Sleep disorders are a severe problem that is often understated. For a vast majority of people, it is a struggle to either fall asleep or to stay asleep each night. Unfortunately, the consequences are more severe than a bit of sleepiness the following day. Poor sleep can cause various issues in life from health issues to poor cognitive functions. While rest is important, millions of people struggle with sleep disorders each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a third of adults in the United States do not get the recommended amount of sleep each night. Specific sleep orders such as insomnia keep many individuals from falling asleep, while other sleep issues may cause them to wake up throughout the night.
Due to the importance of sleep and, because sleeplessness is so common, it’s easy to understand why there has been a focal point around chemical help for these issues. The United States has experimented with many chemical compounds and medications that induce sleep. Currently, there are several medications available with the goal of getting you to sleep fast. One of these medications, Zimovane, is a prescription sleep aid that is used as a short-term treatment for insomnia.
Unfortunately, though, sleep medications have a history of undesirable side effects which include dependency and addiction. While Zimovane was created with that mind, there is still a potential it could create dependence and potential harm. Learn more about this prescription medication and what can happen if you become addicted.
What is Zimovane
Zopiclone, otherwise known as Zimovane, is sold as a prescription insomnia medication. The DEA classifies it as a Schedule IV drug meaning that it’s only legal to have as long as you have a prescription from a doctor. It falls under the broad category of central nervous system (CNS) depressants like other hypnotic medications and alcohol.
Depressant drugs slow down the nervous system by increasing the efficiency of a specific neurotransmitter known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and this naturally occurring chemical binds to GABA receptors. These are responsible for controlling excitability in the nervous system, and when activated, it causes feelings of relaxation, eases anxiety, and promotes better and restful sleep.
Zimovane falls into a category known as Z-drugs which have a high affinity for selectively binding to hypnotic, sleep-inducing sites on specific GABA receptors. Z-drugs are the most modern of hypnotic medications in a line that began in the late 1800s.
The first medications used to treat these ailments were known as barbiturates, and these were used throughout the first half of the 20th century. Barbiturates were mostly ousted when public perception began to drop because of the adverse side effects.
There is a high risk of dependence and addiction, and it had a reputation for making sleep disorders much worse. In the 1960s and 1970s, barbiturates were replaced by benzodiazepines like Valium, and they are still widely used today. Unfortunately, they come with some of the same adverse side effects.
Z-drugs work similarly to benzos even though the chemical structure is different. When they were developed, it was said that they would hold a much lower risk to become addicted which gave the public that perception as well. Unfortunately, studies have suggested they are equally as likely to lead to dependence when abused.
Some may abuse Zimovane for its effects because it has similar intoxicating properties to alcohol. In rare cases, dependence can occur through regular use of the drug if it is consumed over a long period. For reasons unknown to scientists, dependence occurs more quickly in the elderly.
What are the Signs of Zimovane Addiction
Zimovane starts to shows real signs when a substance use disorder is beginning to develop, and being aware of these signs, can mean addressing the issue early and avoiding dangerous consequences. The first sign in a substance use disorder is tolerance. Tolerance happens when the drug starts to feel weaker over time when you take a standard dose. The dose will start becoming less effective than it was initially, and this is because your body is becoming tolerant to the effects of the drug. When GABA binds to receptors, the brain starts producing excitatory chemicals to balance brain chemistry. To achieve the same effects as the initial dose you were taking; you may find yourself taking larger doses more frequently.
Dependence typically follows feelings of tolerance. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), dependence is when the body adapts to the drug, requiring more of it to achieve a specific effect (tolerance) and eliciting drug-specific physical or mental symptoms if drug use is abruptly ceased (withdrawal).
Withdrawal symptoms are an indicator that you’ve become dependent on the drug. If you feel any of the following symptoms when you skip a dose or stop using Zimovane, it clearly points to chemical dependence. These include:
- Muscle or joint pain
Addiction typically follows dependence, and even though dependence and addiction are thought of as interchangeable, there is a difference. Addiction is characterized by the use of a drug despite consequences. If you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of Zimovane and get arrested for a DUI, but continue to use the drug, this is a sign of addiction.
What is Involved in Zimovane Addiction Treatment
Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease with no known cure, but it is treatable with evidence-based therapies and interventions. Addiction treatment follows a path through many levels of care that descends in its level of intensity. The process is called the continuum of care, and the continuum often starts with detoxification, especially when depressant drugs like Zimovan are involved.
Medical detox is the first and most intensive level of care. It involves around the clock medically managed care. In the event of Zimovane addiction, it is medically necessary to recover under the supervision of professionals to ensure you mitigate any dangers that are often involved. During detox, staff can help you wean off the drug safely and monitor symptoms.
In the event of becoming addicted to a drug, detox must be followed by addiction treatment. It will involve a tailored treatment plan that is based on your specific needs. The most beneficial addiction treatments will involve evidence-based behavioral therapies that are focused on addressing underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Your staff could determine that you have a dual diagnosis where depression or anxiety are fueling the addiction. The addiction specialists will help you develop strategies to stave off relapse and continue on the road toward recovery.
How Dangerous is Zimovane
Zimovane was initially designed to be a safer alternative to benzodiazepines, but they have some less than desirable side effects like other sleep aids. Zimovane can cause drowsiness dizziness, and slowed reaction time that can be a recipe for disaster for someone operating a motor vehicle. Auto accidents and falls are a reality when using these medications, especially when it’s abused. The elderly have an increased risk of impairment which can lead to accidents.
Zimovane Abuse Statistics
- Zimovane has been found to increase the risk of an auto accident by 50 percent
- Hypnotics can increase your likelihood of dying at night by 15 percent
- About four percent of U.S. adults age 20 or older reported taking prescription sleep aids in the past 30 days.