Lunesta is a powerful sleep drug that is known as a hypnotic. According to Medline Plus, a website published through the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Library of Medicine, hypnotics can cause of state of semi-unconsciousness as well as sleep. These drugs are not meant for daily use, nor are they meant to be used on a prolonged basis. With these two conditions in place, it may be easy to understand how Lunesta and other sleep drugs can be so easily abused.
What Is Lunesta Abuse?
When we think about drug abuse, we may have a vivid picture of what it looks like. In our mind’s eye, depending upon our own experiences, drug abuse may take the form of wild teenagers dancing the night away at a party. For others, drug abuse and addiction may take the form of nefarious criminals, using drugs and committing crimes to support their habit. We may have an image of downtrodden men or women who turn to drugs because they are unable to deal with the stress of life. These stereotypical images may be true in some cases, but there are many people who engage in Lunesta abuse who hold responsible and demanding jobs, raise their children with love and would never break the law.
When an individual uses a prescription drug in a manner that is not in accordance with the directions for the drug, they are engaging in drug abuse. Individuals may choose to take more than the prescribed dose before they go to bed at night. Perhaps, rather than taking a dose a few times a week, they begin taking a normal dose every night before they go to bed, just in case they have trouble sleeping. If the individual is still awake at 1:00 am, he or she may take a second dose believing that the first dose simply didn’t work. All of these behaviors constitute the nest of abuse.
Ultimately, the individual may find that they are sleeping more regularly than they were before exposing themselves to Lunesta. If this is the case, why would taking the drug be dangerous? After all, the individual is not selling the medication to others or giving the pills to friends who have sleep problems. The individual may be following all of the important rules about prescription drugs, such as not visiting more than one doctor just to increase the number of doses they can obtain. Is there really a problem?
Unfortunately, even if you believe that the misuse of Lunesta does not actually constitute abuse of drugs, the fact remains that Lunesta abuse can lead to addiction. According to the National Institutes of Health, when an individual is going to stop taking Lunesta, he or she should do so gradually.
Withdrawal symptoms from Lunesta include:
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unusual dreams
There are also dangers associated with taking Lunesta properly or improperly. Lunesta is so powerful; it is recommended that one only consume the drug immediately before getting into bed. The drug can cause dizziness as well as auditory and visual hallucinations, and it can affect memory and even simple coordination.
Lunesta Abuse and the Risks of Activity
Individuals who take sleep medications, such as Lunesta and other hypnotics, may be searching for a simple good night’s sleep. Insomnia can be frustrating, especially if you have to be to work first thing in the morning. In some cases, however, the use of these powerful sleep agents can cause odd and disconcerting behaviors that the user is not even aware of. For instance, individuals who have taken Lunesta have reported incidents of sleep-driving during the night. Driving a car while under the influence of any drug or alcohol can be dangerous, not to mention illegal. Individuals who might never choose to break the law, particularly when the behavior can result in serious bodily harm or death to themselves or others, will discover that they have driven their cars without ever remembering the incident.
Another problem associated with Lunesta abuse is the preparation
of food during the night, without the individual’s knowledge. For example, an article published by NBC’s Today Show indicates that a woman suffering from addiction to hypnotic drugs will wake one morning to find soup cooking on her stove over an open flame. Not only is the preparation of food dangerous if the individual is not in full control, but the consumption of food without one’s knowledge can also be unhealthy. For instance, someone suffering from diabetes who consumes sugary cereals or other unhealthy foodstuffs each night can drastically affect their own ability to manage their condition.
People who have consumed Lunesta have also reported having sex and talking on the phone – in fact, having entire conversations – without remembering the instance even when prompted.
Learning to Relax Without Drugs
Treatment for addiction to Lunesta has many facets. If the individual who suffers from Lunesta addiction has been abusing the drug for recreational purposes, they may respond well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that is designed to help them unlearn the rewarding behaviors associated with use of the drug. For another individual, drug treatment may include family and group counseling. Each individual brings to their treatment plan their unique history, needs and goals.
For those who have become addicted to Lunesta due to misuse and abuse of their own prescription, there may be a fear that their insomnia condition will become unmanageable. Fortunately, there are treatment options for insomnia that do not include drug use. Learning how to relax and prepare oneself for sleep, while dealing with issues of anxiety or stress that may come from underlying mental health conditions, is an admirable goal for drug treatment. For instance, learning how to relax one’s body through meditation, breathing techniques or other exercises one can help one learn to control mood and even heart rate, making sleep come more readily.
Getting Help for Lunesta Abuse
Drug addiction, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, is a chronic disease. Like any other disease, when it’s left unchecked, the condition is likely to worsen. In order to obtain the very best results from treatment, it is important to receive treatment as early as possible. The moment one suspects that Lunesta abuse has become a part of life, it is time to seek help.
There are many elements involved in receiving the most effective treatment. In order to ensure that your family member receives the appropriate care they need to begin a life in recovery, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the treatment facility utilize evidence-based practices that have been established as effective by experts in the treatment research industry?
- Does the treatment facility have the ability to personalize your treatment plan to meet each of the addict’s unique needs and goals?
- Does the treatment facility offer supervised detox in order to ensure that your loved one is safe throughout the immediate withdrawal period?
- Will the treatment facility offer flexible treatment plans that can change as your loved one’s needs change?
- Does the treatment facility offer programs of sufficient length to adequately treat the needs of your loved one in a manner consistent with recommended guidelines?
- Does the treatment program offer follow-up care because they understand that addiction is an ongoing condition?
Finding the right treatment for you or your family member may seem overwhelming. It is important to ask questions and find answers that will give you confidence in the treatment provider. Please feel free to contact us here at Michael’s House to find out how our compassionate and experienced staff can help your family overcome Lunesta abuse and addiction today.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 760-548-4032