According to the Centers for Disease Control, lack of sleep is a significant problem in the United States. Sleeplessness has been associated with car accidents and work accidents, and it can lead to other health problems, including depression, diabetes and even cancer. For anyone who has ever suffered from insomnia, these additional risks due to sleeplessness are just icing on a rather poor-tasting cake. Insomnia is a condition that either prevents an individual from falling asleep or prevents them from staying asleep for significant periods of time. One treatment for insomnia is the use of prescription medications known as hypnotics.
Restoril is a specific type of hypnotic drug that falls into the classification of benzodiazepines. These are powerful drugs that can be perfectly safe when used exactly as directed. However, when used inappropriately, they can be addictive and lead to severe problems. Improper use of prescription drugs is sometimes easy to identify, but it can also be more hidden.
A few examples of improper use of Restoril or other drugs might include:
- Taking a higher dose of Restoril than prescribed by your doctor at any given time
- Taking the drug more frequently than prescribed (for instance, a dose at bedtime followed by a dose during the night if you don’t fall asleep)
- Sharing Restoril with a friend who is complaining of sleeplessness
- Sharing Restoril with a friend for purposes of “getting high”
- Obtaining and using the drug without a prescription
- Mixing Restoril with other drugs or alcohol for recreational purposes
- Mixing Restoril with other drugs or alcohol without properly notifying your doctor
Some of these behaviors are quite obviously drug abuse, while other activities may not seem harmful. For instance, if you consume Restoril in order to fall asleep, a purpose for which the drug is approved, it may seem that there shouldn’t be a problem. However, when a doctor prescribes a drug to a patient, he or she goes through a strict protocol that includes a physical examination and medical history to determine the right drugs to prescribe and how much to prescribe. Your sleeplessness may be related to a condition entirely unrelated to basic insomnia, for instance. By avoiding the necessary visit to a doctor, you may be doing yourself more harm than good even without consideration for the drug abuse aspects of the situation.
Table of Contents
Dangers of Benzodiazepine Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. It is a mental health disorder that has far-reaching effects of both a physical and non-physical nature. The term “chronic” means that there is no cure for addiction, although there are effective treatments available. “Relapsing” means that, even with successful treatment, there is a chance that drug addiction may re-occur at regular or irregular intervals. Other chronic and relapsing conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, do not carry the same stigma as drug addiction. Some individuals believe that people who suffer from addiction are somehow of lesser character or lower morals and standards than individuals who do not abuse drugs. They may even feel as though individuals can simply choose to stop abusing drugs on a whim and make the conscious effort to reclaim their lives. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.
There is no way to determine which individuals who abuse drugs will ultimately suffer from addiction. Two individuals who grew up in the same neighborhood, who come from the same socioeconomic class, and who share the same ethnic heritage may begin abusing Restoril or other drugs at the same time, at the same age. One of them might ultimately develop addiction, while the other “grows out of it” and stops abusing drugs. This can make it appear as though the individual suffering from addiction is somehow weaker than his friend. The truth is that there are many factors that can contribute to addiction and everyone who chooses to abuse drugs is at risk.
Some of the long-term risks of addiction to benzodiazepines like Restoril include:
- Increased risk of birth defects in unborn children exposed to benzodiazepines
- Increased risks of industrial, driving or personal injury accidents due to the hangover effect associated with hypnotic drugs
- Anxiety due to withdrawal
- Death due to withdrawal
- Risk of overdose when combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol
What to Expect From Treatment for Restoril Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering from Restoril addiction, the concept of receiving treatment might seem a bit daunting. Understanding what a typical experience in rehab might be like is difficult until you’ve experienced it, because treatment programs vary for each individual, even within a single facility. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment programs should be tailored to meet the exact needs of each person in order to be effective. It is possible to give you a general idea of what you might expect from a treatment facility that is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain sobriety through the use of evidence-based and alternative treatment practices.
The first state of treatment is the detoxification period. During this time, your body will let go of the drugs it has consumed. The length of time this process takes will depend upon many factors, including how often you have consumed drugs, the quantity and types of drugs consumed, and other conditions. Some individuals might experience more difficulties and more discomfort than others. This is also determined by the types of drugs abused. In the case of Restoril addiction, because of the increased risks associated with some hypnotic drugs, detox may involve weaning off the drug rather than an immediate cessation and should be conducted under the supervision of trained medical staff members.
After detox, when you first arrive at a treatment facility, such as the one here at Axis, you can expect to undergo a serious of psychological and physical evaluations to determine your exact needs on all levels. It is important to determine whether there are any co-occurring disorders that need attention, in order to decrease the chances of relapse once treatment has been completed. If, for instance, your drug addiction is intertwined with an anxiety disorder that has been “medicated” by your drug abuse and that condition is left untreated, you may find that you feel compelled to relapse in order to continue “treating” that condition.
Once proper diagnosis has been made, the staff of the facility will create a tailor-made program of recovery to address your specific needs.
This might include cognitive behavioral therapy on an individual or group basis. It could also include support group meetings, drug abuse education, vocational training or legal assistance. Some individuals may require parenting classes to restore their ability to care for their children, while others may need to address issues of early childhood trauma. Whatever your needs, the treatment staff can help you address them in a safe and secure environment.
Throughout the treatment process, you can expect to undergo continual evaluations to determine whether any aspects of your care need to be adjusted. You may progress more quickly in some areas and more slowly in others. Ultimately, the length of your stay in a residential treatment center will be determined by your individual progress. If you are not ready to be released as quickly as others, it does not mean that you are not succeeding. It does not mean that you are any “worse” or “better” than your co-residents. Rather, you are a unique individual with gifts and abilities that are specific to your life and your future.
After treatment has been completed and you are ready to go home, you will be faced with challenges that require strict attention to the life skills you have acquired in treatment. Drug addiction recovery is an ongoing process that requires continued care. Always remember that you and your therapists can adjust your treatment at any time when the need arises. To find out more about receiving residential treatment for Restoril addiction, please contact us here at Axis today.