Sleep disorders are prominent in the United States, affecting 70 million Americans every year. Sleep conditions are what prevent an individual from getting restful sleep. This, in turn, causes daytime sleepiness and dysfunction. While these are some of the more prominent symptoms, sleep disorders can take a toll on your overall health. Sleep is the fuel for life, and a lack of it can affect your cognitive functions. The importance of sleep is well documented, but this doesn’t help those who suffer from a lack of it.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that as many as one-third of adults do not get the proper amount of sleep they need each night.
Insomnia is responsible for those who can’t fall asleep, and there are other disorders that keep people from staying asleep.
The link between health and sleep gives a better understanding of why treatment is highly sought out. To function highly in life, we require sleep. Scientists have created many different chemical compounds that treat sleep, but some often hold the potential for serious side effects. One of these medications is called Zimovane. Zimovane is a prescription sleep aid used in the treatment of short-term insomnia.
Sleeping medications have a dark history of severe side effects attributed to their use. One of these side effects is a dependency that can lead to addiction. We will discuss in detail the potential side effects of Zimovane.
Zimovane is a hypnotic used in the short-term treatment of sleep disorders. The active ingredient in this drug is zopiclone. It is classified as a Schedule IV drug meaning it is legal to possess with a prescription. In the broader spectrum of its existence, it is coined as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant like alcohol and other hypnotic medications.
The drug, which is a depressant, works by slowing down nervous system functions and increasing the efficiency of the neurotransmitter called gamma-Aminobutyric acid. This is more commonly known as GABA, and this naturally produced chemical binds to GABA receptors in the brain. When these receptors are activated, it results in feelings of relaxation, a reduction in anxiety, and giving the person an easier path to sleep. Zimovane is in a category of drugs called Z-drugs which work on specific GABA receptors to promote sleep. These drugs are the most current medications that originated from depressants more than 100 years ago.
Z-drugs are similar to benzos in how they work, but they have a different chemical structure. They were created with the intention of having a smaller risk of becoming addictive, but studies have disputed those facts showing that they are, in fact, likely to lead to dependence. While dependence is less likely in scenarios where the prescription is used as instructed, it can still exist. For reasons unknown to researchers, these progressions of dependence happen faster in older individuals.
Those who become addicted to Zimovane show outward signs that a substance use disorder is starting to develop. Being able to identify the signs will be the difference between early detection that can stop the potential damage of long-term use. The first sign to look for is a growing drug tolerance. Those who use Zimovane recreationally will quickly develop a tolerance that requires them to use more of the drug to achieve the same levels they experienced when they began using. The standard or prescribed dose will become less effective in how it treats the ailment, and this is your body becoming dependent on Zimovane.
Dependence follows suit with tolerance. When your body becomes dependent, you begin using the drug more to retain a sense of normalcy rather than treating the ailment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) classifies dependence as “the body adapting to the drug, requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect (tolerance), and eliciting drug-specific physical or mental symptoms if drug use is abruptly ceased (withdrawal).”
WIthdrawal symptoms illustrate dependence on the given drug. Seeking treatment should be something that is considered at this point. If you begin to feel any of the following symptoms as a result of skipping doses or stopping the use of Zimovane, it may, in fact, mean you have developed a chemical dependence. The symptoms include:
If you or a loved one reaches this state, it is possible that addiction may develop. Addiction is known as the continued use of a substance knowing that there are consequences that result in doing so.
Addiction is a disease that bears no cure, but because of the advances in modern medicine, it can be treated. Evidence-based research has led to miraculous recoveries that have given those who once felt hopeless their lives back. There is a process called the continuum of care that will begin at the highest level of intensity and progress seamlessly to a lower level. In most cases, this begins in a medical detoxification center, especially in cases of Zimovane addiction.
Medical detox, for the most part, will take place on site under 24-hour supervision. This is where you will meet with a medical team and begin devising a plan for your sobriety. Due to the dangers associated with withdrawals from barbiturates like Zimovane, you will be treated with medication and constant supervision. The medical team will wean you off slowly and help alleviate the worst symptoms you could face.
If addiction has become prevalent, the next step will be to enter a program at a treatment center. During the creation of the medical plan, medical staff will have decided if residential treatment or outpatient treatment will be more beneficial. They also will have determined the types of therapies tailored to your unique needs, and create a relapse prevention plan.
While Zimovane was created as an alternative to benzodiazepines, they have proven to hold some of the same side effects as other sleeping medications. Due to those findings, it is wise to exercise precaution when using these drugs. On the surface, these can obviously seem like the perfect solution to your sleeping problems, but the problem is tolerance with this drug can be built up quickly.
Zimovane also can cause radical side effects that can harm yourself and others. The impairment is similar to that of what you’d expect from alcohol. Side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and slowed reaction time. This can be fatal if getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. When taken with other drugs such as alcohol, benzos, or opioids, it can cause a high risk of overdose. This can create breathing to become so depressed that suffocation could occur, in turn, causing coma, brain damage, or death.
The withdrawal symptoms of Zimovane are particularly dangerous, and it is recommended if you’re attempting to stop that you seek medical help. Stopping use “cold turkey,” or abruptly, can create overactivity in your nervous system that leads to seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). This condition also can prove to be fatal. If you or a loved one is grappling with an addiction to Zimovane, seek out treatment immediately.
Zimovane has been found to increase the risk of an auto accident by 50%.
If you or someone you care about has Zimovane addiction and is ready to start the journey to recovery for a better and sober tomorrow, The Palm Beach Institute can help. We offer medical detox treatment with a seamless transition into ongoing care through to our post-treatment alumni program.
Menzin, J., Lang, K. M., Levy, P., & Levy, E. (2012, September 21). A General Model of the Effects of Sleep Medications on the Risk and Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents and its Application to France. Retrieved from from https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00019053-200119010-00005
American Society of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from from https://www.asam.org/resources/the-asam-criteria/about
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction? Retrieved from from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/there-difference-between-physical-dependence
Cimolai, N. (2007, December). Retrieved from from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2231551/
Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2018, February 22). Retrieved from from https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html
Sleep Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11429-common-sleep-disorders