How To Avoid Getting Hooked On Sleeping Pills
When most of us think about addiction, we envision someone shooting up heroin, smoking meth or drinking nonstop. Did you know that you can develop a dependence on drugs that seem much more harmless? We tend to think of prescriptions as safe because they are prescribed by doctors, but you should always be aware of the risks of any drugs you take. Sleeping pills are used commonly in the U.S. and it is possible to become addicted to them. If you need sleep aids, find out what the dangers are and learn how not to become dependent on them.
Can A Pill Cure My Sleeping Problems?
Too many people rely on sleep aids to get a good night’s rest without dealing with their underlying problems. Being unable to sleep is usually a symptom of another problem. You may struggle to sleep because you have another medical condition, but it’s more likely that your insomnia is related to stress. While a sleep aid may help you get some rest, it is not the answer to your problems. Sleeping pills are designed for short-term use, not for lifelong treatment.
Are Sleeping Pills Addictive?
If you do use your sleep aid for a long period of time or if you deviate from your doctor’s instructions, you run the risk of experiencing side effects, of not solving the underlying problem causing insomnia and of developing a dependence on the medication. The risk level depends on the medication. Sleep aids include those that help you fall asleep and those that help you stay asleep through the night.
In the first category is Lunesta, which can cause withdrawal symptoms, and Halcion and Sonata, both of which are habit-forming. Among the drugs that can help you stay asleep all night are Estazolam and Restoril, both of which are also habit-forming. There are other sleeping pills that can be prescribed, which are not habit-forming and which do not cause withdrawal when you stop using them. Each one comes with its own list of side effects and some may not work well for you. Which one you take is a decision you and your doctor should make.
Some prescription sleeping pills are habit-forming, which means they are susceptible to abuse and can lead to addiction. Even with those medications that are not considered addictive, there is a risk of developing dependence. When you rely on a pill to get to sleep at night you may become psychologically dependent on it. The idea of not having that crutch to help you sleep can cause anxiety and lead you to keep using the medication, even when you no longer need it.
How Can I Take Sleeping Pills Safely?
The most important consideration in taking prescription sleep aids is to follow your doctor’s instructions. Speak up and discuss with your doctor if you feel like you are becoming dependent on your sleeping pill. Even over-the-counter sleep aids can lead to dependence if you are relying on them every night. If you need to take one for several nights in a row, talk to your doctor so that you can address the underlying reasons for your insomnia.
A sleep aid can be a good way to catch up on rest, but it is not a solution to your problem. Make sure that you get treatment for your insomnia. This may mean going through counseling to address any psychological issues keeping you awake, or trying natural methods or alternative medicine. Always take care when using prescriptions of any kind and keep yourself informed as to the risks and the possibility of dependency.