Lunesta Addiction

Lunesta is widely used as a short-term solution for insomnia due to its potential to form dependence and addiction within just a few weeks.

Eszopiclone addiction | Table of Contents

Understanding Lunesta (Eszopiclone)

Lunesta is a non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic generally prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. As the brand name for eszopiclone, It falls into the category of commercial sleep-inducing sedatives known as the Z drugs, along with Ambien and Sonata. Lunesta pills are available in circular, white, or blue coloring in the strengths of 1mg, 2mg, and 3mg. Although it is produced to be consumed orally, some may tend to snort it to amplify the effects.

Lunesta operates by connecting itself to the brain receptors and slowing down overactive brain functions, resulting in quicker and longer sleep cycles in users. Lunesta is a highly-regulated substance only meant for short-term use, as it holds massive potential for abuse. Although these drugs cannot be purchased over the counter, addicts find numerous ways to obtain them illegally. The street names for Lunesta include Sleepers, Zombies, and Sleepeasies. Lunesta and other sleeping pills generally react immediately after consumption by speeding up deep sleep onset. This implies that the user will fall asleep right after taking it.

Lunesta is one of three drugs primarily used to treat moderate to severe insomnia. Since Ambien, another drug similar to Lunesta has received undesirable media coverage due to the many lawsuits against it. Since then, Lunesta has become a safer option for many insomnia patients. However, this should not make one overlook the dangers of Lunesta, as most of the side effects prevalent in Ambien are also present in Lunesta.


Is Lunesta safe?

Lunesta can be detrimental if it’s paired with alcohol or taken more than prescribed. It is also an addictive and habit-forming medication with severe side effects.

Does Lunesta have side effects?

Some of the common side effects of Lunesta are dizziness, anxiety, feeling hungover, day-time drowsiness, problems with memory or concentration, headache, depression, stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, feeling constipated, and unusual taste in the mouth.

Lunesta Effects, Abuse, and Addiction

Most patients incorporate Lunesta as a sleeping aid to their nightly routine. Since the drug was never meant to be a long term solution, such practices can lead to the formation of dependence, tolerance, and addiction. Any amount of Lunesta used beyond the prescribed period and dosage is considered abuse.

Abusive behaviors to look out for are:

  • Ingesting the drug for reasons other than prescribed.
  • Crushing the pills into a powder form and snorting it.
  • Taking in more than the recommended or prescribed doses.
  • Using Lunesta without a proper prescription or for longer than advised.
  • Consumption of Lunesta during waking hours.

Trying to fight off the drugs’ effects can make the individual experience adverse side effects such as lightheadedness and hallucinations.

Other signs of Lunesta abuse are:

  • Feeling drowsy most times of the day
  • Forming unusual sleeping patterns or sleeping way more than usual
  • Profuse sweating
  • Extreme irritability
  • Mental confusion
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Frequent hiccups
  • Abnormal changes to weight
  • Wrestling with the urge to sleep so he/she could experience the euphoric effects of the medication

Lunesta benefits many patients struggling with insomnia find uninterrupted, deep sleep, which can drastically enhance energy levels and cognitive functions the next day. Certain others consume Lunesta to enjoy the calming and drowsy sensation it produces but consuming the drug over the prescribed duration will lead to adverse consequences such as periods of amnesia.


How long does it take for Lunesta to kick in?

Lunesta is rapidly absorbed and starts working as soon as it is taken. The concentrations peak in the blood at around forty-five minutes to over an hour.

Can Lunesta be crushed?

It is not recommended to crush Lunesta before consuming it.

Will Lunesta show on a drug test?

The most common drug test used to detect Lunesta is the urine test. This form of testing detects Lunesta in the system for up to 48 hours. Although a blood test is not a standard method of detecting Lunesta in the system, it can indicate trace amounts of the medication in the blood after one hour of ingestion.

Can Lunesta cause hair loss?

Some patients report hair loss after using Lunesta. However this is not a side effect listed by the manufacturer.

The Dangers of Lunesta

Some patients have admitted to having experienced severe amnesia and dreadful episodes of sleepwalking while under the drug’s influence. Patients with such episodes engage in dangerous behaviors, such as driving or turning the stove on and having no recollection of such activities. Those under the influence of Lunesta also lack mental clarity to sense oncoming dangers. These dangers lurking in Lunesta can worsen when the individual increases the doses without consulting a doctor.

Prescription sleeping pills tend to place individuals in a near blackout state, where they fail to recall the incidents that had transpired while under the drugs’ influence. Unfortunately, this has played a critical role in several cases of road rage, car accidents, criminal behaviors, sexual assault, and even mass gun violence.

When consumed for long-term or abused compulsively, Lunesta can also interfere with the individual’s sleeping patterns by hampering the body’s in-built ability to induce sleep. This can also deeply impact a patient’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

The side effects of Lunesta abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Respiratory infections
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hypersomnia
  • Hypertension
  • Impaired physical and cognitive function
  • Chest pain

Lunesta abuse can also be deadly, as it heightens the risks of overdose for an individual. The symptoms of a Lunesta overdose tend to vary based on various factors, such as how much the individual consumed and if the individual took any other substance or medication along with Lunesta.

The symptoms that generally point at an overdose are:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Episodes of unconsciousness
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Coma


Can Lunesta cause insomnia?

Lunesta is a prescription medication used to treat insomnia. However, Lunesta withdrawal may cause rebound insomnia.

Is it ok to take Lunesta every night?

Lunesta allows you to stay asleep throughout the night. However, it is not recommended to be used every night.

Does Lunesta get you high?

An individual may experience euphoria, amnesia, and hallucinations from taking overly high dosages of Lunesta.

How much Lunesta is too much?

Lunesta overdose has been reported even at 36 milligrams. Other cases show a range of up to 90 times the 1 to 3 mg therapeutic dose. Therefore consuming any dose above what’s been prescribed by a medical professional can result in an overdose and adverse effects.

Common Drug Combinations

Lunesta is sometimes combined with other drugs to intensify the effects of both substances. Most individuals are genuinely unaware of the dangers of polydrug use. Mixing Lunesta in this manner can aggravate the drug’s common side effects such as:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Abnormal or unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Stuffed nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Mixing Lunesta with alcohol is significantly dangerous, as both substances are Central Nervous System Depressants. Such combinations tend to aggravate the side effects and result in dizziness, drowsiness, inability to concentrate, and impaired judgment. Binge drinkers who take Lunesta may also encounter breathing difficulties and a decrease in blood pressure. Polydrug abuse can also significantly increase the risk of a fatal overdose.

Lunesta Abuse Statistics

  • According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), patients who take prescription sleep aids routinely were nearly five times more likely to die within two and a half years compared to non-users.
  • Since the drug hit the market in 2004, around 31 million prescriptions have been written for Lunesta.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), roughly 9 million people use prescription sleep aids like Lunesta.

Recognizing a Lunesta Addiction

Lunesta possesses a high potential for abuse and addiction, as it is only meant for short-term use. Lunesta is typically prescribed by doctors for only 2-4 weeks as consumption beyond that period can lead to the formation of dependence.

A few signs of Lunesta addiction may include:

  • Continuing to take Lunesta way past the prescription expiration.
  • Secluding themselves from family and friends.
  • Take in higher doses without their doctor’s approval.
  • Doctor shopping or visiting multiple doctors to obtain more drugs.
  • Participating in illegal and immoral activities to obtain drugs.
  • A shift in behavior and personality.
  • Compulsively taking the drug to get high.
  • Have intense cravings for the drug.
  • Blend Lunesta with other drugs to amplify its sedative effects.
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, school, and work.
  • Losing interest in hobbies and activities that once interested them.


Does Lunesta make you tired the next day?

The use of Lunesta above the recommended dosage can generate hangover effects that cause tiredness.

How often can you take Lunesta?

A daily dose should not exceed 3 mg, and it is only recommended for use once a day right before bedtime.

What is Lunesta Withdrawal

The prolonged use of Lunesta can result in the formation of physical dependence. During this formation, patients may no longer be able to function as normal without the consumption of the dug. Patients who abruptly cease consumption of Lunesta may experience agonizing withdrawal symptoms during this period.

This process can be quite distressing and dangerous, resulting in further medical complications when not monitored adequately by a doctor. Due to these reasons, medical detox is highly recommended for those who wish to quit Lunesta.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Lunesta withdrawal symptoms tend to vary between individuals, but most may endure moderate to severe sleeping difficulties right after cessation. The withdrawal symptoms and their severity may depend on various factors, including the length of Lunesta use, the frequency of Lunesta use, the doses taken at each given time, the combination of Lunesta with other drugs or alcohol, and the mental health and medical history of the individual.

The symptoms of Lunesta withdrawal are:

  • Anxiety
  • Profuse sweating
  • Irritability
  • Unpleasant dreams
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue (could be due to anxiety and sleep deprivation)
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of concentration
  • Symptoms similar to depression
  • Stomach cramps
  • Panic attacks

It is important to note that there may be drastic differences in the types and severity of withdrawal symptoms when quitting by oneself compared to quitting through a tapering program under the guidance of a physician and a medically-supervised detox program.

Patients with a severe addiction to Lunesta for a long period may experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and anxiety attacks during the abrupt cessation of the drug. Such patients may require immediate medical attention to stop it from worsening down the line.

Rebound Symptoms

Individuals with an addiction to Lunesta will generally face rebound symptoms when discontinuing drug use. During this period, individuals may experience tormenting levels of insomnia that was not present before being prescribed this medication. This insomnia is generally accompanied by anxiety and panic attacks that can be quite severe. However, these intense rebound symptoms typically last only a few days.

Duration of Withdrawal

The timeline of withdrawals may vary from person to person, but most experience symptoms shortly after discontinuing Lunesta‘s use. If an individual had quit the drug habit cold-turkey, withdrawal symptoms might appear as soon as 12 hours after the last dose. However, if the drug use was discontinued in a detox setting, withdrawal symptoms may appear within 48 hours of the last dose. The first seven days of withdrawal is the hardest to deal with, but symptoms tend to gradually fade away during the second and third week.

Individuals with a more crippling addiction to Lunesta may endure withdrawal symptoms for several months. Some may also experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome after the initial withdrawal phase. These post-acute withdrawal syndromes tend to be psychological symptoms that include mood swings, depression, anxiety, and drug cravings. These symptoms can hover around for months and may show up on-and-off in varying levels of severity.

Lunesta Detox

Medical detox is the recommended method for managing withdrawal from Lunesta. These programs are conducted by medical professionals, making it the safest way of eradicating Lunesta from the system. During a typical detox program, users are systematically guided by doctors to taper off the drugs in a controlled environment. This process can last for several weeks to several months but is generally safer and less severe than quitting cold-turkey.

A medical detox typically includes a few medications approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to help alleviate severe forms of withdrawal symptoms. Although there are no specific medications to be used during Lunesta detox, medications to be administered are usually determined based on the individuals health condition and the severity of withdrawal. During this process, patients are monitored constantly to ensure their safety. Before the onset of detox, patients will undergo evaluations to help determine any indication of co-occurring mental health disorders as it may affect the patient’s health during the detox process.

Treatment for Lunesta Addiction

Lunesta addiction is best treated at an inpatient or outpatient rehab as individuals who quit on their own often relapse back into their old habits to ward off uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms of Lunesta.

Addiction treatment programs provide patients with a safe and secure environment to recover by offering medical supervision and recovery support during treatment. Once the initial medical detox is complete, treatment will consist of addressing the psychological aspect of a patient’s addiction. Specific therapies will be used to identify the underlying factors that contributed to the addiction so that the patient may address these issues and learn healthier ways to cope with them. After the completion of inpatient or outpatient treatment, ongoing therapy and support groups will help patients maintain long-term sobriety.

Choosing a specialized addiction center with experience and reputation for treating Lunesta addiction or sleeping pills will help greatly increase your chances of a successful recovery.

Inpatient Treatment for Lunesta Addiction

Inpatient rehabs are an excellent choice for individuals with a severe addiction to Lunesta, as they are renowned for providing the most effective and intensive treatment programs. Inpatient rehabs are also the go-to choice of most individuals with a history of relapse, medical or psychological issues, and individuals who reside in environments where drugs are within reach. It systematically detaches the individual from the distractions of their daily life and environment by providing patients with residential facilities so they could better focus on their treatment. Being able to socialize and connect with other recovering addicts provide patients with support, comfort, and motivation as well as a sense of community.

Inpatient rehabs’ ultimate aim is to motivate patients towards a more productive and healthy lifestyle that has no place for Lunesta or any other drug. Inpatient rehabs educate patients on addiction while also equipping them with healthy coping skills to deal with trauma, anxiety, depression, and any other struggles that they may have to help prevent relapses. This treatment program also teaches patients stress management, healthy communication skills, and boundaries. Inpatient treatments may last anywhere between 20 days to 90 days. Most of these rehabs follow strict rules and regulations to ensure the patients’ safety and sobriety.

During their stay at an inpatient rehab center, patients are provided with individual and group therapy to help identify and address the root causes and triggers of one’s addiction. Experienced staff will also be available within the premises to support individuals with co-occurring mental disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Each patient will be assigned a therapist or psychiatrist to help them through their recovery.

Therapies available at an inpatient treatment center include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Art therapy
  • Pet therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Music therapy

Most treatment centers also provide 12-step programs and recreational activities to boost recovery.

Outpatient Rehab, Ongoing Treatment, and Relapse Prevention Strategies

Outpatient treatment is viewed as an excellent alternative for individuals who are required to continue work, study, or tend to family needs amidst receiving treatment. There are various types of outpatient treatments, and some are more comprehensive than others. Most outpatient programs typically provide treatments for a few hours a day twice a week. These programs include group, individual, or family therapies. Outpatient rehabs also function as aftercare or step-down program for patients who just completed inpatient treatment programs to help them gradually get back to their life outside. Such patients may temporarily reside at sober living homes or drug-free residences where regular drug screening takes place. Although outpatient rehab does not offer supervised medical care, staffs are nevertheless available to assist whenever necessary.

One of the principal benefits of outpatient treatment is that the patients are given the freedom to continue to work or tend to responsibilities while getting treatment. Upon completion of this treatment, patients will be presented with recovery-related information, such as contact numbers for local support groups or sober homes.

Here are a few tips to help prevent relapses after the completion of outpatient treatment programs:

Join a recovery support group

This group can consist of anyone who empathizes with the patients struggles. Most patients find comfort in the support and guidance offered through regularly attending 12-step recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Continue to consult an addiction counsellor

It is vital that patients continue seeing a therapist or counselor post-treatment. Most facilities make it a point to offer referrals or a list of therapists that fit within the patient’s insurance schemes. Having a professional to talk and confide in is crucial during the early stages of recovery.

De-stress before going to bed

Most people form an addiction to Lunesta due to sleeping troubles or interrupted sleep patterns. Therefore, learning to relax before bed can help greatly improve sleep patterns and avoid any relapse. Meditation, chamomile tea, hot bath, reading, and deep breathing exercises are great steps to de-stress before bed.

Exercise to improve sleep

Maintaining a physically active lifestyle can enhance sleep; however, exercises should be completed three hours before bedtime.

Have a consistent bedtime schedule

Sticking to a specific schedule incites the internal clock and makes sleeping a lot easier and less stressful. It is also vital to go to bed early to achieve at least eight hours of sleep each night.

Sleeping Without Lunesta

Holistic and complementary methods help many patients maintain sobriety and achieve quality sleep. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness techniques, chiropractic care, massage therapy, nutritional meal planning, and fitness programs can massively promote healthy sleeping habits. Reducing anxiety and stress through anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications may also be of help.

Here are a few other methods to help improve sleep:

  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Avoiding naps during the day
  • Staying away from stimulants before going to bed
  • Keeping the bedroom dim or dark and using it only for sleep
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