In Articles, Family Resources, Prescription Drug Abuse, Sober Living
sleeping pills by bed

Counting sheep, nature sounds, ear plugs, a warm glass of milk, or prescription sleeping pills – there are plenty of sleep remedies out there to help you catch some z’s, but contrary to popular belief, not all of them are harmless.

For some a hot cup of tea before bed may be enough, but for others, insomnia is an unwelcomed guest and nature remedies for sleep may not cut it. Many of these people turn to prescription sleep aids. In fact, about 4% of adults in the United States have had at least one prescription sleep aid in the past month.1 What they do not know is that there are many long-term effects of sleeping pills that they should be aware of.

The Long-Term Side Effects of Sleeping Pills

At our inpatient detox center in PA, we know that cocaine, meth, and heroin are not the only drugs with dangerous side effects. In fact, the long-term effects of sleeping aids can be just as dangerous. Some of the most common long-term effects of sleeping pills for regular intake include:

  • Greater risk of cancer2
  • Increased risk of dementia in seniors3
  • Memory problems and confusion
  • Parasomnia: activities while sleeping such as driving or eating without remembering
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Organ damage or even failure
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Overdose
  • Withdrawal
  • Tolerance and sleeping pill addiction4

Overall, the side effects of sleeping pills can be deadly. In fact, one study found that patients who regularly took some prescription sleep medications have been found to have four times the mortality of the control group that took none.5 Addiction is another problem that is often ignored. At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we see people with all sorts of addictions, but an addiction to sleep pills can often go unnoticed until it becomes more serious. Make sure that if you find yourself dependent on these drugs, you seek out sleeping pill addiction treatment before the effects of long-term sleeping pill use begin to take their toll.

Whether you find yourself popping pills consistently before bedtime without being able to stop or someone you care about has become dependent on another drug, do not let substance abuse control your life or the life of your loved one. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can cause serious health effects so get professional help before it is too late. Contact us today at 570-536-9621 to learn more about our drug rehab in Pennsylvania and how we may be able to help.



  1. CDC – Prescription Sleep Aid Use Among Adults: United States, 2005–2010
  2. BMJ Journal – Hypnotics’ association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study
  3. JAMA – Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia A Prospective Cohort Study
  4. NCBI – Medications for the Treatment of Sleep Disorders: An Overview
  5. AMN Healthcare Education Services – Killer in the Bedroom: Sleeping Pill Study Raises Concerns
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