October 10th, 2023
Sleeping pill addiction can be a difficult thing to overcome. Sleeping pill detox is the best way to get started so that you can break your physical dependence before going on to sleeping pill rehab. Sleeping pill detox can be an intimidating process which can cause major anxiety and stop people from seeking help. However, without detox, it is very difficult to start on the path to recovery.
On this page, we will explain the sleeping pill detox process in detail to help put your mind at ease. We will discuss the signs that you need to detox, the withdrawal symptoms you can expect and how to detox safely and comfortably.
What is sleeping pill detox?
Sleeping pill detox is the process of removing all traces of sleeping pills from your system. In essence, this simply means stopping taking the drug and allowing your body to clear it all out. It is a necessary step in the recovery process but it can be unpleasant as you are likely to experience sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms.
The effects of sleeping pill withdrawal
Sleeping pills work by depressing the central nervous system and slowing brain activity helping you fall asleep. Over time your brain and body become used to the presence of sleeping pills and rely on them to feel “normal”.
When you go through sleeping pill detox your body is suddenly without the chemical it has come to rely on. A chemical imbalance is created and your body will start to crave sleeping pills until all the drugs have been removed from your system or until you relapse and start taking them again. These cravings manifest themselves in sleeping pills withdrawal symptoms which can be very unpleasant. The most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle pain
More severe sleeping pill withdrawal side effects include:
While these are not common, different people react to the withdrawal of sleeping pills in different ways depending on the extent of their use, their general health and other factors. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects before you start detox so that you can be prepared for what is to come.
Another danger to keep in mind is if you relapse and take sleeping pills after a period of detox. Tolerance can very quickly decline so if you try to take the same amount as you did before, you risk overdosing which can be potentially fatal.
How to complete sleeping pills detox safely
You may be considering detoxing from sleeping pills at home alone but this is not recommended as it can be very dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms from sleeping pills can be severe and without medical assistance and supervision, can potentially even be life-threatening.
It is important to detox under the care of a medical professional who can monitor your condition and give you the support you need to get through the process safely. This is best done at a professional detox centre where the staff will help you stay safe and comfortable until the detox process is complete.
Upon admission to a UKAT recovery centre, you will undergo a full medical examination to ensure that you are physically and mentally ready for a detox. You will then be given a sleeping pill detox plan which will gradually reduce your dosage of sleeping pills until you are completely off them. This is done to minimise the risk of withdrawal symptoms and to make the process as comfortable as possible.
You will most likely still experience sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms but with professional assistance, you will be able to manage them and complete your detox safely.
What to expect during sleeping pills detox
Sleeping pill detox usually takes around three weeks depending on the severity of your condition and how long you have been taking sleeping pills. It is important to remember that everyone is different and will experience detox differently.
Detox should not be considered a “quick fix” and it is important to be patient and take things one day at a time. The detox process can be difficult but it is important to remember that it is only temporary and that the goal is to get you off sleeping pills for good so that you can start living a healthy, drug-free life.
Here is a general timeline of the process and the common withdrawal symptoms of sleeping pills detox:
Week 1 – Withdrawal symptoms begin. The onset of sleeping pill withdrawal will usually begin around 24 hours after you last took the drug. At this time, the main withdrawal symptoms will include anxiety, insomnia, confusion, forgetfulness, mood changes and vomiting. During this period, it is very important to have medical professionals monitor your condition around the clock so that they can take the appropriate steps to keep you safe and comfortable.
Week 2 – The peak of withdrawal symptoms. During this time, you may start to experience frequent or chronic heads, extreme nausea, muscle pain and constant vomiting. By the end of week two, these symptoms will start to subside.
Week 3 – At the end of the third week, all physical sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms should be coming to an end. However, you may still experience cravings and some mental symptoms like mild depression for several weeks or months if you were a heavy sleeping pill user. During this time, you will be in therapy so your therapists can help you deal with these.
The benefits of detox on the body and mind
Sleeping pills detox can have many benefits on the mind and body. The first benefit is that you will no longer be taking a dangerous drug which can have serious side effects.
Detoxing from sleeping pills can also help to improve your mental health as it can relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also help to improve your sleeping patterns and increase your energy levels.
In addition, sleeping pills detox can help to improve your physical health as it can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, liver damage and cancer. Sleeping pill detox can also help to boost your immune system and improve your digestion.
Do I need sleeping pill detox?
Recognising sleeping pill addiction in yourself can be difficult because it is a very treacherous and deceptive condition with symptoms that can be subtle and easy to ignore. However, it is important to be able to spot these signs both in yourself if you take sleeping pills and in loved ones who may require sleeping pill detox.
Common misconceptions about sleeping pill detox
There are many myths about sleeping pills which are widely believed but are not true. It is important to be able to separate fact from fiction so that you are not unduly worried and are well-informed about the right course of action:
- Sleeping pills are prescription medicine so are safe to detox from at home…
Sleeping pill detox is potentially very dangerous and there are people who have died when detoxing from sleeping pills at home. It is important to detox under medical supervision in a safe and controlled environment.
- Sleeping pill withdrawal is less intense than withdrawal from illegal drugs…
Sleeping pill withdrawal can be just as intense as withdrawal from illegal drugs as many share chemical similarities.
- After sleeping pill detox, you will be cured…
Effective treatment for sleeping pill addiction requires both detox and a comprehensive recovery programme.
What to do next
When it comes to sleeping pill detox, the earlier you seek help, the better. You can receive free detox services through the NHS rehab, but it doesn’t provide the same levels of support and care because you won’t be able to stay in the hospital while you are going through sleeping pill withdrawal.
At UKAT, we provide comprehensive detox programmes for sleeping pill detox. You will receive 24/7 support from our doctor and a team of nurses throughout your stay. When you first arrive you will be given a full medical assessment so that our professional staff can assess your personal needs and decide on the best detox programme. Once you have finished your sleeping pill detox, we then offer a full treatment programme at our inpatient detox centre so you can achieve long-term sobriety.
Get in touch with us today for more information about our sleeping pill detox programmes.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I find a sleeping pill detox programme?
We have eight sleeping pill detox treatment centres
around the UK that can provide you with a comprehensive detox programme and get you ready for the next stages of treatment. Get in touch with us
today and we will help you choose the most convenient centre for you.
How can I help a loved one going through sleeping pill withdrawal?
If your loved one is planning to detox from sleeping pills at home, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek professional help as soon as possible. If they are already in a detox programme
, you can support them by visiting them (if the detox centre allows) and being a shoulder to lean on whenever they are going through difficult times.
Is it possible to undergo therapy without sleeping pill detox?
Starting therapy for addiction
without first going through sleeping pill detox is very unlikely to be successful because you will still have a full physical dependence on the drugs. Detox helps you to break the physical dependence so that you can then focus on the psychological aspect of your addiction
during your therapy programme.