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Sleeping Pill Addiction

What Are They?

Sleeping pills are in a class of drugs called psychoactive drugs. They are designed to treat insomnia and some are also used for anaesthesia in surgery. These are similar to but not the same as sedatives. Sleeping pills are prescribed to the majority of adults who struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep for a healthy period of time. Generally, they are only recommended for short periods of usage as a large number of these prescription drugs are habit-forming. 


The main types of sleeping pills are barbituates, quinazolinones, benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines. Barbituates like amobarbital and pentobarbital work on the central nervous system and, depending on dosage, can be a sleep aid or anaesthesia. Quinazolinones are both a sedative and sleep aid. Benzodiazepines affect neurotransmitters and can have a calming effect like a tranquillizer. Nonbenzodiazapines work like benzodiazepines but they have a different chemical structure. Some of the most common sleeping pills are zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata) and eszopiclone (Lunesta). 

young woman asleep on sofa
addiction treatment group therapy room


Help Me Stop’s sleeping pill addiction treatment is approximately one-tenth the cost of other rehabs. Better yet, our tailored programmes fit around normal working hours and can be adjusted to suit other needs such as work and being with your family and loved ones. We can help you start your road to recovery fast without having to take weeks or months away from what is important to you.


Used effectively, sleeping pills can allow people to relax and fall asleep. This is done through a variety of chemical means. Unfortunately, sleep gained from using sleeping pills is not usually as good as natural sleep. If sleeping pills are abused or used for a long period of time, the body can build up a tolerance and users may come to rely on them to get any sleep. 

  • Symptoms Of Abuse
  • Trying to quit and failing
  • Needing the pills to get to sleep
  • Seeing more than one doctor to try to get more pills
  • Taking pills even when there are negative side effects
  • Memory loss
  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Having problems at work or school
  • Avoiding social situation
  • Hallucinations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lack of coordination

Symptoms Of Withdrawal

Once someone becomes addicted to sleeping pills their body can build up a tolerance. That means they need more and more of the drug to sleep or function normally. Unfortunately, this can actually compound insomnia which means users struggle to sleep even when they take the drug. That causes people to take higher and higher doses which can make withdrawal symptoms worse. These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Spasms 
  • Seizures 
  • Insomnia 
  • Delirium
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations 
  • Sweating
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Shaking hands
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is abusing sleeping pills it is important to get help. Abusing any drug can have serious long term consequences. Just quitting cold turkey may seem like a good idea but it can actually make things much worse. People who are addicted to sleeping pills may develop rebound insomnia as part of withdrawal. This means they are unable to get to sleep at all. That is why it is important to contact professional medical help like the people at Help Me Stop. They can work with you to overcome addiction and rebuild your life. Call now to speak with one of our experts.