According to WebMD, between a third and a half of all Americans suffer from insomnia. No wonder then that so many people rely on sleeping pills to help them get a decent night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. In the UK alone over 10 million prescriptions are made out annually for sleeping pills so it’s no wonder that some people end up with an addiction.
If you’re looking for sleeping tablet addiction help then there is good news.
The Risks of Sleeping Tablets
Many people view sleeping tablets as a harmless aid to better sleep. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. For one, some patients experience side effects from certain sleeping pills which can prove most unpleasant. However even in the absence of these side-effects, where the patient believes that their sleeping tablets only have a positive side, there are inherent risks.
The variety of drugs given to help with sleep can in themselves have a negative effect on the body, even when you’re not aware of it. For example they have been shown to negatively affect the memory, making it harder to function in daily life.
In addition, sleeping pills cause sedation which can affect a range of organs in the body and, in extreme cases, lead to death. Lastly be aware that as with any other drug, over time it is natural to build up a resistance to sleeping tablets, which increases the chances of over-dosing in order to achieve the same level of sleep.
Overdoses of sleeping tablets – especially if mixed with alcohol – can be tremendously dangerous and are frequently fatal. This is of course a sad outcome when all you wanted was a decent night’s sleep.
The Problems with Sleeping Tablet Addiction
As is clear, while sleeping tablets may serve some short-term benefit as a sleep aid, over longer periods of time an addiction can build up which becomes unhealthy. Sleeping tablet addictions can be serious, and it can take considerable effort to break this destructive cycle of self-medication.
For one, when the body is used to being dosed with a sedative before sleep, suddenly expecting to get a proper night’s sleep without the influence of the drug can be a fool’s errand. So-called “rebound insomnia” is likely whereby the body over-reacts to the lack of the sedative drug, ensuring little chance of natural sleep. Over time this process can be understandably wearing and may encourage the patient to begin taking their sleeping tablets again.
In addition it should be mentioned that a number of the more commonly-prescribed tablets can have some potentially very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Examples of the withdrawal symptoms of sleeping tablets can include flashbacks, anxiety attacks and even seizures in more extreme cases.
In other words, it is rarely possible to beat an addiction to sleeping tablets by yourself. The seriousness of the situation means that it will almost always be necessary to seek professional sleeping tablet addiction help.
Sleeping Tablet Addiction Help
We’ve discussed the risks and side-effects of giving up sleeping tablets when you’re addicted, but what of the actual cures and treatments? What sort of sleeping tablet addiction help is available and how do these treatments work?
Firstly going “cold turkey” is very rarely the best solution to a sleeping tablet addiction. The withdrawal effects can be huge and uncomfortable, meaning that very few people are successful. A better plan of action when trying to beat a sleeping pill addiction is to slowly wean yourself off the tablets.
For example you might reduce the strength of the tablets you take, or the frequency you are taking them. Ideally, you’ll tackle your addiction from both angles, gently getting your body used to dealing with less and less of the harmful, addictive drugs it’s become accustomed to.
A secondary option often explored by addiction treatment professionals involves alternative drugs. There are some medications that may aid sleep in a rather gentler and more natural way, without suffering from the same addictive qualities. In addition there are medications that will help to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms when weaning yourself off sleeping pills.
Lastly of course it is important to seek solutions for the root cause of the problem; namely your inability to sleep. Finding ways to resolve these issues so that you can fall asleep naturally without medical assistance can be another powerful way to help you counteract the psychological factors surrounding sleeping tablet addiction.
In conclusion, when seeking sleeping tablet addiction help it is essential to get professional assistance. Only very rarely is it possible to beat a sleeping pill addiction on your own; instead professional help in the form of a plan to wean yourself off the drugs, help in getting better sleep and in dealing with the side effects of withdrawal all mean that contacting your doctor and/or a professional addiction recovery center are key to your success.