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Lunesta: Addiction and Treatment

Opioids, sometimes called narcotics, are a type of drug that include strong prescription pain relievers.

Lunesta Oral: Uses, Side Effects and addiction

Lunesta, the brand name for the drug Eszopiclone, is a sedative-hypnotic and is widely used as a prescription medication for those who struggle with insomnia.

The use of Eszopiclone is rising in the UK, as the medicine is more frequently prescribed for insomniacs, something that affects around 1/3 people in the UK.

Due to the frequency of insomnia, many turn to their doctor for medication, however, Lunesta is at risk of being abused and incidences of its misuse are on the rise.

How Does Lunesta Work?

Lunesta belongs to a class of drugs called hypnotics, which depresses or essentially slows down, activity in the brain and central nervous system, culminating in a relaxed state of mind and body and inducing sleep.

The drug works effectively, there have been over 31 million prescriptions for Lunesta written since the drug hit the market in 2004.

However, the danger lies in its effects wearing off, which can lead to a higher dosage being taken, or a user becoming reliant on the drug as a sleeping aid, which can formulate addiction.

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Is Lunesta Addictive?

Lunesta, like any drug, can become addictive. Lunesta poses a higher risk of addiction as the body adjusts to the effects of the drug, as higher doses are needed to obtain the same results, leading to a higher dosage, and potential misuse.

Excessive doses of Lunesta can also cause a euphoric effect, which increases the drug’s risk of abuse.

Dangerous Side Effects of Abusing Lunesta

Combining Lunesta with alcohol is especially dangerous – which is easily done at home – as both drugs are Central Nervous System Depressants.

Taking Lunesta with other drugs increases the risk of overdose, which can be fatal.

Overdose can also be caused by exceeding the prescribed dose, which can happen as the body starts to become used to the effects of the drugs. Patients taking prescription sleep aids regularly were nearly five times as likely as non-users to die over two and a half years, according to the BMJ.

Short-term Effects of Lunesta

Lunesta can result in an array of physiological and mental side effects for the user, which can be incredibly unpleasant. Short terms effects of Lunesta may include:

  • Excessive grogginess
  • Poor coordination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Dizziness/Drowsiness

When people take high doses of Lunesta, they may find themselves engaging in risky sleep activities whilst under the influence of the drug. These can be incredibly distressing for the user upon waking, or for peers around them who see them undertaking the following:

  • Walking during sleep
  • Driving during sleep
  • Eating during sleep, Having sex whilst asleep

Long-term Effects of Lunesta

As with any drug, taking Lunesta over a sustained period can culminate in wide-ranging, long-term effects. These include:

  • Worsening depression in people who have a history of the condition
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Amnesia and/or Irregular heartbeats
  • Hallucinations, Joint pain or swelling
  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Agitation/Worsened sleeping patterns

Signs of Lunesta Overdose

An overdose is a medical emergency and can happen with any drug, prescription or illicit. Lunesta users increasingly need to take a higher dosage of the drug in order to feel its effects, which can cause an overdose. It’s incredibly important to be vigilant of such a situation, and signs of a Lunesta overdose may include:

  • The user becoming unconscious and unresponsive
  • Slow breathing, or breathing stopping altogether
  • Shallow breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Lowered the heart rate
  • Lowered bloody pressure

Overdose can be incredibly harmful, and when taken in high doses, or alongside other drugs, a Lunesta overdose may result in coma, brain damage, or even death. If you think someone may be experiencing a drug overdose, do not hesitate to contact emergency medical services.

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Castle Craig in summer

Lunesta Detox and Withdrawal

Detox for Lunesta is needed to treat addiction, and the purpose of a medical detox is to help patients gradually achieve sobriety, in a clinically secure setting.

Withdrawal can be challenging and may occur as soon as 24 hours after someone has stopped taking Lunesta. However, when you undergo withdrawal in a clinical setting, you’re in safe hands. Castle Craig commits to providing the most comfortable experience possible while taking a holistic approach to your treatment journey.

Lunesta withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from 24 hours to 3 weeks, and may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Unusual dreams
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach

Whilst these withdrawal symptoms may be unsettling, rest assured, the Castle Craig team works around the clock to ensure your comfort throughout the withdrawal process.

Treatment for Lunesta Addiction

Lunesta addiction is treatable, and the hardest part is taking that first step to accepting that you need to seek recovery. Castle Craig is a safe, non-judgmental environment and we are advocates for lifelong recovery, providing a treatment experience that will instil you with lifelong coping mechanisms, and provide you with tools to build towards a happier, healthier life.

Addiction is a chronic disease, and ongoing sobriety requires continuous effort, long after formal Lunesta treatment is over. Castle Craig is dedicated to providing ongoing patient aftercare, as we are committed to the full journey of patient recovery, rather than just an immediate fix.

Lunesta Addiction and Rehab

The word rehab can sound scary, but this is the furthest thing from our treatment plan. Situated in the rolling Scottish hills, Castle Craig is the optimal setting for your rehabilitation journey.

Rates of prescription sleeping pill abuse, such as that of Lunesta, are on the rise, and whilst not as well-understood as other drug addictions, they are just as debilitating. It can be scary to seek help for something you don’t quite understand, but Castle Craig has everything in place to offer you a treatment programme based on your individual needs.

Rehab from Lunesta at Castle Craig involves psychotherapy within our residential rehab programme. During therapy, the patient, along with their therapist will address the psychological underpinnings of Lunesta addiction, as this is a key area to address, that will further the success of recovery.

Castle Craig is also experienced in treating dual-diagnosis disorders, which are common among Lunesta users.

Alongside the core components of the programme, Castle Craig also offers individual counselling and group therapy sessions, along with other complementary therapies, educational lectures and relapse prevention seminars. This is all complemented by holistic therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and mindfulness.

Castle Craig and You: Beginning Your Journey to Recovery

addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, ongoing sobriety is something that requires continuous effort, long after formal Lunesta treatment is over. 

Addiction is an incredibly hard and challenging time for yourself and those around you, especially with Lunesta, a drug that isn’t widely known or understood in the UK. Castle Craig recognises how scary it can be to seek help and we pride ourselves on providing an entirely non-judgemental environment. Our staff give the highest level of support and care, as they are trained and equipped to focus on more than just the addiction, providing a holistic approach to your recovery and aftercare.

Our patient satisfaction rate of 98% exemplifies how the attention given by staff, who seek to make you feel deeply comfortable throughout your stay with us.

If you’re ready to seek support, contact us for advice on how to begin your road recovery. We’re here to help.

 Join over 7000 people who have recovered from addiction: call 01721 722 763.

Also see: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/mental-health/insomnia

Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked December 15, 2021