The Dangers of Sleeping Pill Abuse

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Sleeping pills are drugs prescribed to insomniacs or people who suffer from sleepless nights or disturbed sleep. In the US, about 10% of adults suffer from sleeping disorders. Sleeping pills are formulated with sedatives and downers to induce sleep. Although strictly used to treat insomnia, some people tend to get addicted to sleeping pills. Statistics show that severe pill abuse claims millions of lives every year.

The first step towards treating addiction of any kind is to acknowledge that you have a problem and that you need help. From there, you can reach out to people who will help you overcome your addiction.

Common Signs of Sleeping Pill Addiction

Addiction is a serious mental disease that needs to be addressed right away. Below are the most common signs and symptoms of sleeping pill addiction:

  • Cannot cope emotionally and physically without taking a sleeping pill
  • Shaking when dosage is reduced or drug is stopped
  • Obsession with obtaining sleeping pills
  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Defensiveness over drug use
  • Reduction in social and personal responsibilities
  • Inability to sleep without popping a sleeping pill
  • Deteriorating grooming and personal hygiene

The Dangers of Sleeping Pill Addiction

Sleeping pills cause mental and physical risks that could sometimes lead to accidents. Below are some of the most disturbing effects of sleeping pills:


Potent sleeping pills could cause parasomnias. Parasomnias refer to an umbrella of unusual behaviors and actions over which you have absolutely no control such as sleepwalking. During an episode, you are asleep and unaware of what you are doing. Likely actions during a bout of parasomnia include eating, sleep driving, making phone calls, and even having sex.


The effects of sleeping pills are sometimes gradual, but other times, the medication will knock you out without warning. This makes pill popping dangerous when operating heavy machinery, while driving, or while out running errands. There were cases wherein patients met accidents due to sleeping pills. Apart from losing consciousness, the drug affects a person’s sense of coordination. This increases the risk of accidents.

Effects on Personal and Professional Relationships

Unsupervised and uncontrolled use of sleeping pills could affect personal and professional relationships negatively. Any type of substance abuse can affect personal relations and sleeping pill addiction is no different. Addiction to sleeping pills could lead to job loss, legal issues, financial problems, and mental disorders.

Mental and Psychological Problems

Popping sleeping pills incessantly could lead to mental slowing, memory loss, and lack of focus. It could lead to daytime drowsiness, behavioral changes, and withdrawal symptoms. Sleeping pill abuse could lead to depression and an increased risk of suicide.


Addiction to sleeping pills is rarely fatal unless the user mixes different sleeping pills with alcohol or the dosage has exceeded to fatal levels. Sleeping pills are especially dangerous when mixed with alcoholic drinks. Mixing different drugs with alcohol kills hundreds of users each year.

Physical and Health Deterioration

Addiction to sleeping pills leads to the deterioration in the quality of life. It could also lead to organ failure, liver disease, respiratory problems, blurry vision, and other health problems. The user could spend hours high on the drug without eating or interacting with others.