Are Sleeping Pills Addictive?

Are sleeping pills addictive?

are sleeping pills addictive?About a third and half of all people in the United States have insomnia and complain of getting poor sleep. In fact if you are reading this, you may be one of them. If so you may be considering taking a sleeping pill or are already taking one.

Sleeping pills may be effective for sleep problems for a short period of time but it is extremely important that you make sure to understand everything you need to know about sleeping pills including if they are addictive.

So what are sleeping pills?

Most sleeping pills are also sedative hypnotics. Sedative hypnotics are specific class of drugs used to induce and maintain sleep. Sedative hypnotics include everything from benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics. Benzodiazepines are drugs like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Librium. These drugs cause sedation and can increase drowsiness and help people sleep. Benzodiazepines are potentially addictive. Barbiturates are another drug in the sedative hypnotic class that can cause sedation. Short or long term barbiturates are prescribed as sedatives or sleeping pills but are mainly used for anesthesia.

Newer medications for sleep and the ones you are probably thinking of are sleep-inducing drugs such as Lunesta, Sonata and Ambien. These drugs are said to be non-habit forming or in other words non-addictive. They work quickly to increase drowsiness and sleep.

Sleeping pills have side effects like almost all medications. You won’t know if you have any adverse reactions to sleeping pills until you take them. Here are some of the many side effects of taking prescription sleeping pills such as Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Rozerem, and Halcion:

  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Unusual dreams
  • Weakness

But what about addiction? Are sleeping pills addictive?

The makers of sleeping pills tout their medications as being non-habit forming but there are actual definitions for sleeping pill addiction and stories of people becoming addicted to sleeping pills.

A sleeping pill addiction is defined as the desire to use sleeping pills on a regular basis. Frequent use can lead to dependence on sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can also slowly build up a tolerance in the user. Many people will also use sleeping pills to achieve the desired euphoric feeling that they can produce. A sleeping pill addiction also has many symptoms including the uncontrollable craving for sleeping pills as well as obsessive thoughts about sleeping pills and an excessive amount of money spent on sleeping pills. Here are some of the physical symptoms of sleeping pill addiction:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Runny nose
  • Glazed eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Persistent cough
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds
  • Increased sensitivity to emotions
  • Rapid speech
  • Excessive energy
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Unusual selling of private property
  • Social isolation
  • Poor work performance
  • Poor school performance
  • Neglect of family responsibilities
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Insomnia
  • Personality changes

So are sleeping pills addictive? Definitely go ahead and be cautious and say yes, yes they are.

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs

Once you know the ways to tell if someone is addicted to drugs it can be fairly easy to spot. Before knowing the signs of addiction it can be almost impossible to notice as well as understand what is going on with someone who has a drug problem. If you think there may even be a slight chance that someone you know is addicted to drugs then read on. In fact, if you think there is a chance you, yourself, might be addicted to drugs, then also, read on. This blog will explain how to know if someone is addicted to drugs.


  • They are neglecting their responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting their children) because of their drug use.
  • They are using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Their drug use is getting them into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit. 
  • Their drug use is causing problems in their relationships, such as fights with their partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

How to Know if someone is Addicted to Drugs for the drug user

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same affects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but you use anyway

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Physical warning signs of drug addiction

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Behavioral signs of drug addiction

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Psychological warning signs of drug addiction

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

If you think you know someone is addicted to drugs the next step would be to try and help them or if it is you addicted to drugs, help yourself. There are many resources available today for people who are addicted to drugs including interventions, detox programs, inpatient treatment programs, outpatient programs and so much more. Someone who is addicted to drugs is going to need help. If they are unwilling to get help you cannot force them into getting better, remember that. What you can do, is let them know there is a way out if they want it.

Prescription Drug Abuse Recovery is Possible

Prescription Drug Abuse Recovery

My name is Jenny, and I’m a drug addict.

It took me years to admit to being a drug addict. I didn’t get my drugs on the street. I didn’t have a drug dealer, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.

I got my drugs in clean sterile rooms. My drug dealers wore white coats.

I was addicted to prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is an insidious problem. It’s not always recognizable for what it is. I always looked to doctors as authority figures, healers, and most of them are. Perhaps my doctor had the best of intentions when he first prescribed painkillers for a sore back. I certainly don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt me. And if that first doctor had known where I would end up, I doubt he would have ever pulled out that prescription pad.

Because I was getting my drugs from doctors, my prescription drug abuse went unnoticed or at least unrecognized for what it was for a long time. I DID actually have pain, and my doctor was treating that pain. Everything I did was legal.

It wasn’t too long until my prescription drug abuse took on a life of its own. I exaggerated my pain. I started going back sooner and sooner to get my prescriptions for the month. I lied and said I’d lost the pills or had them stolen so I could get more.

Several doctors recognized my prescription drug abuse for what it was and refused to treat me. I would just find another one. By the end, the only doctors that would take me operated out of shady back-alley storefronts and only took cash payment. I wasn’t copping drugs in the street, but the clean sterile rooms were gone. Those doctors would barely look at me before writing me a prescription. They were only in the room long enough to give me what I wanted. I thought of myself as a “chronic pain patient.” I believed that I would be on these medications for the rest of my life. I was resigned to it.

Today, I can tell you that recovery is possible. Even for prescription pill addicts. Even for prescription pill addicts who started using drugs to treat a real medical problem.

You may not believe it. I certainly didn’t. I didn’t want to. I couldn’t imagine trying to get through the day without pills.

It’s not an easy process, but it is so worth it. I was a slave to prescription pills. I obsessed about how many pills I had left and what I would do when I ran out. No matter how many pills I had left in the bottle, I never had enough. I used to live and lived to use. Every day I would promise myself that tomorrow I would stop my prescription drug abuse. I would cut down. I would take only the amount I was prescribed. I would wean myself off. Tomorrow would come and I couldn’t do it.

Today I am free. And recovery is possible for you too. If you are suffering from prescription drug abuse or addiction, get help. Free yourself.

If I have a prescription how can I be addicted?

Prescription for medication

Prescription for medication

If I have a prescription how can I be addicted?

Prescription drugs are meant to help you cope with various effects of illness and injury yet many prescription drugs have become the common cause of addiction. There are many addictive prescription drugs out there today that range from anti-anxiety medications to painkillers. Some of the most well-known addictive prescription drugs are:

  • Percocet
  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycodone

When you go to the doctor you trust them to keep you safe and help you to live a healthier life. This is ok and totally normal. The problem is a lot of the times a doctor will prescribe a highly addictive narcotic that you think is totally ok to take and then before you know it you are having withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.

This is how even if you have prescription you can be addicted. Just because a doctor prescribes it to you does not mean that it is ok, not addictive, or even that you truly need it. Whether or not a drug is legal or prescribed has nothing to do with whether or not you are addicted.

Addiction doesn’t care if you have a piece of paper telling you its ok for you to have the drug. Addiction merely knows what you are putting in your body. With addictive prescription drugs you don’t even have to take them recreationally or not as prescribed in order to become addicted. Prescription drugs just merely have to be taken over a certain length of time and then even the most well-rounded non-addictive personality types is not physically dependent on a drug and guess what your doctor has prescribed it.

Having a prescription is not a safety net against addiction simply because your brain and body don’t know the difference between taking a narcotic recreationally (to get high) or legally (as prescribed by your doctor). Anyone who is taking a prescription narcotic can become addicted.

The thought process that if you have prescription then you can’t be addicted is one that keeps many people in denial about their issues for a long time. It’s the same thought process that keeps many addicts relapsing on legal designer drugs and alcohol. If it’s legal than it isn’t really the same thing. Unfortunately this causes a lot of people more harm than good because all they are really doing is fooling their selves.

Once your brain and body are physically dependent on a drug, legal or not legal, prescribed or not prescribed, you are now addicted. Sorry to say it. It doesn’t matter how many prescriptions you get or how you take it as prescribed. All your brain knows now is that it needs the chemicals you are putting in it.

Telling your body that because it has a little white piece of paper from a doctor that it isn’t addicted to the drugs is foolhardy and delusional. It is merely a way to rationalize and justify your now current situation which in truth is, you are addicted to the drug whether mentally or physically and have no way out-it’s time to get help.