Doral Abuse and Alternate Treatment Options for Insomnia

Doral (quazepam) can be effective against the symptoms of insomnia, if taken in moderation and for limited periods. But people with severe sleep problems sometimes ignore the warnings that accompany their prescriptions—they continue to take insomnia medications past the danger point, putting them at high risk for addiction. With treatment, Doral dependency can be overcome, but to make sobriety sustainable the insomnia that triggered the drug abuse must be addressed, through the introduction of non-medicinal remedies that can bring relief for persistent sleeplessness.

Doral is the branded version of the benzodiazepine derivative quazepam, a medication frequently prescribed for insomnia. Quazepam is considered less addictive than other prescription sleep medications, and that has led to a growth in its popularity among people plagued by sleeplessness (and among the doctors who treat them).

But Doral’s reputation for safety has been exaggerated. Like other sleeping medications, it is recommended for short-term use (7-10 days) exclusively, and when these parameters are violated drug dependency can develop in a matter of weeks.

Many people who experience initial relief for their sleeplessness after taking Doral make the mistake of continuing to use it beyond the recommended limits. They may obtain extra supplies from friends, family members, multiple doctors, or illicit sources. Unfortunately, tolerance for the drug’s sedating effects can build up quickly when it is taken regularly, and as usage escalates abuse can degenerate into addiction.

Insomnia is a serious medical condition. However, it should never be treated exclusively—or for extended periods—with potent pharmaceutical medications like Doral.

Signs of Doral Abuse and Addiction

When first used, Doral will cause nighttime drowsiness and general feelings of relaxation. But if the drug is used continuously, to the point of abuse, a much wider range of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms will be observed.

These symptoms may include:

  • Drowsiness (often extreme) throughout the day
  • Feelings of depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Problems with memory and thinking
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulties with speech
  • Dizziness and poor coordination
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Increases in heartrate
  • Loss of visual acuity
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fainting spells

As dependency develops, the quantities of the drug consumed will increase, as will the frequency of usage; people addicted to sleeping pills will usually begin taking them at earlier times and more than once per day.

Some of the symptoms of Doral abuse and addiction will be experienced shortly after the drug is consumed (breathing troubles, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, slurred speech), others will occur when the affects of the drug wear off (increase in heartrate, mood swings, headaches), and still others will develop as chronic side effects (depression, memory problems, loss of appetite, jaundice).

Overcoming Insomnia Without Medication

Medications are neither required nor recommended for long-term recovery from insomnia. Some of the best ways to overcome chronic sleeplessness include:

  • Mind-body relaxation and stress management practices. Meditation, yoga, and massage therapy have all been proven effective against sleeping problems, if continued as a regular activity.
  • Magnesium supplements. This naturally occurring mineral helps muscles relax and can reduce feelings of stress, thereby encouraging easier sleep. Magnesium tablets should be taken with meals to prevent stomach upset.
  • Lavender oil capsules. Lavender oil restores emotional equilibrium and can be useful against the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is associated with more relaxed states in general, and that is what gives it its sleep-promoting capacities.
  • Melatonin. Studies have confirmed the usefulness of melatonin as a remedy for sleeplessness, and if taken daily before bedtime it should produce results relatively rapidly.
  • Exercise. People who develop healthy exercise habits (at least 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, four or five days a week at minimum) are far less likely to encounter enduring problems with sleeplessness.
  • Improvements in diet. Nighttime eating should be avoided, as should foods high in sugars throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages and drinks that contain caffeine should not be consumed in the evening, and lighter meals in general during nighttime hours are recommended.
  • Soft music or white noise generators. Combined with relaxation techniques such as meditation or self-hypnosis practiced at bedtime, soothing background sounds can help calm nerves and silence overactive minds. White noise generators are also designed to drown out more disruptive sounds that might come in from the outside.

These alternative methods for insomnia relief may not work immediately, and one method may not be enough to solve the problem. But with a consistent, multidimensional approach to promoting healthier sleep, eventually the symptoms of chronic sleeplessness should relent.

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Treatment for Doral Dependency

If a person has been abusing Doral, they should be evaluated for a substance use disorder by a physician or trained addiction specialist. Since conditions like depression and anxiety disorders are often responsible for insomnia, mental health assessments should also be included in the diagnostic process.

Once a diagnosis for Doral dependency has been made, a person’s best hope for recovery is enrollment in an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program administered by a licensed substance abuse treatment center (medically supervised detox services should also be provided at such facilities, to help launch the recovery program). Mental health services will be added to the healing regimen if a person receives a dual diagnosis for a co-occurring mental health disorder, with an eye on uncovering the root causes of both the insomnia and the substance use issues.

Holistic healing practices can be effective against both addiction and insomnia, and will likely be offered to the patient as a supplementary form of treatment. Classes for relapse prevention are often included in addiction treatment plans as well, and insomnia will be addressed if it is a complicating factor.

Drug dependency rehab programs can be effective for those who become addicted to sleep medications, and treatment should begin as quickly as possible after a diagnosis has been given. Insomnia is almost always a temporary problem that responds well to a variety of solutions, none of which require or include pharmaceutical intervention.