Sedative, Hypnotic Use Disorder

What Are Sedative, Hypnotic Use Disorders?

Sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics are a class of drugs including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and z-drugs.

These categories may not sound familiar, but the brand names within them certainly do. Popular benzodiazepines are Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam). Pentobarbital and Secobarbital are just two examples of common barbiturates. Z-drugs are probably ones you may think of as harmless sleep aids: Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Sonata (zaleplon), just to name a few.

These drugs act on the central nervous system. They’re usually prescribed as tranquilizers, either to calm anxiety or to aid in getting a full night’s rest. It’s important to remember that just because something has been prescribed by a doctor doesn’t mean it’s safe to use indiscriminately. When the doctor’s orders haven’t been followed, it opens the door for substance misuse. This can take several forms: one may consume increasing amounts of the drug, or they may forget to store it responsibly and their friends or family members could see an opportunity to sneak a few pills.

Sedatives and hypnotics are especially dangerous because they are highly addictive, even when taken at normal dosages over a period of time. Beyond this, they are depressants, which means that they affect respiration and brain function. When combined with other substances, particularly alcohol, the risks are enormous – respiration will be depressed, which can result in death.

FDA-Approved Medications for Sedative, Hypnotic Use Disorders

Just like each person’s addiction is unique, the specific path to treatment depends on the drug used. Our highly qualified team of medical experts will create a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs, always including a therapeutic approach with individual and group components. Generally, the abused drug is stopped, and supportive prescription medications that taper off in 1-2 weeks are used to prevent withdrawal and cravings.

Please note that we do not use diazepam. This highly addictive euphoric drug has several metabolites that complicate medication tapering.

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