURATION
You normally discuss treatment duration with an addiction specialist at the time of initial assessment. To first stabilize the condition, experts recommend at least 30 days in treatment. However, 60 and 90 day programs offer significantly higher success rates as they allow you more time for physical and psychological stabilization, therapy, and education. Some treatment programs extend to 6-9 month stays.
3. TREATMENT TYPE
Addiction programs usually offer different type of therapies helping you resolve all the reasons behind your addiction. A partial look into the long list of possible therapies includes:
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Trauma Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- 12-Step meetings and Group Work
…. and more
When applied together all of these therapies, can maximize your chances of successful recovery and long-lasting sobriety from sleeping pills. Medical treatment provides choice and opportunity to get better.
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