Lunesta is a prescription drug used as a sleep aid. Lunesta, which has the generic name eszopiclone, is intended only as a short-term medication. It isn’t usually prescribed for more than ten days because of the risks of abuse and addiction that can stem from its use. Lunesta is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It slows the activity of the CNS and, as a result, provides calming and tranquilizing effects. Lunesta is technically classified as a sedative-hypnotic, but its effects are similar in many ways to those of the benzodiazepine drug class.
Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States that continues to grow in severity. While opioids are the most abused prescription drugs in the U.S., depressants like Lunesta are also widely abused. For many people, prescription drug abuse begins with taking the medication as instructed by a doctor. It can be tough to recognize the symptoms of abuse. This is what makes prescription drug abuse so dangerous and, in some cases, deadly. There can also be a false sense of safety that comes with prescription drug use. Prescription drug abuse refers to a scenario in which the medication is used in any way other than as prescribed. Signs of Lunesta abuse can include:
- Taking it for longer than the intended time period
- Using higher doses of Lunesta
- Combining Lunesta with another substance, such as alcohol
- Taking Lunesta differently than how it’s prescribed, such as chewing it
- Taking Lunesta more frequently than as prescribed
There are two primary symptoms of Lunesta abuse that can occur. The first is dependence and the second is addiction. When someone is abusing Lunesta, they can develop a tolerance. With Lunesta, tolerance develops very quickly. Tolerance means that a person needs to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. When someone develops a tolerance to a drug, they’re also likely to become physically dependent.
Another symptom of Lunesta abuse is addiction, which is characterized by uncontrolled, compulsive use of a substance. People who are addicted to prescription drugs tend to start focusing their life on that drug. They may think a great deal about getting more of it or maintaining a stash. When someone is focusing that much on a substance, it can cause problems in other areas of their life. Lunesta abuse can result in declining school or work performance, and problems with relationships. There can also be more obvious outward side effects of Lunesta abuse that occur, particularly the longer someone uses the medication. These side effects may include:
- Seeming drowsy or confused -even during the day
- New or worsening psychological side effects, such as depression
- Memory problems
- Slurred speech
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Changes in mood or hostility
- Impaired judgment and decision-making
- Engaging in risky behaviors
Lunesta addiction occurs in people who abuse the drug; however, if someone is abusing Lunesta it doesn’t necessarily mean they are addicted. Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing drug disease. The primary symptom of drug addiction is compulsive drug seeking and use, even when negative consequences occur as a result. Lunesta addiction is considered to be a disease because the substance changes the brain. Signs of Lunesta addiction include:
- Taking larger amounts of Lunesta than intended
- Intense cravings
- Failed attempts to stop using Lunesta
- A significant amount of time and attention are dedicated to getting more Lunesta, using it or recovering from the effects
- Failure to meet other obligations because of the use of Lunesta
- Using Lunesta even when there are known negative physical effects
- Tolerance and physical dependence
Additionally, it’s very common for people who abuse Lunesta to have other substance abuse problems or addictions as well. This is called polysubstance abuse. People who abuse Lunesta may combine it with other CNS depressants like alcohol or opioids or use it to come down from the side effects of a stimulant drug like cocaine.
Two of the most common Lunesta long-term effects are dependence and addiction. Dependence and addiction can affect every part of a person’s life. People who are addicted to prescription drugs may have legal, financial and social problems. Over time, people who continue to use or abuse Lunesta may experience a serious decline in cognitive ability and memory. They may be unable to fall asleep without it and they may start to develop psychological side effects, such as depression or anxiety.
Addiction is a disease, but treatment can lead to recovery and the opportunity to live a fulfilling life once again. Contact The Recovery Village to learn more.
Lunesta Withdrawal and Detox
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