sleeping pill tranquilizers benzodiazepines addiction prolonged withdrawal syndrome soporific hypnotic insomnia
Facts gathered from experience
The reason why I feel it's important with a page like this is because of the existing debate about withdrawal symptoms judged as origin deseases. Unfortunately, I have often experienced MD:s showing a denying opinion about the existing side-effects and therefore show a lack of knowledge. Normal human experiences are important even if they not always are scientifically proven.

Important definitions
The information below is made from my own experiences, confirmed by people suffering in the Swedish organization NONTOXA, but also confirmed by care givers with interest in the problem. The definitions are primarily valid in benzodiazepines but parts of it can also be applicated to other addictive medicines. For example in a long row of pain killers and nasal sprays. For more information take a look at Scientific reports.

Rebound phenomena

Rebound means that the origin problem returns back at a higher level. It might mean that the sleeping disorder raises into a complete loss of sleep, that the anxiety gets worse if it is an anxiety difficulty as an origin problem or that one feels the nose completely clogged if the problem arises in connection to nose medicine. THE ORIGIN PROBLEM GETS WORSE FOR A PERIOD OF TIME IF YOU TRY TO STOP USING ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES. If we take a look at the "friendly" nasal sprays one may experience such a cloggedness that a feeling of suffocating appears. Involvement with anxiety is common and it might make the feeling even stronger and it may develop into a situation where the cloggedness might cause one to believe one actually has a life threatening desease. Without a lot of information about dependency it's very easy to continue using the medicines.


Tolerance simply means that the body tolerates more medicine. One sleeping pill might have to be replaced by two, to achieve the same effect. If the body doesn't get an increased dosage of chemical substance a condition of nervous symptoms might occur. (Tolerance). Unfortunately, many people have not noticed that their nervous and addictive problems have started shortly after they started to use sleeping pills. The "hang-over"-effect has developed into a condition of nervous symptoms during daytime, often with agoraphobia, anxiety, muscle tension and pain. This clue has not been completely recognized as a dependency-problem, and instead many people have returned to their doctors. New medicines have been prescribed and the patient has moved into a situation where they are influenced by drugs 24 hours a day.
Drug influence creates, among other reactions, the "clock-watch"-desease meaning that one schedules the daily personal activities according to when one is supposed to take the prescribed pills. A mixing with other medicines (pain killers is not uncommon) to eliminate tolerance symptoms can be created and the patient can find himself in a situation of legal abuse, visiting many doctors to get more and more medicines prescribed. To get well again the only way is to withdraw the meds at an early stage. Unfortunately, these aknowledgements are rare during drug-influence and instead a bad circle is installed. The patient with a dependency problem most often looks upon his meds as his friends and see no way to live without them. The only solution he can see is to continue using the meds. From the patient's point of view they help and many people reach a stadge, where the side-effects are bigger than the help the medicines offer. This is often the starting point of aknowloging the meds as enemies. The patient might reach a point when s/he feels:
Without my meds I can't survive but with them I will die.
The solution is information and motivation to get the courage to fight against the FEAR and the feeling of being ashamed. In the end you can see that both of these feelings are mostly created by the pills themselves.

Withdrawal symptoms

Go to tolerance and withdrawal symptom list

Length of withdrawal period

Everyone DOESNīT develop dependency. Thus, everyone DOESNīT get withdrawal symptoms. Half of those suffering seem to reach good health within 6 to 18 months. About 50% of the other half get well within a period of three years, but there are also a smaller group of people that must live with their symptoms for a very long time. (Itīs a controversial opinion but my own case shows a reality where a post-withdrawal syndrome has lasted for 8 years so far. Not as intense but still existing. The first months were the toughest but even after 3 - 4 years periods with severe problem did arise.) Disagreement among doctors still exists and many professionals mean that itīs the origin desease that returns if the problems still are present after a period of more than three months. Others mean that the symptoms might last for a maximum of one year. As long as this type of disagreement persists people are at risk to be led back into their dependency and truly a life-threatening situation. If you compare this discussion to the knowledge about alcoholism it all matches and the alcoholics are told to stay away from alcohol for the rest of their lives. In the field of medicine you often meet the opposite opinion and people are treated with different kinds of chemical substances. Many doctors seem to think:
Once anxiety always anxiety. Treatment: narcotics.
Even children are treated this way in our civilized society.

How do you get addicted to benzodiazepines ?

According to an american scientist, Dubovsky SL 1988, withdrawal symptoms of some kind may be developed in 45 - 100% of the cases, if medications last longer than three months. Some suffering people have told me that one pill was enough to get psychologically dependent. Addiction is a doctor prescribed desease and thus there is no reason to be ashamed.

What kind of meds

Their are many addictive medicines. Sleeping pills, tranquilizers, pain killers, nasal spray etc. Even the new SSRI (anti-depressive) are discussed as being addictive for some people, and if you take a look at the FDA homepage you can find reports of addiction. Meds can be used for a whole lifetime and nobody seems to be able tell the difference between origin desease and side-effects. Benzodiazepines are classified as narcotics, at least in Sweden. They are used as sleeping pills and tranquilizers, but also as medicines for muscle relaxation.
Trade names in Sweden:
Librium, Apozepam, Diazepam Fermenta, Stesolid, Valium, Alopam, Oxazepam, Sobril, Serepax, Tranxilen, Temesta, Alpralid, Xanor, Dormicum, Flunitrazepam, Rohypnol, Apodorm, Mogadon, Nitrazepam, Halcion, Triazolam, Dumozolam, Iktrovil.
The following trade names are connected to painkillers. Some of them are classified as narcotics:: Fortalgesic, Ketogan, Spasmofen, Temgesic, Metadon, Ardinex, Citodon, Kodein Pharmacia, Panocod, Treo Comp, Dexodon, Dexofen, Distalgesic, Doleron, Dolotard, Doloxene, Paraflex comp, Anervan, Nobligam, Somadril, Somadril Comp. (Suorce tidningen Fri.)

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