Finding a proper sleep aid can be difficult and, without the right monitoring and supervision, potentially risky for health concerns. While there are more natural sleeping aids, such as melatonin supplements, there are prescription sleep aids, such as Lunesta, Sonata, Halcion, Ambien, or Klonopin, and even over-the-counter medications, such as Advil PM, aspirin, diphenhydramine, or Motrin PM.
These medications are often used to help with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Though meant to be short-term answers, many people can become dependent on them and become addicted, eventually leading to withdrawal when the person stops using them.
Overdosing on medication of any kind is never a good idea, but how much lethal potential do sleeping pills have and what risks come with taking them?
Overdosing on Sleeping Pills
As it turns out, there is such a thing as too much of anything—even something as healthy as water. Can sleeping pills cause death when overdosed? The subject is complicated.
Overdosing on sleeping pills to the point of death is certainly possible, but it is not very common. Today, many prescribed sleeping pills are safer, but can still be lethal at incredibly high doses. Most people who die through an overdose of sleeping pills are typically by accident, while some may very-well overdose sleeping pills as a form of suicide.
In most cases of sleeping pill overdose, sleeping pills will be mixed with other drugs. The most common substance used with sleeping pills is alcohol. Some combine them for suicide attempts, while others use them together to try to fall asleep easier. This combination intensifies many of the effects found in these medications, making it all the more deadly.
Side Effects of Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills can create a number of side effects, such as the obvious sense of drowsiness; however, an overdose can cause other unexpected effects.
These include clumsiness, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, constipation, extreme lethargy, and breathing problems. Once again when combined with alcohol, however, the effects become much more dangerous.
Drowsiness becomes more intense, along with slowed heart rate and breathing, impaired motor skills, memory loss, low blood pressure, unusual behavior similar to drunkenness, and, in the worst-case scenario, death.
Not all sleeping pills may result in death in overdose. Instead, these overdoses can cause potential brain damage or even permanent physical impairment or damage.
Addiction to Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills have strong addiction potential and are prescribed with limited use for this reason. They are for combating intense insomnia, and using them regularly can cause a person to develop a dependence on them.
This dependence can not only make it even harder to sleep but may drive people to take longer dosages. Additionally, an addict of sleeping medication can experience withdrawal symptoms, such as shakiness, anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, agitation, and even seizures.
In most cases, sleeping aids prescriptions are for severe sleeping disorders. However, there are several natural remedies for these problems. Less caffeine, meditation, attending therapy, warm baths before bed, regular exercise, and practicing bedtime routines are all good options.
In the case of a serious addiction, it is best to seek recovery and therapy programs. By entering detox and developing healthy habits, you can avoid addiction in the future.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to sleeping aids, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Recovery Program or our Long Term Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.