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Sedative Addiction

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Common sedatives include:

  • Ambien: The brand name for the drug zolpidem, Ambien was approved to treat the symptoms of sleep disorders by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992. It is among the most powerful of the z drugs, with a long half-life to ensure that users stay asleep longer.
  • Sonata: Sonata is the brand name of the drug zaleplon. It has a very short half-life, which means that it is primarily used to induce sleep as opposed to helping people stay asleep. Despite this, many of its side effects involve dangerous unconscious behavior.
  • Lunesta: The brand name for the drug eszopiclone is Lunesta. It comes with a variety of unwanted side effects. It has been proven through several sleep studies to be only slightly more effective than placebos at alleviating insomnia symptoms and promoting sleep.

Some of these effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dangerously slow or shallow breathing
  • Coma
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Noticeably altered sleep pattern
  • Constant headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Chest pains
  • A substantial decline in school or work performance
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks
  • Prioritizing drugs over responsibilities or relationships
  • Attempting to justify or rationalize sedative abuse
  • Legal problems caused by sedative abuse
  • Missing money or valuable to pay for sedatives
  • Lying or being secretive about sedative use
  • Significant lack of concern for personal hygiene and appearance

Other symptoms can include the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Blackouts
  • Memory loss
  • Unconscious behavior (sleepwalking, sleep-eating, etc.)
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior

But also, there are symptoms of z drug overdoses that should definitely stand out, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Trembling
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea due to lack of oxygen in the bloodstream

Sources

Modesto-Lowe, V., Huard, J., & Conrad, C. (2005, May). Alcohol withdrawal kindling: Is there a role for anticonvulsants? from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000183/

Inagaki, T., Miyaoka, T., Tsuji, S., Inami, Y., Nishida, A., & Horiguchi, J. (2010). from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067983/

Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2017, May 02). from https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, & Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. (2015). Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR2-2015/NSDUH-FFR2-2015.htm

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, July 10). Delirium tremens: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000766.htm

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