3 years ago, i suffered a breakdown. Whilst in hospital, i was given the sleeping pill "Zopiclone" at it's highest dosage.
When i left hospital, i was still prescribed it. This drug was once peddled on the market as a non addictive version of Benzodiazepines (Valium,
Ativan and the like). They are a different make up to Benzodiazepines, but work on the exact same gaba receptors.
Little did they know (or did they?) they are just as bad as Benzodiazepines in their addictive qualities (which they are discovering more and more
I found myself becoming very tolerant to them and needing more, i would run out of my script early and suffer horrendous withdrawals before my next
script was filled. I discovered a way of getting hold of more and started taking 4-5 tablets daily, along with the occasional Benzo (Ativan,
Clonazepam and Xanax) which are cross tolerant with the Z-Drugs.
Last year, i got so ill i thought i had something like MS because of the symptoms i was suffering. Deep down i knew it was the tablets, but went along
to the doctors anyway to get myself tested for allsorts, all coming back clear. I walked away and researched these tablets fully (i wish i would have
done it sooner). I realised i was suffering interdose and tolerance withdrawals from the drugs, once i started spacing them out evenly throughout the
day, i found myself becoming better. I then picked up the phone and rang my local substance misuse team and told them i needed help.
I have done a slow crossover to Diazepam (valium), which has taken about 8 weeks. Now i will slowly taper off these evil things, which could take up
to 6 months with a host of withdrawal symptoms. You can't cold turkey from these drugs, especially if you've been on them long term and taken many a
day. You could end up having seizures and awful protracted withdrawals which can last upto a year to two years. For some it can take your central
nervous system a long time to heal from these drugs.
It surprised me that i was allowed scripts for such a long time. I call my addiction accidental, because if i was never prescribed these things, i
would never have become addicted to them.
They are only intended for short term use and even if you use them short term it can be hard to stop them. Some Doctors are very ignorant when it
comes to the addictive qualities to these types of drugs. They are often given out for Anxiety and Insomnia like sweets, but are a double edged sword
and can end up making things worse. Then when the Patient walks into their Doctors office and says my problems are worse (usually because they are
suffering from interdose or tolerance withdrawals) the Doctor often ups the dosage.
It's lucky i don't drink at all anymore and haven't for some years, because if i was adding alcohol to the mix i would have been in serious danger of
I also take an Anti-Depressant and an Anti-Psychotic. I believe these are way over prescribed too. For me they have helped me tremendously (but for a
lot of people they are not often needed). When i have finished my taper from the "Evil" pills as i call them, and have healed i will be looking into
getting off the other drugs too.
I would like to say, if you are ever offered Benzo's for Anxiety, or Z-drugs for Insomnia, do not accept them. You can become incredibly addicted to
them. There are other ways of coping with Anxiety and Insomnia if you do a little research.
If you have a severe mental health problem, drugs such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can be helpful if needed. But if you are just mildly
depressed, anxious, or stressed, there are other ways of dealing with these problems rather than taking pills.
edit on 16-2-2012 by skitzspiricy because: (no reason given)