Learning More About Sedatives and Addiction

Sedatives are commonly prescribed to relax a person when they feel anxious or overwhelmed. When used as prescribed, the user can experience many benefits from these medications.

Those that have these medications prescribed should use them as directed by their medical professionals. They can be used as general anesthetics by doctors that want to relax patients before and during a procedure.

There are a number of sedatives that can be prescribed or used by medical professionals. They range from Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Sonata, Halcion, Lunesta, and more. There are other types of sedatives such as Quaaludes or chloral hydrate. These medications are usually prescribed by a medical professional and can also be found being sold illegally on the streets.

Symptoms of Sedative Addiction

Sedative addiction is usually easy to notice in those that have an addiction because of the signs and symptoms they will exhibit. They are similar to those of alcohol addiction since it, too,  is a central nervous system depressant.

Symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Fatigued
  • Falling asleep during events or inappropriate times
  • Seeming to be out of it
  • Hiding or sneaking around
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • Seeming to be more run down
  • Asking for money
  • Agitated

The symptoms of withdrawal from these medications can be much more severe in a person that has a long history of regular use. They can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, agitation, anger, headaches, muscle pain, and other unpleasant symptoms.

Diagnosis of Sedative Addiction

Usually, a diagnosis of sedative addiction is given by doctors. However, the person that has the addiction has to realize that they have a substance abuse disorder. Saying something to someone with a sedative addiction can help bring attention to the issue. This can make it more likely for them to seek the necessary help.

With so many places for addiction treatment, those who are affected by substance abuse conditions have a good chance of recovery. Recognizing the addiction is the first step to recovery for any addict, even those addicted to prescription sedatives.

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Risk Factors

There are some people that are more likely to have a sedative addiction than others. Those that are prescribed these medications and take them regularly can develop a tolerance and continue to increase their dosage without their doctor’s advice.

Others that are more likely to develop an addiction from using these sedatives are those that have mental health issues that need to be addressed. They find the sedatives on the street and purchase them.

Those that have access to these medications and use them just a couple of times may find themselves building a dependence on them. It is important to use sedatives only as directed, if they have to be used at all, to limit the chances of addiction.

Sedative overdose can happen when more of this medication is taken than has been prescribed.

Sedative Addiction Treatment

Treatment for sedative addiction is important. Those that have this addiction need to seek professional help to overcome it, as the potential for overdose can become a serious issue. Sedative addiction treatment usually works in the same way as other detox and addiction treatment programs.

Once the addiction is noticed, it is then important that the user seeks out the appropriate help from a treatment facility.

What Happens During Sedative Detox

Sedative detox is required in order to help cleanse the body and remove the medication from your system. Once removed, then you can focus on the other areas of treatment that are required.

During the detox process, you are placed in a medical facility and given fluids through an IV. You’re also usually given a mild painkiller to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. It is important to detox in a medical facility, as you need to protect yourself against dangerous symptoms such as seizures, heart problems, coma, and even death.

Since the level of sedatives in the body can drop off quickly, this can be dangerous. Some facilities might recommend tapering the medication over time instead of removing the drug from the body immediately to reduce the chances of worsening withdrawal symptoms.

The medical staff will monitor you during the detox process. Once this process is completed, which can take up to a week or more, you will be sent to an addiction treatment center to continue your treatment plan.

Signs of Sedative Withdrawal

There are a number of signs that can be noticed with sedative withdrawal. It is important that if these signs are noticed, you seek the necessary help before something serious happens.

  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle shaking and twitching
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Hallucinations

In other instances when the withdrawal is severe, fatal seizures can happen. This can mean that withdrawal can cause death if it is severe enough. For this reason, it is recommended to seek out a detox program for safety.

If you are detoxing in a program, the facility will try to make the process as easy as possible. They will try to make the person comfortable, but depending on the severity of the addiction, it takes time to overcome the physical aspects of addiction.

Sedative Detox Program

The sedative detox program offers one who is affected by addiction with a way to find help from a professional facility that knows how to handle this type of addiction. These facilities work to remove the drugs from the system, but also help in many other ways to reduce the chances of having the user turn back to using the specific sedation.

A detox program will remove the substance from your body over time in a safe way, to ensure that you can start your recovery without the source of addiction in your body. Additionally, it’s essential to follow up with therapy and other sessions to work on the emotional part of being addicted to sedatives.

It is important to seek the best detox and rehab facility that treats sedative addiction. They can provide the best care and follow up once treatment is completed to help those in recovery continue to stay clean.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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