After a long day that has drained your energy, most of us look forward to the moment we can lay our heads down on the pillow and get some shut-eye. For some, however, the prospect of going to bed can be a stressful and daunting chore.
There are some who can fall asleep when they touch the pillow, and there are others who watch the sheep jump over the fence far too many times over. Sleep disorders, how many of us have them?
More than 40 million Americans struggle with chronic long-term sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million report sleeping problems occasionally. With sleep being such a vital part of life, to have so many people with sleep disorders is a problem that needed an immediate solution. Those who deal with chronic sleep disorders look for relief in any way shape or form.
Sleep disorders can be characterized by abnormal sleep patterns that disturb your mental, physical, and emotional functioning. Insomnia, which is the most common sleep disorder, consists of trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early in the morning. Those who wake up the next day don’t feel refreshed and often feel more exhausted than they were the night before.
Sleep disorders can cause an array of health problems ranging from heart disease to obesity, and can even cause a risk of injury at work or school. Sleep is often referred to as the fuel for life, and those who remain on empty simply cannot perform to their potential. Sleep problems are nothing new, and for decades, medications have been designed to help people get to sleep. Zimovane is used for short-term insomnia treatment.
Sleep medications have many less-than-desirable side effects that include dependency and addiction. Zimovane has been proven useful in short-term treatment, but those who continue to abuse it beyond its medical properties can harm themselves in more ways than one.
Zopiclone, better known as Zimovane, is a sedative-hypnotic used in the treatment of insomnia. It can only be obtained by a doctor’s prescription and is legally classified as a Schedule IV drug. It is part of the broad category of drugs known and depressants, and it affects the central nervous system (CNS). It works on the system in a fashion similar to alcohol and other hypnotic medications.
Zimovane works by slowing down the nervous system by increasing the efficiency of a specific neurotransmitter called gamma-Aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA. The naturally occurring chemical binds to GABA receptors. These receptors are responsible for controlling excitability in the nervous system. When these feelings are activated in the brain, they induce relaxation, reduce anxiety, and promotes sleep.
Zimovane is referred to as a Z-drug that is known for selectively binding to hypnotic and sleep-inducing GABA receptors. Z-drugs are the most recent creation of hypnotic medications. The first depressants were created in the late 1800s.
Barbiturates were introduced in the late 1800s as a means to curb sleeping problems. Unfortunately, they were soon found to cause adverse side effects and hold a high risk of dependence. Due to these effects, drug manufacturers rushed to create other substances to take their place. Benzodiazepines were introduced in the 1960s as an alternative but boast the same addictive traits as barbiturates.
Z-drugs are the latest innovation in the medication world, and these drugs were supposed to aid in sleep while possessing zero addictive qualities. Unfortunately, as time went on, Zimovane demonstrated companies’ worst fears. Those who consumed the drug even as prescribed exhibited signs of a growing dependence that lead to addiction.
There are specific signs associated with depressant abuse. While identifying an addiction in the early stages is difficult, it is helpful to learn the signs to stop an addiction from getting out of control. The first sign of substance abuse is a growing dependence on the drug. The same dose that was effective when you first began using will not work over time. You may start to take more of the substance to achieve the same effects. As GABA binds to the receptor, your brain will associate producing excitatory chemicals for balancing brain chemistry.
Tolerance often precedes a dependence, which is when the body adapts to a drug requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect. Once dependency has been reached, sudden cessation of the drug can lead to uncomfortable withdrawals. At this stage, your brain will need the drug to function at a level that it considers normal.
With the advances in modern medicine and addiction sciences, addiction is a treatable disease. There is no single cure for addiction, but it is possible to live a long and healthy life sober. There are several levels when it comes to treatment. The process starts off in the most intensive stage and slowly decreases to lower levels as the client stabilizes. This process is called the continuum of care.
Medical detox is the first and most intense level of care. This involves 24-hour supervision of the client while allowing them full access to a caring medical staff. This allows for a safe transition into sobriety while ridding the system of all toxins. The purpose of medical detox is if the withdrawals become too much to handle, the staff can administer medications to alleviate discomfort while ensuring your safety. The client’s safety is the first priority. Detox should never be done without medical supervision as it could be dangerous.
Immediately after detox, the medical staff will create a medical plan that outlines your next treatment steps. You could be placed in a residential treatment facility to continue your care. This would require a 30- to 90-day stay on site with other like-minded individuals on the road to a better life. You will attend therapies that get to the root of your addiction and treat the underlying causes fueling the addiction. This could be a dual diagnosis, which requires extensive therapy sessions to treat the addiction as well as the mental health issue. The team will also assist you in creating a relapse prevention plan to ensure long-term success.
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Zimovane is a safer alternative to drugs like benzodiazepines. All drugs, however, are inherently dangerous when abused. Zimovane can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and slowed reaction time, which can be deadly if a person is operating a motor vehicle. Auto accidents and slip and falls can be possible when using this medication.
Heavy doses of Zimovane or using the drug with alcohol can increase the likelihood of an overdose. Overdoses while using depressants can lead to respiratory depression that results in coma, brain damage, or death.
WIthdrawal symptoms from Zimovane can turn deadly in some cases as well. Depressants suppress excitatory brain functions, and sudden cessation of the drug can cause an overstimulation in the brain of these functions. This, in turn, can cause seizures or delirium tremens. These conditions can both prove fatal depending on the circumstances.
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Kripke, D. F. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890308/
American Society of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). from https://www.asam.org/resources/the-asam-criteria/about
Sleep Disorders. (n.d.). from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/sleep-disorders
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2004, September 16). gamma-Aminobutyric acid. from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/gamma-Aminobutyric-acid.