We have heard a lot about street drugs like cocaine, cannabis, alcohol etc all such things are extremely dangerous and we all should stay away from them. However, many people have addiction of sleeping pills too- what will that person be called?
Dangers of Prolonged Sleeping Pill Use
When patients report sleep troubles due to stress, anxiety, or other factors, doctors often prescribe sleeping pills alongside other remedies to induce rest. While responsible doctors limit the duration of sleeping pill use, some patients continue to take them for prolonged periods, believing it to be a perfect solution. The problem arises when patients develop a tolerance to the medication and increase the dosage without consulting their doctor.
Escalating Doses and Risks
This habit can lead to dependency, similar to drug addiction, with patients stuck in a web of escalating doses. Over years of addiction, patients may still suffer from sleeplessness (insomnia). Responsibility lies with the patient, who fails to inform the doctor, the doctor who neglects to specify a maximum duration for the medication, and the medical store representatives who provide medications without a prescribed timeframe.
Awareness and Alternative Solutions
Doctors should actively counsel patients on the potential risks of prolonged medication use. Extended consumption can result in severe side effects, including morning lethargy, headaches, reduced energy, and impaired cognitive function. Patients may find themselves needing additional medications to address these side effects, spiraling into a cycle of ‘prescribed addiction’ with anxiety, panic, sweating, muscle pain, poor concentration, and emotional distress when attempting to withdraw from the medication.
Caution and Healthy Alternatives
Patients should start medications cautiously, follow their doctors’ guidance on duration, and discontinue when natural sleep returns. A healthy lifestyle with exercise, early rising, social engagement, hydration, and avoiding caffeine and nicotine is crucial. Understanding sleep hygiene promotes natural, restorative sleep.