Doctors typically prescribe Lunesta for the treatment of acute insomnia. This medication, also known as eszopiclone, is useful for inducing sleep. However, it also comes with a high risk of substance abuse and addiction. For this reason, you should only use it in the short term otherwise you may find yourself struggling with stopping its use.
What Is Lunesta?
A brand name drug for eszopiclone, Lunesta is a sedative-hypnotic medication that does not belong to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It is typically prescribed for the treatment of insomnia.
Lunesta is also classified as a Z-drug because it acts in the same way as many other sleep-inducing sedatives. These drugs include Sonata and Ambien. In terms of appearance, it is circular in shape. You can also find blue and white versions of it in strengths of 3 mg, 2 mg, and 1 mg.
The drug was produced for oral use only. However, if you have already started abusing it, you may administer your pills in other ways in a bid to intensify the pleasurable effects that you have become used to.
When you take Lunesta, it will help you fall asleep much faster than you do. It can also prolong your sleep. The drug does this by binding itself to various brain receptors. In the process, it can slow down the function of the brain. As a result, this will induce powerful drowsiness and sedation.
Since it comes with a high risk for abuse, the drug is highly regulated. It is also for this reason that your doctor will not advise that you take it in the long term. Although you can buy Lunesta over the counter, you may start looking for other ways that would allow you to buy it illegally.
Because of the drug's significant potential for abuse, Lunesta is highly regulated and intended for short-term use only. The drug cannot be bought over the counter, but addicted people may find ways to purchase it illegally.
Other Names for This Lunesta
On the streets, Lunesta is known by various names among people who are looking to avoid detection by law enforcement officials and other authorities. Examples of these street names include:
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lunesta Addiction?
Lunesta addiction will often occur after you have developed tolerance to its effects. When this happens, you will constantly find yourself taking the drug in higher doses or more often than you used to before you can experience its effects.
After you have become addicted to it, you will typically start displaying the following classic signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder:
- A shift in your personality
- Absences at work or school
- Avoiding social activities so that you can use this drug instead
- Bouts of hiccups
- Changes in appetite levels
- Changes in your regular sleep patterns
- Continue taking the drug even after your prescription has expired
- Continuing to abuse this medication even after you have realized that it has been causing disruptions in your life as well as various psychological and physical problems
- Crushing Lunesta pills into powder form before snorting it up your nose
- Developing tolerance for the drug
- Difficulties cutting back or stopping your use of the drug
- Engaging in doctor shopping so that you can get other prescriptions for the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms any time you stop using Lunesta
- Feel as if your quality of life may end up decreasing if you stop taking Lunesta
- Finding it difficult to fall asleep unless you take Lunesta
- Finding that you are no longer able to stop or reduce your use of the drug
- Having intense cravings for the drug
- Hiding your use of the drug
- High blood pressure
- Inability to fulfill your obligations due to drug use
- Increase your dosage of the drug without consulting your doctor
- Increased secrecy
- Irritable mood
- Isolate yourself from loved ones
- Making many attempts to stop taking the drug but finding that you are not able to do so
- Memory loss
- Mixing it with other drugs so that you can increase the sedative effects it provides you
- Mood swings
- Muscular pain
- Obtaining Lunesta illegally, such as by stealing it from your friends or family or through other illicit means
- Panic attacks
- Physiological changes in the functioning of your body
- Preoccupation with taking the drug
- Repeatedly postpone your goal to stop abusing Lunesta
- Self-inflicted isolation
- Social withdrawal
- Taking the drug in doses that are higher than your doctor recommended
- Using this drug for the sole reason of getting high
- Using the drug even when you are in risky or dangerous situations
- Using the drug in any way other than your doctor advised
- Using the drug so that you can avoid withdrawal
- Weight fluctuations
What Are the Short and Long-Term Effects of Lunesta Abuse?
After abusing Lunesta for a while, you may soon find that has become part of your daily routine, especially in the evening or at night. This is because it may increasingly become difficult for you to fall asleep unless you use this medication.
That said, you should know that if you take this drug without a valid prescription or without following the express instructions that your doctor gave would amount to substance abuse. Over time, this habit may cause you to suffer a wide variety of side effects, both in the short and in the long term.
Examples of these side effects include:
- Calm feelings
- Cold-like symptoms
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Extreme drowsiness
- Issues with breathing
- Organ damage, especially to the brain, liver, and kidneys
- Rebound insomnia
- Runny nose
- Somnambulism, or walking, driving, cooking, talking, and engage in other activities while you are asleep
- Swelling of your extremities, as well as of the lips, face, eyes, tongue, and/or throat
- Trouble concentrating
One of the reasons why doctors advise against abusing this drug is that it can increase your risk of suffering a substance overdose. When this happens, you will experience a wide variety of symptoms.
These symptoms will vary widely from one person to the next based on various factors, such as the dose of the drug that you consumed, and whether or not you mixed it with other substances like alcohol.
That said, the following are some of the symptoms of a Lunesta overdose:
- Difficulty breathing
- Drastically slowed breathing
- Extreme drowsiness
- Passing out
- Respiratory distress
Seeing as the drug was primarily designed for the treatment of insomnia, overdosing on it could happen even if you exceed your normal dose by a little margin. However, some people have suffered an overdose due to taking up to 90 times the recommended dose of this drug.
Engaging in any type of Lunesta abuse is risky because it could lead to an overdose. This could prove to be particularly dangerous or even lead to fatal outcomes, especially if you mix the drug with other addictive substances - particularly those that act on the central nervous system, such as alcohol.
If you start displaying any of the symptoms of overdose after taking Lunesta in excess, it is recommended that you seek emergency medical help as soon as possible. You can do so by calling 911, your local poisons control center, a doctor, or other emergency responders.
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms for Lunesta?
If you have been using or abusing Lunesta for the long term, especially in high doses, there is a high risk that you could suffer some withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using it or significantly reduce the dose that you have become accustomed to. Examples of these withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Changes in weight
- Feeling drowsy
- Feeling physically sick
- Frequent hiccups
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle cramps particular in the stomach but also in other parts of your body
- Muscle pain
- Panic attacks
- Rapid heart rate
- Rebound insomnia
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Sleep disruptions
- Sleeping more than you usually do
- Stomach cramps and other stomach issues
- Sweating even at low temperatures
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Unusual dreams
What Are the Best Options for Lunesta Addiction Treatment?
There are various forms of treatment and recovery programs that can help you overcome your Lunesta abuse and addiction. Most of these will first provide you with medically supervised detox services to manage your withdrawal symptoms. After that you can choose to go for inpatient and/or outpatient addiction treatment services to ensure that you stop abusing this drug.
It is recommended that you seek help from these programs because it might be the only way that you are able to achieve a state of full recovery and sobriety after a period of abusing Lunesta.