Dangers of Sedative Abuse
Sedative abuse is a serious issue and potentially life threatening. When taken outside of prescription recommendation, or in exceeded doses, there are often substantial side-effects that can occur. Addiction happens to millions of Americans each year, each one of which neither expected or intended to become addicted. The disease of addiction is a master at sneaking up and taking hold of people’s lives. Sedatives are some of the most commonly prescribed and most commonly abused substances. Many people begin their addiction with the mistaken belief that these drugs are medicine and cannot harm. On the contrary, drugs like prescription painkillers, zbenzodiazepines, and sleeping medications are perhaps fueling prescription drug epidemic today. Signs and Symptoms There is a set of diagnostic criteria that show up when Sedatives are used for medical purposes or when it is abused. Many of them are universal for indicating Sedative and central nervous system depressant use. The outward symptoms may include sudden changes in behavior and actions, mood swings, withdrawal from family and friends, unkempt physical state, loss of interest in hobbies and other activities, changes in sleep pattern, slurred speech, using substances in hazardous situations or other risky behaviors, slowed cognition and movement, loss of balance, staggering, constant scratching, repressed breathing, and psychosis. Other common symptoms include tolerance, which is needing an increasing amount of the substance for the desired effect, and withdrawal, during which the individual experiences negative symptoms in a physical and mental status when the drug has not been taken for a while.
Effects of Sedatives
There is a set of diagnostic criteria that show up when Sedatives are used for medical purposes or when it is abused. Many of them are universal for indicating Sedative and central nervous system depressant use. The outward symptoms may include sudden changes in behavior and actions, mood swings, withdrawal from family and friends, unkempt physical state, loss of interest in hobbies and other activities, changes in sleep pattern, slurred speech, using substances in hazardous situations or other risky behaviors, slowed cognition and movement, loss of balance, staggering, constant scratching, repressed breathing, and psychosis. Other common symptoms include tolerance, which is needing an increasing amount of the substance for the desired effect, and withdrawal, during which the individual experiences negative symptoms in a physical and mental status when the drug has not been taken for a while.
Sedative effects vary depending on the drug or drugs being used, however, in general they all have a calming effect. They tend to affect the central nervous system and may decrease tension, anxiety, pain, impair cognition, and cause drowsiness and sleepiness. The effects of sedatives can be positive or negative, depending on what the sedative is being taken for and what side effects it causes. These effects may be desired if, for instance, the drug causes sleepiness and is being taken for sleep. High doses of sedatives can cause: Impaired Judgment and Coordination, Impaired Memory, Paranoia, Irritability, Suicidal Ideation, Depressed Respiration, Depressed Circulation, Death.
If combined with anther substance, especially another depressant such as alcohol, it can cause slowed heart rate and breathing, overdose and death.
Other health issues may arise from overuse, including memory problems, weakening of the liver, and chronic intoxication (in which the signs and symptoms of the use become permanent), organ damage, impaired cognitive functioning and many others. Long-term use of sedatives can also cause a worsening of the symptoms that the drug was originally prescribed to treat. Use of prescription sedatives for any amount of time can lead to tolerance, dependence and addiction.
Are Sedatives Addictive?
Yes. Different sedatives affect people differently, however, many are addictive.
Can I Drink While Taking Sedatives?
No. Alcohol is a sedative and mixing two sedatives can cause deadly interactions.
Can I Drive While on Sedatives?
It is not a good idea to drive while under the influence of sedatives. Sedatives cause a decrease in reaction time and alertness, which increases the likelihood of getting in an accident.
Can I Die if I Take Too Many Sedatives?
Yes. Absolutely yes. Many prescription sedatives can easily cause a fatal overdose. It may not take as many as you think. Consult with your doctor before taking an unknown dose.
What if I Can’t Afford Treatment?
Many insurance plans cover addiction treatment. If you have insurance, there is a good possibility that you will be covered.
Sedative Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from sedatives can be extremely uncomfortable and dangerous if attempted alone. Many sedatives have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, which are best managed at an inpatient detox center. A detox center can ensure your safety and alleviate discomfort with medication or a drug taper. Some of the withdrawal symptoms for sedatives are nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, tremors, incoordination, restlessness, blurred vision, sweating, delirium, confusion, seizures, and death. Experts in a detox center can decrease or eliminate these symptoms. Professionals will also monitor you around the clock and tailor your treatment plan to include exactly what you need to have the best experience possible.
Dangers of Sedative Overdose
It is a dangerous misconception that prescription drugs are harmless. Tolerance, dependence and addiction can occur even if the drug is being taken as prescribed. Sedatives are potentially fatal if too many are taken. What amounts as enough for an overdose for one person may not have the same effect on another. It is vital that you take your medication as prescribed or if used illicitly, get treatment. Symptoms of an overdose of some sedatives include dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, blurred vision, unresponsiveness, anxiety, agitation, sweating, increased pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, changes in breath, changes in heart rate, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, among many others. If you think that someone may have overdosed on sedatives, contact emergency medical services immediately.
Inpatient Rehab for Sedative Abuse
For people who are in the midst of sedative addiction, there is help available. There are numerous rehabilitation facilities and programs that address sedative abuse and addiction. Inpatient treatment programs are more often recommended for sedative abuse as they have better success rates. This is in part due to the variety of psychotherapies offered during treatment. The goal of therapy to identify and address the underlying issues that caused the addiction. Also, this particular treatment capacity administers a social aspect in which other member with similar life experiences are able to give support in the recovery process. Inpatient treatment provides intensive treatment, combined with around the clock monitoring and support. No one is lost or gets left behind.
Outpatient Rehab for Sedative Abuse
Outpatient treatment can be attended following inpatient rehab or as a standalone treatment option. Most experts recommend starting with inpatient, however we understand that this is not always an option. Outpatient should, however, only be utilized after the person has fully detoxed and stabilized. This type of treatment offers a variety of therapeutic approaches, which are similar to inpatient, but on a less intensive basis. Individual and group therapy helps get to the root issues causing the addiction, routine check-ins and required classes both help keep participants accountable and informed about the disease of addiction. outpatient treatment is great for people who cannot take off of work or school to attend an inpatient program.
Aftercare for Sedative Addiction
The best possible scenario for combating the disease of addiction is to start with detox, then inpatient treatment, followed by outpatient treatment combined with sober living. Many people simply attend a single program and relapse quickly after returning to their old surroundings. Learning to live without drugs or alcohol requires a good deal of work and adjustment. The best way to ensure that your sobriety stays successful for the long run is to start with intensive treatment and slowly ease you way down. An added benefit of sober living it that it expands your sober network of friends and support, giving you and your sobriety the best chance possible.
Common Dangers of Sedative Abuse
One of the most common dangers of sedative abuse is miscalculating how powerful these drugs can be, resulting in fatal overdose. Many people mistakenly believe that prescription drugs are safe and as a result do not give these substances the respect they deserve. Prescription pill overdose from sedatives like narcotic painkillers, benzodiazepines, and sleeping pills are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Another extremely common mistake is combining a prescription sedative with alcohol. Far too many people die or suffer severe, debilitating consequences as a result of combining prescription sedatives with other substances like alcohol. Combining two depressants cause quickly lead to overdose and death.
Prescription sedative addiction is one of the fasting and most devastating problems facing this country today. Prescription sedatives are amongst the most quickly addicting and commonly abused substances. When so many people have substance abuse issues, no one should feel too ashamed to get the help they need, unfortunately, however, this is often the case. Many people who have become addicted to sedatives are often too ashamed to admit the problem and in denial about their using. Regardless of how obvious the problem may seem to those on the outside, for the individual it may seem as though there is no problem at all. The best way to get through to a loved one and help them get started on a healthier path is to stage an intervention. An intervention is a conversation where the person is confronted about using in a compassionate way. The most important part about an intervention is for the conversation to remain non-judgmental and loving. Not everyone is ready to hear the message, but make sure to leave to channels of communication open for future attempts. Also, many people find a professional interventionist to greatly help the outcome of the conversation. – Learn More
People who abuse substances such as sedatives are usually suffering from another underlying issue. The substance abuse is a symptom of something else, which is the actual issue that needs to be remedied. Addiction treatment centers utilize a variety of therapeutic approaches to get to the bottom of what is causing the substance abuse issue. Individual therapy is usually in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. This type of therapy helps the person to identify negative thought patterns and core beliefs and replace them with healthier, more positive ones. These one on one sessions allow each person to make great progress in uncovering the underlying issues that led him or her to use. Group therapy has great therapeutic value as well. Group members bond and gain affiliation, support and identification from this form of therapy. Members give and receive advice and everyone supports each other, allowing for each to overcome more than he or she could alone. Family therapy helps educate and heal the entire family unit. Addiction education explains the disease of addiction and helps all members recover from past trauma. Everyone is equipped with coping mechanisms and communication strategies to better ensure a brighter future together.
Travel for Treatment
The first step is the most difficult for many people. Admitting that you have a problem with substance abuse is a huge accomplishment. Now that you’ve decided to get treatment, the next step is deciding where to go. Each treatment center offers a unique combination of therapies and environment. The best fit for you may not be located near your home. Experts also recommend travelling for treatment to get away from negative influences. Familiar people and places can be detrimental for some people’s recovery. When people go to treatment right down the street from where they used to use, often they will walk back to their old life before the program is complete. It is far better to put distance between strong temptations and triggers for the first days in recovery to give yourself time to build up a defense.
12-Steps of Recovery
12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, have proven to be the most effective method of tackling the disease of addiction. Worldwide, millions of people have gained their lives back, stopped using and stayed abstinent with the help of a 12-step program. These programs offer a simple solution to addiction that is easy to follow and anyone can access. Each person is encouraged to get a sponsor, work the 12-steps of recovery, and attend meetings regularly. Regular meeting attendance keeps the person surrounded by a sober network of people. A strong sober support system is vital to ongoing recovery, which can be found a local 12-step meeting house. Anyone with a desire to stop using is welcome at any meeting at any time. For anyone who has completed a treatment program, it is recommended that you find a homegroup meeting to keep the sobriety you have achieved. For anyone looking to get sober who cannot attend a treatment program, you too can triumph over your disease by finding and getting involved with a 12-step program.