The following article is a scientific and informative insight into the topic of sleeping pill overdoes and death as a possible outcome. This is something that needs to be talked about considering the number of people that use prescription sleeping aids.
However, if you’ve clicked on this article, or searched for this topic online for the sole purpose of wanting to die, then you need to call the Suicide Hotline right now.
We do not want to provide you with information that can cause harm and death to our readers. If you’ve already taken sleeping pills for this very purpose, call 911 or the emergency telephone for your country/city, if you’re not a resident of the US. Whatever it is that is bothering you right now, and makes you want to die is truly not worthy of your life.
Sleeping Pills Today
Sleeping pills are usually prescribed in cases of sleeping disorders, anxiety, or depression. Unfortunately, the consumption of sleeping pills is at a constant increase.
Currently, around 10% of the global population uses prescribed sleeping pills, and in the US around 4% of adults find it impossible to fall asleep without their pills.
It is believed that the number and percentage of prescribed sleeping pills will keep growing. But, what is it that makes sleeping pills indispensable in the modern world?
How Do Sleeping Pills Work?
Sleeping pills have an incredible function once we consume them. These pills can alleviate the symptoms and effects of sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, restlessness or anxiety. Because these pills can put you asleep quite quickly and effectively, they usually become highly addictive. Thousands of people worldwide are dependent on their sleeping pills.
Many even experience withdrawal symptoms after halting the use. Sleeping pills are definitely the modern, legal drug. They make people feel confused, tired and drowsy, causing further issues like memory problems, balance problems and inability to perform well at work. People who operate heavy machinery or who have incredibly responsible jobs are advised not to take sleeping pills.
How Many Sleeping Pills Can Cause Death?
When considering the short-term effects of sleeping pills, and the immediate effects of excessive intake, it could be determined that intake of several dozens of sleeping pills can result in death.
For example, modern sleeping pills, like benzodiazepine pills Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Halcion, Niravam, and Restoril would require a lethal dose of 20 to 40, sometimes even 60 pills.
However, we need to point out once again that this is not a suggestion on how many pills someone should take to die/commit suicide. This is simply an approximate number of pills that will cause irreversible harm to one’s body. To be more specific, here’s an example of the number of pills for a lethal dose, in milligrams;
Now, depending on one’s physique and general health, taking this amount of pills might not cause death. Usually, sleeping pills result in overdose, which ends up harming one’s organs, like the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys, etc. Moreover, taking this amount of pills can even cause brain death, which is another terrible outcome that no person could ever want for themselves or others.
It is important to point out that the immediate effect on the body upon the consumption of numerous pills is shutting down and vomiting. There were numerous cases of excessive vomiting upon consumption of several sleeping pills at once, especially if they were taken with alcohol, for example.
Why don’t you try some natural sleeping aids such as Chamomile,Valerian, Hops (and many others listed in this article) as an alternative to over the counter sleeping pills
Also Read: How Does Alcohol Affect Sleep?
Sleeping Pill Overdose
Death by sleeping pills doesn’t have to necessarily be intentional. There have been cases of sleeping pill overdose, deadly and non-deadly, where an individual suffered extreme insomnia and depression. People with such problems want to sleep desperately, and end up taking one too many pills. Cases like these often, unfortunately, result in deadly overdose, or in incredibly difficult cases where the person is brain dead or the pills have caused the failure of organs.
In the past few years, around 13% or all suicides were caused by sleeping pills. In the US alone, suicide by sleeping pill overdose is often accompanied by alcohol or other substance abuse. Suicide attempts done through similar methods have resulted in the severe and permanent brain or physical/organ damage. Here are some of the main signs a person has taken too many sleeping pills and is overdosing;
- Unusual behavior – this includes excessive and extreme tiredness, clumsiness, frequent and serious mistakes, inability to pay attention, inability to walk or sit properly, a drunken-like state in which the person mumbles and talk nonsensically.
- Excessive, unnatural sleepiness – lethargy and excessive sleepiness is a usual sign of sleeping pill overdose. When a person takes more than approximately 5 to 10 sleeping pills at once, they will experience unnatural sleepiness. People who take more than let’s say 20 sleeping pills won’t be able to stand or sit straight, and won’t have any energy or control in their limbs.
- Abdominal issues – sleeping pill overdose is often accompanied by extreme abdominal pain, excessive vomiting and general loss of appetite or constipation. Vomiting usually occurs when the person has taken a deadly dose, so it is important to act quickly and call an ambulance.
- Respiratory problems – a person who is experiencing a sleeping pill overdose will develop breathing problems. They will either breathe very slowly or have completely irregular and dysfunctional breathing. When breathing problems occur, the person doesn’t have much time; if you witness such a case, make sure to be ready for CPR, as breathing might stop and the person will lose consciousness.
Suggest Reading: Can You Overdose On Melatonin?
Can Regular Sleeping Pills Intake Cause Death?
Several studies have shown a direct link between regular sleeping pills intake and the increased risk of death. People who take up to 20 sleeping pills annually are 3.5 times more likely to die in the follow-up period of two years. The more sleeping pills you take annually, the greater the risk of death.
For example, people who take more than 130 pills annually, are 6.3 times more likely to develop cancer and to die in the follow-up period of two years. The studies have included sleeping pills, also known as hypnotics, like Zolpidem, Temazepam, Zaleplon, other benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and sedatives.
The association between sleeping pills and death is completely direct. The dose of 18+ sleeping pills per year is something that many people have experienced, especially people with insomnia and sleeping disorders.
That is why doctors across the world have become increasingly critical towards the increased prescriptions of sleeping pills.
Because they are so hazardous in both short- and long term, there ought to be significant changes in the way these pills are prescribed, or there should at least be a healthier alternative.
Also Read: How Sleep Affects Autism?
The intention of this article is strictly informational. The topic of sleeping pills and their excessive use is rarely talked about, but it is a growing problem of modern society. We hope that the information presented will be of use in terms of helping people quit the habits of taking sleeping pills, or preventing cases of overdose and death if possible.
If you’ve clicked on this article to cause harm to yourself, we once again advise you to contact the local Suicide Hotline; this article from Wiki is a comprehensive list of suicide crisis lines for every country. Sleeping pills are a dangerous habit of the modern world, and we do hope that a healthier alternative will appear soon.