An estimated 70 million Americans struggle each year to fall asleep. While the issue may not sound serious to those who achieve restful sleep each night, those unable to sleep will disagree. Drowsiness is a severe problem that can affect you in more ways than one. Drowsy driving, for example, is responsible for 1,550 fatalities each year, and another 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually. Restful sleep allows our body to fight off disease and helps improve mental health and focus. 

Another ailment individuals must contend with is anxiety, which is considered the most common mental health illness in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults struggle each year, causing adverse effects in an individual’s life. The severity of sleeplessness and anxiety lead a person to seek out ways to overcome these problems and gain control back in their life. 

Over time, scientists have created potent medicinal sleep aids and anti-anxiety medications that have varying effects. In the 60s, barbiturate medications were a popular means of battling sleep disorders and anxiety, but it became evident these drugs caused significant addiction. It led to developing, at the time, what was deemed a less addictive alternative in benzodiazepines. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines pose the same threat and drugs like estazolam cause addiction.

Estazolam is a well-known benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, and seizures. Unfortunately, abusing estazolam can lead to significant health risks that lead to chemical dependence and addiction.

What is Estazolam?

Estazolam is a potent benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, and seizures. You can only obtain the medication with a prescription from a physician. Although it’s used for its anxiolytic, hypnotic, and convulsant effects, it’s sometimes prescribed as a muscle relaxant. It belongs to a broader class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, shared by alcohol, barbiturates, and other sleep medications. Depressant drugs slow the excitability of the nervous system, causing physical and cognitive relaxation.

The primary issue of depressant drugs is their adverse effects, such as tolerance, dependence, addiction, and depression. Since the medication causes, in some cases, such undesirable results, it’s often used short-term to treat these ailments. After four weeks of continued benzo use, dependence and addiction become likely. You must never use benzos longer unless instructed otherwise by your primary care physician. It could end up making the issues treated much worse.  

In some situations, your doctor may find the positive effects of estazolam outweigh the negatives. Although estazolam addiction is a concern, those struggling with severe sleep symptoms will find relief due to its medium onset of action and medium duration of action. Unfortunately, faster-acting benzos are commonly abused, and estazolam is frequently used for its intoxicating properties.

The most common estazolam effects include euphoria, dizziness, relaxation, poor motor functions, loss of balance, loss of coordination, and sleepiness. Those who consume large amounts of estazolam increase their odds of becoming addicting or have a fatal overdose. You should never take more than the prescribed dose. 

What are the Signs of Estazolam Addiction?

If you’ve learned that a loved one is using estazolam for uses other than anxiety relief or to sleep, addiction may be imminent. Although drug abuse can remain hidden, there are outward signs you must learn to determine if experimentation has turned into dependence or addiction. The longer someone uses a drug like estazolam, the harder it will be to hide. If you’re concerned about estazolam use in yourself or a loved one, the following are common signs that indicate estazolam addiction or dependence.

  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Unusual sleep patterns
  • Irritability
  • Isolating
  • Nightmares
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Intoxication
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Failing performance at school or work
  • Lying about drug use
  • Loss of coordination

If you or someone you know has consumed estazolam or other benzos for an extended period, you might wonder if a substance use disorder is starting. Fortunately, these are signs to determine this. First, if you’ve developed a tolerance, it is the first sign of addiction. If you notice that the initial dose you started using has lost its effectiveness and you need more to reach those desired effects, you’ve developed a tolerance to estazolam. 

As tolerance to the drug begins to take hold, you’ll slowly become dependent on estazolam. This indicates that you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms if you cut back or stop using the medicine. Dependence will affect the communication pathways in the brain since your nervous system has become reliant on estazolam. It causes natural chemicals in the body to stop production, and cessation may cause dangerous effects. 

Although dependence doesn’t indicate addiction, it is a sign that you’re starting to transition deeper into the reliance on estazolam. Addiction is characterized by the continued use of estazolam despite clear consequences, such as stealing to support your habit, or getting a DUI and continuing to use. 

What is Involved in Estazolam Addiction Treatment?

Many individuals believe that because doctors prescribe drugs like estazolam that they are harmless. Unfortunately, estazolam addiction is a serious disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Despite the severity of addiction, it’s a treatable disease with the right combination of medication and therapy to net positive results. Estazolam, like other benzodiazepines, can cause fatal withdrawal symptoms without intervention. The first stage in treating addiction safely must be medical detox. 

Detox is the highest level of care in treatment, and it consists of 24-hour supervision, where the client is treated with medication and a dose of moral support. The medicines will help alleviate the worst symptoms and keep the client safe during these challenging moments. Once all estazolam traces have been removed from the system, the next level of treatment must be considered. 

Your team of addiction specialists will work to craft a medical plan tailored to your specific needs. This could mean residential or outpatient treatment, depending on a few factors, including your relapse history, the severity of the addiction, and if you have a safe place to live once you complete detox. Despite these factors and where you’re placed, you will be a part of therapy sessions that help you deal with triggers. Behavioral therapies are the most common for creating relapse prevention plans. 

Getting trapped in a life of addiction is something none of us plan for. Fortunately, you can plan on getting the right help to right any wrongs. Addiction is a scary prospect for even the strongest person, but it takes an exceptional individual to admit they need help and take advantage of their opportunities. With all the options available, you don’t have to struggle for another minute stuck in active addiction. 

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