Sedatives addiction, which is also known as CNS depressants, are medicines that ease health issues dealing with hyperactivity that help individuals feel more relaxed. Sedatives are prescribed to treat disorders such as anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. The three top types of sedatives are benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and “z-drugs.”
- Benzodiazepines are sedatives that are prescribed to treat anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. Common benzodiazepines are Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.
- Barbiturates are often prescribed for tension and insomnia. Well-known names of barbiturates include Mebaral and Nembutal.
- “Z-drugs” are sedatives most commonly prescribed for sleeping problems and are also known as a “sedative-hypnotic.” Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata are common “z-drugs.”
How do Sedatives Work?
Sedatives work by depressing the central nervous system, specifically affecting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter in the brain. The GABA transmitter serves as a channel of communication between the brain cells. When the activity of communication is slowed by sedative drugs, the mind and body are relaxed.
Different sedatives serve different purposes, but they all act on the GABA transmitter to produce feelings of relaxation of some sort. Sedative drugs help people overcome their health issues by slowing brain functions.
What are the Effects of Sedatives?
Like all drugs, there are short-term and long-term side effects that users of sedatives must be aware of. Some of these effects include:
Short-Term: individuals who have just started taking sedatives may experience blurred vision, staggering, slowed reflexes, slurred speech, and other effects. The short-term effects can range from mild to severe; severe being slowed breathing and decreased heart rate leading to coma or death.
Long-Term: Overdose, coma, and death are all possible with sedative consumption. Long-term health problems such as liver problems, anemia, and depression may form over time as a result of persistent sedative use.
Can You Become Addicted to Sedatives?
You can form a tolerance, dependence, and addiction to sedative drugs. First, tolerance is when your body requires more and more of the drug over time to achieve the same effect. An individual’s tolerance building up can put them on the path to addiction.
Dependence may occur when an individual’s body cannot function properly without the use of the drug. For example, if a person takes a sedative every night to sleep and they have formed a sedative dependence, they will not be able to sleep without it.
Along with dependence comes withdrawal symptoms, which are feelings the body experiences in the absence of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms from sedatives may include restlessness, shaking, anxiety, insomnia, or sweating.
An individual may form an addiction to sedatives when the drug becomes their priority in life. When someone begins to have family problems, starts to get in trouble with the law, or is not doing well financially as a result of their drug use, they may have formed an addiction.
Do I Have a Sedatives Addiction?
You may have an sedatives addiction if you:
- Take sedatives in larger doses than you were prescribed initially
- Experience extreme cravings for the drug
- Take sedatives for a more extended period than was initially instructed
- Have a hard time managing personal obligations as a result of sedative use
- Feel intense withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the drug
How Can You Treat Sedatives Addiction?
One effective way to treat sedatives addiction is through sedative detox. Detox is defined as “a process or period in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” Detoxing may be accompanied by counseling and therapy.
Sedative detox programs help individuals suffering from drug addiction wean themselves off of the drugs in a healthy way. Instead of stopping the intake of drugs abruptly and experiencing harsh withdrawal symptoms, detox programs help individuals taper off the medications while monitored by medical professionals.
If you or someone you know is addicted to sedatives, call A Forever Recovery at our toll-free number as soon as possible. At A Forever Recovery, you will be able to find the right tools you need to help people suffering from addiction. Call today to get started on your journey to long-term sobriety and a healthier lifestyle!