Anywhere between a third and half of the American population suffer from insomnia or complain about poor sleep. For these Americans, sleeping pills might be the salvation they are looking for but the use of them can quickly tip into addiction.
Sleeping pills can help in short-term situations. But the longer that they are taken, the more a person could grow dependent on their use to sleep at night.
When dependency grows into addiction, a lot of health issues can stem from it. Sometimes it’s up to you as their loved one to notice the signs and help them before it gets to that point.
Here is a quick guide on all the sleeping pill symptoms and warning signs so you know when it’s time to stage an intervention.
1. Symptoms of Addiction to Sleeping Pills
The beginning symptoms of addiction can vary in severity going from being a little fatigued to falling into a coma. These beginning symptoms can lead to a very deadly overdose and they include
- Dry mouth
- Daytime Drowsiness
- Difficulty with coordination
- Unusual dreams
- Memory loss
- Itching and swelling
- Depressed breathing rate
For people who have taken the pills over a long period of time, these symptoms might be a little more intense. Some people do try to stop when these symptoms start but find it difficult because of rebound insomnia.
Rebound insomnia is way worse than the original insomnia that the pills were being taken to help. It has the habit of causing horrible dreams that can be bad enough to cause panic attacks when the user wakes up.
It’s enough to make users go back to it. This causes an endless cycle of abuse unless they are being monitored by a medical professional.
2. Signs a Loved One May be Abusing Sleeping Pills
A lot of those who have been prescribed sleeping pills for their insomnia tend to increase their dose as their body gets more and more used to it. This is where addiction begins. The good news is that the person abusing will show clear signs that you may be able to catch if you live with the person or are around them a lot in general.
Is My Child Using Sleeping Pills
A lot of parents don’t think so, but a teenager’s schedule can be just as hectic if not more so than their own. A lot of teen brains are wired to go to sleep and wake up late but despite this, they are made to be at school by eight in the morning. Often teens get up at around six in the morning to meet their school bus and then still have to have enough energy when they get home to do their chores and homework.
These factors lead to chronic tiredness which parents now have to find a solution for. This could lead to sleep therapy or sleeping pills. Sleeping pills aren’t a problem until they’re being abused.
You may notice that your teen is dizzy, not making good judgments, is walking sluggishly, or their eyes twitch often. Teens who are addicted to sleeping pills also tend to lash out more than those who don’t.
Another clear sign is that your child will ask for more of their prescription way before they should actually be running out. This could indicate that they are taking higher doses than they were originally prescribed.
Is My Parent Using Sleeping Pills
Parents who suffer from insomnia are also at risk of abusing sleeping pills. Their child may be able to easily point out the signs or pick up on them with the help of another loved one.
One of the biggest signs is that you’ll notice your parent refilling their prescription often. This means that they are using larger and larger doses to fall asleep at night.
Your parent might even tell you at some point that they are going to quit the pills but turn around and continue to get refills of them with a new excuse each time. After a couple of failed attempts its time that you stage an intervention.
You may notice that your parent tends to make plans with friends and cancel them or stop making plans altogether. You may come home and your parent has forgotten to cook dinner leaving you to fend for yourself. Your parent might suddenly have less money or get fired because they’ve stopped attending work.
One of the last signs is that they will start to become more apathetic to things that happen around them. So if you come home with an F on a test where before they may have exploded before, now they might shrug it off.
3. Intervention for Sleeping Pill Abuse
The withdraw that happens when someone tries to come off of sleeping pills themselves is excruciating. This is why it’s best that you hold an intervention and talk them into getting medical help right away.
It can be difficult because in some cases your loved one could be completely convinced that the pills are doing more good than harm but if you have a large group, they might be moved that so many people care and are worried about them.
Sleeping Pill Symptoms and Warning Signs that You Should be Aware of
Sleeping pills can be a great short-term way to get a little relief from insomnia but it’s also easy to abuse it. Sleeping pill abuse can quickly lead to memory loss, apathy, and terrible nightmares that cause panic attacks. Use these sleeping pill symptoms and warning sign information to find out when it’s time to stage an intervention for your loved one.
There is no price on helping a loved one, but sometimes insurance companies don’t exactly make it easy. Contact us with all your insurance questions.