Daily stressors – along with obligations, worries, family, health, relationship, work concerns and more, are key ingredients to a restless night of sleep. According to Consumer Reports, Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids and remedies in 2015, and that number is expected to increase to $52 billion by year 2020. Sleep issues are rampant amongst adults, with approximately 164 million Americans struggling with sleep at least once a week. People who suffer from insomnia and other sleep issues often lean towards sleep medication, with Lunesta, Sonata, and Ambien being the top 3 medications used.
Sleeping medications are addictive, and are a form of sedative-hypnotics. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, and barbiturates are also a part of this category. Many people believe that they cannot become addicted to sleeping medications, but continued use and misuse can lead to this. Here are some warning signs that someone has become addicted to sleeping medication:
- Getting frequent cravings for the medication
- Failing several attempts to quit using the medication
- Seeing multiple doctors to obtain several prescriptions of the medication
- Continuing to take the medication despite its negative consequences
- Reporting frequent memory loss from taking the medication
As people use sleeping aids, they may feel that that medication is the best way to fall asleep. They may have tried sleeping without the medication and found that it does not produce the same pleasurable, relaxing feelings that the medication can produce. From there, the person may decide to continue taking the medication, even after their prescribed length of use has concluded.
As the body receives the same sleeping medication each day, it begins to rely on it. Sleeping aids affect the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, which assist with sleeping and relaxation. If taken continuously, these receptors eventually take in the medication as if it were a normal, daily dose – meaning that the body needs more for the person to really feel the effects again.
If you feel that you may be addicted to sleeping medication, the best action that you can take is to seek treatment as soon as possible. While it may feel like you cannot get any sleep without the medication, there are other – safer – ways to relax and unwind without abusing prescription drugs. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be a very effective, healthy form of treatment that has helped many people fall asleep naturally.
Residential detox is the most safe and comfortable way to begin your journey to recovery from dependency on sleep medications. Call New Vista Behavioral Health today for information on our nationwide family of exceptional care providers. Holding our facilities to higher standards, our treatment programs provide better outcomes. Recovery is your life to live. Start today: 866-855-4202