Prescription Drug Abuse: Lunesta Abuse
We know how frustrating it is to watch a loved one struggle with sleeplessness: the wasted nights, the bitter dawns, the lost energy. When they get help, and are able to sleep, we feel relieved that they are getting the rest they deserve. Short-term intense solutions like Lunesta (the brand name of the sedative eszopiclone) can be a huge aid, but its use can also turn into a dangerous addiction. Likeother prescription drugs, Lunesta can be abused, and can become worse than the problem it was meant to solve.
If a loved one is suffering from Lunesta abuse, reach out to us to learn more about finding help.
Signs of Lunesta Abuse
Nearly 70 million people in America have a sleep disorder during the year. Of those, nearly 60% are chronic disorders. Both groups frequently turn to prescription drugs to help them sleep: in a CDC study, 4% of the population had used a medically-prescribed sleep aid within the last month. This is especially true for people suffering from short-term problems, like stress with work or life. Lunesta is a drug that is prescribed for quick relief, but can frequently turn into addiction.
If you think that someone you love might be relying too heavily on Lunesta or a similar drug, look for some of the signs. One of these signs is crushing the drug to snort it. The addict may say that it just makes it work faster, but this behavior is most likely a sign that they need the relief and the release quickly, which means the drug is demanding more and more of their brain. It is the same if they are increasing dosage on their own. Addiction means that what once sufficed is no longer enough.
Dangers of Lunesta Abuse
Overdosing on Lunesta can cause extreme drowsiness, which is just as much a problem as getting no sleep. A person who is using too much Lunesta can pass out quickly, can experience trouble breathing, and in extreme cases can lapse into a coma.
Lunesta is frequently mixed with alcohol or other sedatives, in an attempt to maximize sleep. This often exacerbates the symptoms described above, and the dangerous combination of Lunesta and alcohol can lead to impaired judgment and the increased risk of accidents, especially when driving is involved. Behavior resulting from Lunesta abuse can lead to financial disaster, loss of job, injury, imprisonment, and even death.
The sleep problems that started the Lunesta abuse won’t disappear when the addiction is treated. The goal of truly immersive residential therapy is to remove the addiction, but also address the root of the problem. Comprehensive care provides an individualized treatment plan that includes holistic therapies that can work toward finding a natural way to get the sleep that’s needed. These therapies can include yoga, meditation, massage, and talk therapies to discuss and address the underlying stress.
Sleep brings with it relief, and the kindness of dreams. Lunesta and similar drugs can do a great good, when used correctly and in moderation. But the chance for abuse and dependence is always there, and if it occurs, life can become a wakeless nightmare. If a loved one is suffering from Lunesta addiction, it is time to get them help.
For more information on our full suite of comprehensive care programs to address Lunesta addiction and any co-occurring disorders, please connect with us today.