Sonata (zaleplon in its generic form) is a sedative-hypnotic prescription sleep aid. Sonata is classified as a Schedule IV drug in the United States, meaning that it has medical uses but there is also a potential for abuse and dependence. Sonata is a central nervous system depressant. It affects the central nervous system much like benzodiazepines. Sonata interacts with GABA receptors. GABA is a neurotransmitter that slows down brain activity. Sonata helps increase the effects of GABA, which is why it creates feelings of relaxation and drowsiness.
While Sonata can help temporarily alleviate insomnia symptoms, it does have the potential for recreational use. Sonata can cause feelings of euphoria or a pleasant sense of relaxation. When Sonata is used recreationally, it increases the likelihood of someone developing an addiction. Additionally, the drug can cause blackouts. People who use prescription sleep aids sometimes report instances of doing things without any memory. These blackouts can include sleepwalking, eating, or even driving. People are advised not to combine Sonata with any other substance and to only take it right before bed at the prescribed dose to reduce the risk of a blackout. Other side effects of Sonata use can include coordination impairment, slurred speech, muscle weakness, headaches and nausea.
Mixing alcohol and Sonata is common. Sometimes people may inadvertently mix alcohol and Sonata, not realizing the potential risks. In other cases, alcohol and Sonata may be used together, recreationally, to produce a feeling of intoxication. It’s never a good idea to mix alcohol and Sonata; side effects of this combination can be severe and dangerous.
Both alcohol and Sonata affect GABA in the brain and both depress the central nervous system. The effects of both substances are similar, and if they’re used together a person is likely to be very intoxicated. For example, a person missing these two substances may fall down or suffer a loss of motor control. When someone is heavily intoxicated, they’re at a greater risk of being involved in an accident or a dangerous situation. Mixing alcohol and Sonata can also increase the risk of a blackout.
Using Sonata on its own doesn’t carry a high risk of overdose. However, when alcohol and Sonata are used together this changes. Alcohol and Sonata can lead to overdoses and fatal respiratory depression. Since both substances depress the central nervous system, the combination can slow breathing and the heart rate. People may overdose from the dangerous combination and choke on their own vomit, experience brain damage, or die. Sonata should never be used with any other central nervous system depressant due to these dangerous consequences.
Alcohol and Sonata are never a good combination. Side effects can include profound intoxication, blackouts, an increased risk of sleepwalking, being in an accident, and fatal overdose. It also increases the risk of a polysubstance abuse problem. Many people who go to addiction treatment for Sonata also have another simultaneous addiction to something like alcohol. That makes detox and alcohol treatment a more complex and difficult situation.
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