Sedative medication creates soothing effects that allow us to feel momentarily relaxed so doctors may prescribe these drugs when a person is dealing with heightened anxiety. Many people may assume that developing a prescription drug addiction is impossible as these medications are only authorised by medical professionals. However, when you take higher doses than prescribed or for longer than intended, you run the real risk of becoming addicted and causing serious harm to your physical and mental health.
Freeing yourself from an addiction to sedatives isn’t easy. If you think you may have developed an addiction to sedatives, don’t panic; there is professional help available which will help you address any underlying causes you may be experiencing and help you overcome the condition.
Sedatives such as benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and sleeping aids work to slow activity in your brain and nervous system. They generally come in a pill or tablet and are prescribed by doctors to treat various disorders, including anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and seizures.
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Z drug addiction and sleeping pill addiction often result from a person using or abusing sedative drugs until they develop a tolerance and require higher doses to feel the same sedative effects. Ultimately, this leads to a dependence where they crave sedatives all the time and experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. Sedative addiction can deprive a person of the ability to function through day-to-day life, as they are reliant on sedative medication to get from one day to the next.
Each sedative affects the brain in its own ways, but most help people to feel calm and relaxed or get better sleep. However, when sedatives are abused (used other than according to medical instructions), people may demonstrate the following symptoms:
There are several underlying factors that increase the chances of someone becoming addicted to sedatives including:
People with a family history of substance abuse and addiction may be more prone to developing sedative addiction. Furthermore, individuals who inherit personality traits such as novelty-seeking and impulsive behaviour could also be at increased risk of sedative abuse and addiction.
As sedative substances produce a calming and contented feeling, some people may abuse sedatives to numb any uncomfortable emotions or handle stressful periods in their life. Difficult moments and situations can get to everyone from time to time but if someone is regularly using sedatives to cope, it signifies that they are struggling with some deeper issues- which may need to be addressed through therapy.
People who engage in long-term sedative abuse and addiction increase the risk of experiencing numerous adverse outcomes, such as:
To recover from sedative addiction, you will need to undergo a sedative detox (the process of cleansing your body from sedative medications) as well as therapy to help you address the root cause of sedative addiction.
Many sedative rehabilitation clinics offer you both detox and rehab and some clinics can offer you outpatient sessions (where you stay at your home but attend the clinic to receive the treatment).
However, residential rehabs offer inpatient programmes (where you stay overnight for a short length of time and get 24/7 support). From our experience, undergoing sedative rehab in an inpatient centre increases your chance of long-term recovery as you will have no access to sedatives, will be immersed in the recovery experience and will learn invaluable relapse prevention techniques.
Detox is the process of cleansing all traces of sedative medication from your body by ceasing sedative drug use. It’s important that this is done in a medical setting, especially if you have been addicted to sedatives for a long time; health experts can make the medically supervised detox safe and as comfortable as possible- to ease any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Every individual is unique and will experience different withdrawal symptoms. The severity and length of the symptoms will be subject to a person’s gender, pre-existing medical issues, weight, etc. However, the timeline below can give you a general idea of what to expect:
At Liberty House, we offer all-inclusive rehab treatment which will enable you to safely detox from sedative substances whilst simultaneously offering you extensive treatment therapies to address any emotional or mental dependence on the drugs. We have licensed staff on hand 24/7 to care for and support you throughout the process. You will be given a comfortable room and all your meals will be prepared for you by our in-house chef so you can focus all your energies on recovery. Furthermore, because you’ll be staying in a controlled environment (where you can’t access sedative medications) the chance of relapse is greatly reduced.
At Liberty House, we invite our clients to partake in numerous treatment therapies, all of which are designed to treat addiction from a holistic standpoint. Some of the therapies we offer are:
Acupuncture is said to invigorate the nervous system by applying pressure on the skin which is known to promote blood flow. Afterwards, clients report feeling content and having improved quality of sleep.
Yoga is an ancient practice that connects the mind and the body. Our in-house instructor will guide you through gentle practice. The connecting of movement to breath can help to ease your nervous system – promoting mind and body relaxation. The effects of Yoga and mindfulness produce similar feelings to sedative medications; clients often feel calm and sleepy after a class.
At Liberty House, we believe that talking about our addiction is a crucial step towards healing. We offer one-on-one counselling, group therapies and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) to help you process your emotions in a safe space. Speaking with a professional counsellor can help you to understand and release any emotional baggage you have been holding onto- which may spur on your addiction to sedatives.
At Liberty House, we aim to help you overcome an addiction to sedative substances through a range of holistic approaches intended to ensure that you have the tools required to overcome sedative addiction. If you have any concerns or questions about our sedative rehab programmes, please contact us today and a member of our team will be happy to answer any questions you have.