Prescription Sedatives

What Are Sedatives?
Sedatives are tranquilizers and sleep medications that are prescribed for relief of anxiety disorders and insomnia. Short term use does not usually result in addiction.  The roller-coaster use of sedatives in the evening and stimulants in the morning is a commonly pattern of misuse in professionals.

What Are Benzodiazepines? shutterstock_109145387
Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed sedatives and are used for relief of anxiety and sleep problems.  Non-medical use of prescription Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used drug in poly drug use.  Benzodiazepines can be used to:

  • Intensify the “high” of opioids and heroin;
  • Heighten the effects of alcohol;
  • Ease the agitation of drugs that have stimulant effects, such as ecstasy, cocaine or meth.
  • People who use sedatives combined with other substances such as prescription opioids, heroin and alcohol are at high risk for respiratory failure and/or death.  In 2006, benzodiazepines accounted for 36 % of all unintentional drug overdoses in West Virginia.

Commonly Used Benzodiazepines Include:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Valium™
  • Diazepam
  • Xanax™
  • Alprazolam
  • Ativan™Presription Pain Medication -Shutterstock_82502314
  • Lorazepam
  • Klonopin™
  • Clonazepam
  • Restoril™
  • Temazepam

Sleep Medications
Sleep Medications are used to treat sleep disorders, but not anxiety. Listed below are the commonly prescribed Sleep Medications.  While technically benzodiazepines are less abused, they can be habit forming.

  • Ambien™
  • Zoldipem™
  • Sonata™
  • Zaleplon™
  • Lunesta™
  • Eszopiclone

Sedatives Are the Drug Choice of Women

    • Benzodiazepines are prescribed twice as often for women than men and they are particularly problematic for older women.
    • If used during the first trimester of pregnancy, these drugs can cause cleft palette as well as urinary, genital and neurological malformations.
    • If used close to delivery, they can cause addiction/withdrawal in newborns which is know as “floppy baby syndrome”.
    • Benzodiazepines are excreted through breast milk, therefore can be passed on to the breast feeding baby.

Withdrawal From Tranquilizers and Sedatives
Abrupt discontinuation can be very dangerous and may lead to serious withdrawal symptoms including seizures and death and must be medically supervised and:

      • Requires close medical supervision and medical protocol based on small methodical reductions in daily doses of drug.  This will safely minimize discomfort, anxiety and medical risks associated with withdrawal.
      • May take several weeks to months during which time a patient should be learning how to manage the psychological dependency and addict behaviors needed for sustained abstinence.

Your ARCH Individual Evaluation & Treatment Plan for Prescription Sedatives, Benzodiazepines, and Sleep Medication is designed by our MD’S and will include a combination of selection below:

    • Addiction, Medical and Psychiatric Evaluation by our Addiction Psychiatrists
    • Medically Supervised Detoxification
    • Evaluation and Treatment of Co-occurring Medical Disorders and Poly-Addictions
    • Internal Family Systems Psychotherapy
    • Family Intervention
    • Medication Facilitated Cognitive Behavioral Restructuring
    • Medication Management of Anxiety, Sleep and/or Co-occurring Psychiatric Disorder

Please call us in Danvers:

(978) 820-5500

Dr. Michael J. Kittay, M.D.
160 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923
Phone. (978) 820-5500
Fax. 978-820-5502

Contact us