The commercial website AddictionExperts.com has god information about sleeping pill addiction in the United States. Please read the article. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Sleeping pills are sedatives that reduce stress, change the pace of your breathing, and help you sleep. They are most commonly used for insomnia or for those who have taken part in a long-term shift work schedule.
Sleeping pills can cause physical dependency if used for more than a few weeks. When an individual stops taking them altogether, withdrawal symptoms kick in. Rebound insomnia is also a possible side effect of sleeping pills. When the person attempts to sleep without any sleeping pills, they may experience more and longer periods of sleep than usual. It could lead them to take more and more sleeping pills as time goes on, leading to addiction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the percentage of adults who use prescription medication to sleep increases with age and education. Another survey conducted by Consumer Reports in 2015 for drug use and health reports that 18% of survey respondents stated they take sleep medication daily, and 41% admitted to using them for more than a year.
How Do Sleeping Pills Work?
When a person takes a prescription sleeping pill like eszopiclone, the medication reaches the brain and begins to work on the GABA receptors. As sleeping pills bind to GABA receptors in the brain, it reduces the activity of excitatory neurons. It causes a calm feeling that leads to sleepiness. Not all sleeping pills work in this same way. Some act as sedatives and hypnotics, while others as muscle relaxants or anticonvulsants.
There are several types of both over-the-counter and prescription sleeping medications. These can be grouped into the following categories:
• Hypnotics: These medications bring the patient to a state of consciousness where sleep becomes the only option. An example of a hypnotic is zolpidem, also known as Ambien. It typically works on GABA receptors and can cause drowsiness, confusion, or dizziness.
• Sedatives: These drugs can decrease brain activity and have a calming effect on the central nervous system. They are prescribed for people who have trauma-related stress or have undergone surgery.
• Antiepileptics: These medications are used to treat epilepsy and are often prescribed for those who have refractory seizures. These drugs may affect sleep, movement, and muscle function.