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Millions of people have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep these days. Whether the cause of fatigue is related to home, work, or something else, or a combination of all, people with insomnia want to get some rest. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep or when someone wakes up too early and cannot get back to sleep. At first, doctors prescribed barbiturates for patients who had insomnia. However, drugs in this class are quite addictive, and soon, barbiturates were replaced with benzodiazepines or benzos.
Commonly prescribed benzos include Xanax and Valium for anxiety as well as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata for sleeplessness. While benzos have a low potential for abuse and a low probability of dependence, they can still be misused, abused, and lead to addiction. When this happens, individuals need to know where to find the right sedative addiction treatment center to help them or a loved one heal. Fortunately, Harmony Hills offers extensive substance abuse treatment programs and can help.
Sleeping pills like Ambien and Zoloft are prescription medications in a category called non-benzodiazepine sedatives. They work similarly to benzos, but they have a distinct chemical structure. They are generally seen as safer than benzodiazepines and their predecessors, barbiturates. However, they can cause some of the same side effects like dependence, addiction, overdose, and withdrawal.
Sleeping pills are also in the broader drug category of central nervous system depressants, life-threatening during withdrawal. If you or someone you know has been using or abusing sleeping pills, it’s important to know their potential risks and withdrawal symptoms. People who take a larger than prescribed dose, or take a few pills from a family member or friend, could find themselves in medical distress.
People who are prescribed these medications can become tolerant in a few days. This means they might want to take more than the prescribed dose to feel the same effects as the regular dose. When this occurs, it usually does not take long before sedative addiction begins. Long-term use of sedatives can lead to severe consequences.
The different classes of sedatives work similarly. Non-benzo sedatives work as benzos do: they enter the brain and bind to a neurotransmitter called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).
GABA regulates how the body responds to feeling stress, fear, or anxiety. It sends nerve signals to the brain and body in response to stressful situations. Benzos switch on the brain’s GABA receptors, which flood the brain with GABA to produce a much more intense feeling of relaxation. The brain cannot do that on its own. This is how drugs like Valium counteract anxiety. It is also how the drug can be misused so someone can get high.
The sooner the sedative abuse is addressed and treated, the sooner you or the person with the addiction can prevent further psychological and physical damage and begin to heal and recover.
Sedative addiction treatment must begin with detox to flush the drugs, harmful toxins, and associated substances out of the body. Detox is first to ensure that the person is fully sober and physically and mentally fit to start the addiction treatment program. A doctor puts the client on a medication tapering schedule; this procedure weans the drug. The client is monitored 24/7 during this process to ensure there is no threat of seizure or other complications.
After detox, a clinician will create and finalize a drug treatment program with you that meets your unique needs. A complete assessment of your overall health and drug use history is performed to develop the best plan for long-term recovery.
The next step is to enter a recovery treatment program. This can be either as an inpatient or outpatient. Whichever type of program is suggested is to ensure progress on the recovery from addiction road. Across all programs, individuals will be able to take advantage of numerous therapies such as:
Residential treatment is best for clients with severe cases of addiction and those who have used and abused two or more substances. Clients reside temporarily at the treatment facility while they obtain a full complement of therapy and care on a full-time basis. The length of residential programs ranges between 30 and 90 days.
Sedative withdrawal symptoms happen when your brain becomes reliant on the brain on the chemicals in the drug you have been taking. Sedatives work to suppress the nervous system. Over time, your body beings to become tolerant of the drug, and it could even try to counteract the drug to balance brain chemistry.
It may decrease its natural inhibitory and increasing excitatory chemicals. As your brain adapts to the drug, you may feel like you need it to feel like your usual self. If you stop taking it suddenly, you’ll feel uncomfortable, and you may experience possible life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Dangerous symptoms include seizures and delirium tremens. Seizures, when they can come on suddenly, can cause serious injuries or be fatal. This is one reason why medical detox is imperative.
Sedatives or sleeping pills like Ambien and other brands are central nervous system depressants. That means they are unique among other drug categories because they can be potentially deadly during withdrawal. Symptoms like delirium tremens and seizures can be life-threatening without medical treatment.
Severe cases of depressant withdrawal can lead to hypertension, arrhythmias, or heart failure. Seizures can also cause serious injuries if you go through them alone, especially if they come on suddenly when you are standing or driving.
Medical detox or detox in a hospital setting is the safest way to go through depressant withdrawal. Fatal symptoms because of sleeping pill withdrawal are unlikely, but complications could occur. Detox programs offer 24-hour medically managed care and can help you avoid dangerous symptoms.
After detox, you might need to go through additional levels of care. Detox is an important part of addiction treatment, but it may not be enough to treat a severe substance use disorder effectively. When you first enter our treatment program at Harmony HIlls, you will go through an assessment process designed to determine your needs. Some of our programs include:
If you are ready to leave detox but still have high-level medical needs, you might need to attend an inpatient or residential treatment program with 24-hour medical monitoring. This can help you avoid medical complications. If you are ready to live independently, you might be able to move on to intensive outpatient treatment or outpatient treatment.
Through these levels of care, you will be able to address underlying issues that contribute to your substance use problems and create a relapse prevention plan. Reach out to our admissions team today at 855.494.0357 to learn more.