Table of Contents
Why Are Sleeping Pills Used For Suicide?
Sleeping pills, also called hypnotic or soporific drugs, are a class of medication prescribed for treating insomnia and other sleep disorders. They are classified as psychoactive medicines since they alter the nervous system to induce sleep. Since their function overlaps with sedative medicines, sleeping pills are termed sedative-hypnotic drugs. Many prescription medications capable of initiating or sustaining sleep, or even relieving anxiety, function as sleeping pills.
These include the popular brand called Ambien, antihistamines like Benadryl, Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax, and antidepressants. Due to their tranquilizing properties, individuals are rarely placed on sleeping pills for very long periods to discourage dependence. Instead, alternative methods to treat insomnia are recommended. These may include hypnosis, massage therapies, and changing the sleeping environment and diet.
Sleeping Pills as Causes of Suicide
There have been many reports of individuals who committed suicide or attempted to using sleeping pills. These drugs are likely chosen for such tragic missions due to their tranquilizing and drowsy effects. Individuals who decide to take their lives for any reason assume this a safe, painless way to do so.
Several risks like depressed breathing, confusion, and motor skills loss can be associated with taking sleeping pills. Also, exceeding prescriptions for sleeping tablets and taking more than is recommended can lead to hallucinations. Thoughts of suicide are one such delusion reported from this abuse. As earlier stated, using hypnotic drugs for too long can lead to addiction as the body builds tolerance and finds it difficult to relax without them. Acute dependence on sleeping pills results in confusion and dizziness which puts individuals at risk of physical harm.
However, one must never stop taking these drugs without medical supervision, or severe withdrawal symptoms that can become lethal may manifest. Some of these symptoms are rebound insomnia, anxiety, hand tremors, body spasms, and blood circulation problems. Thus, proper care must be taken with the prescription, administration, and usage of sleeping pills.
Find Help for Addiction to Sleeping Pills
If you or a loved one becomes dependent on a sleeping tablet, it is essential to seek help immediately. If the individual begins to entertain or manifest suicidal thoughts and behaviors, the need for treatment becomes even more crucial. The primary aid such persons require is discontinuing the sleeping drug. This process is known as detoxification.
Since these drugs should not be stopped abruptly, individuals are instead tapered off the substance. Tapering off involves a steady decrease in the dosage of sleeping pills administered to accommodate the body to do without them. Several treatment facilities offer medical detoxification programs in residential or outpatient care to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is one effective way to treat sleeplessness to avoid relapse.
NJ Addiction Resources guides individuals through the recovery process. We can connect you to a treatment center close to you that offers family-oriented programs for healing. These programs are personalized to each individual to sustain recovery and are accessible on medical insurance. Residents of New Jersey can contact our recovery advocates today to get started. If you’re thinking about suicide, please contact emergency services immediately or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.