My experience of zopiclone (down the rabbit hole)

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Hi my name is Margaret and I am a 35 year old housewife who is prescribed 3x 3.75mg zopiclone a nightand I would like to share with you the signs of an addiction silently creeping up in order someone might recognise where they are and stop the process( unlike I who was given no warning s at all and blundered in foolishly.)

My doctor failed to tel me on first prescribing zopiclone 1. THEY ARE HABIT FORMING PHYSIOLOGICALLY IF TAKEN DAILY FOR JUST A WEEK!!!4

Point 2 , THERE ARE STUDIES SHOWING REPEATED INFECTIONS OF THE BODY WHEN TAKEN LONG TERM DUE TO THE FACT THEY ARE THOUGHT TO DAMAGE IMMUNE RESPONSES. THIS DRUG IS EVEN THOUGHT TO CAUSE CANCERS DUE TO DECREASED IMMUNE FUNCTION IN THE BODY AND IS LINKED WITH EARLY DEATH IN PROLONGED USERS. ( I might add that a good majority Do end up long term users because the withdrawl symptoms are emotionally and physically intensel and because the pain of them is stopped instantly by taking the pills again

ZOPICLONE CAN PRODUCE PROTRACTED WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS THAT CAN LAST ON AND OFF FOR YEARS WITH NO CURE AND THIS SUBSEQUENTLY CAN CAUSE RELAPSE. People can suffer for years with the withdrawal syndrome repeating and relenting over time, neurologicaly everyone has a different brain and body system so it depends how a persons body reacts to recovery. Zopiclone are a direct assault on the central nervous system and the gamma receptors in our brain that regulate chemicals that are vital in helping you stay calm naturally or go to sleep. Sleep deprivation has been used as torture in the past for good reason. The withdrawal effects are not only felt at night but all day long as well which makes me personally stressed and unable to relax, twitchy and utterly depressed , craving the next dose for the relief that is in it.

ZOPICLONE PLAY HAVOC WITH EMOTIONS AND HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE PEOPLE DEPRESSED AND STRESSED

ZOPICLONE CAN WORSEN THE INSOMNIA THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HELPING WITH.

ECG MONITORING BRAIN ACTIVITY SHOWED PATIENTS ON ZOPICLONE HAD UNUSUAL BRAIN WAVE ACTIVITY INDICATING THE SLEEP PATTERN NEUROLOGICALLY WAS DIFFERENT FROM A NATURAL SLEEP THEREFORE THE PATIENT WAS NOT GETTING QUALITY REST.

This is just the effects bodily, the pain is just beginning for the trusting patient who initially finds the drug effective for insomnia and with the added bonus of feeling wonderfully relaxed and at peace before sleeping (better than any glass of wine one starts to notice).

All of the above are not the only evils this drug brings onto your body, they also have a terrible effect on the MIND.

I speak from experience of being on this drug for more than 5 yrs.

It started innocently and I did not abuse the drug or willfully set out to become a drug addict. I have usually got a strong sense of right and wrong . alcohol has never been a problem for me and I rated myself as fairy responsible in that I would not easily become addicted, how ever, addiction was not mentioned or the horrors above when i was prescribed this on repeat prescription for years! I was just given no info and I trusted my dr as I thought they had an understanding these days that gps do not prescribe addictive drugs since the vaium epidemic of the 50's, seems the lesson was not learned in some cases.

I now struggle with the embarrassment of visiting my gp to ask for this medicine which he does not want to prescribe. I feel I have lost all respect for myself and I no longer feel I am treated with the same respect as I was previously from the doctors. I have been honest and disclosed the fact I am addicted to these pills and this fall is so painfully felt in the completely different way I am treated now. I have become the enemy it almost seems. I have in desperation tried to have my prescription a few days earlier as I have ran out, never more than a few days but the doctors do not sympathise or even talk to me or offer counselling on this , instead I receive a humiliating letter being told off like a child threatened with expulsion. It always seems to look like I am the most deceitful person in the world conning drs , it is awful because I am an honest person with feelings . None of the drs take any responsibility that I did not end up this ill on my own, now it feels like this is totally my fault , even though I followed the instructions given and took no more or less. I find mysef now relegated to the status of junkie which is a killer blow to my self esteem.. Receptionists and pharmacists are wary and suspicious after reading the drug on the prescription, fine before but not after. The social judgement is the worst to take and I only take my pills at home and noone knows except immediate family and the people handling the prescriptions.

IF YOU FIND YOURSELF PRESCRIBED ANY DRUG IT WOULD ALWAYS BE MY ADVICE TO INVESTIGATE IMMEDIATELY BEFORE TAKING , ANY PILL OR DRUG FROM THE DR AS I ENDED UP HERE BECAUSE OF SIMPLY FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN BY THE DOCTOR RELIGIOUSLY UNTIL i WAS ADDICTED.. I HOPE WHAT I HAVE RESEARCHED AND SHARED WILL HELP SOMEONE MAKE A GOOD DECISION. I ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO LEAVE ME A MESSAGE OR CONTACT ME AS I SADLY FEEL LIKE AN EXPERT IN THIS ZOPICLONE ADDICTION NOW SO ID BE HAPPY TO BE THERE FOR ANYONE IN THEIR STRUGGLE TOO. tAKE CARE X

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  • Posted

    hiya margaret,

    first off, your not a junkie, just a victim of circumstances thats all, what a great post you put together, very wise words indeed, stop beating yourself up over your unfortunate situation, its not your fault and never will be.

    some people have a genetic make up that makes them more prone to addiction than others, given your attitude and determination im certain you will beat your dependency on zopiclone, its not a matter of if but when margaret and as regards folks attitude, take no notice of what they think, ignore them, its them that have a problem, not you cheesygrin

    cheers,

    Ken ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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  • Posted

    Oh I'm so glad I stumbled upon this. Thank you so much Margaret! I am struggling horribly with this drug. My psych said it's non-addictive & I can just stop taking it. The addiction to it snuck up on me so insidiously too. I first only took a 7,5mg tab maybe 2-3 times a week, at night. Before I knew it, I was waking up in what I now know was withdrawal. Terrible anxiety, nauseous, tummy pain, sweats and so very fearful. I began taking a 1/2 7.5mg tab around mid morning when I couldn't bear the anxiety any longer, as I recalled how it relaxed me when I had taken just one 7.5mg at night, occasionally, as when i was first prescribed it, I didn't want to become addicted to it. Even though my psych said it's not addictive, I didn't want to take the chance, as I have an addictive personality. I didn't realize I'd be needing to start having it every morning since taking that first time morning dose. The calming effect only lasted for about 2 hrs, and I'd have to have another 1/2 tab. Within 3 days I was taking up to 6 halves of the 7.5mg tabs, and STILL wanting, craving more, but managed to not give in, as I saw how it could easily escalate out of control. I got very frightened indeed. I am now stuck with living my days full of anxiety, and all that goes that, making life HELL! I was once a happy, calm & well-adjusted person until this. I was prescribed it only because I'd gone through a period of not sleeping well. My psych (who, by the way, I was referred to by my GP to wean me off another highly addictive med - valium, which I no longer needed), & instead of doing that, she put me on this zopiclone. I wish now, that I'd researched it before ever taking it but I trusted her, believed her when she said it's non-addictive, and took it just to get a few good nights sleep. I am now finally weaning off valium, but stuck with this horrific zopiclone addiction. Try as I might, not to take it during the day, I have to end up giving in, as I'm an emotional, nervous & jittery wreck! My God, how did this happen to me? I'm down to 1/2 a 7.5mg tab, 3 times daily, but living with a terrible burden of anxiousness, nausea, and just emotionally unstable, feeling like I just can't cope, and I hate to admit it, but clock-watching until it's time for my next dose. I maybe get around 2 hrs of a little peace, then BOOM! The nightmare begins again. I have to hang out & not give into the temptation of having a dose of it, as I really, really want to get off it, and just know if I give in, I'll just be needing more & more of it and it will never end. So, that's where I'm at, at this time. Trying my hardest to wean off this incredibly nasty drug, as well as valium. I'm not having a problem with having less valium, but zopiclone has me nearly beaten. BUT, I AM DETERMINED to get off it, as it's mind & soul-destroying! I'm angry at my psych for being so ill-informed about it, and for being so blase about it, thinking & saying I can "Just stop taking it as it's non-addictive". I'm going to print out all the info I can find, and show her just how dangerous this drug is! I want my life back. I want the easy-going, happy me back!
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    • Posted

      I know ths is a very old post but in my experience zopiclne dependence doesnt go overnght anyway.

      If you ever want to have a real one to one chat catch me on facebook under margaret mccafferty. p.s (a I am still on them, but I have reduced down to from 10mg to 7.5 but feeling like I really need to get more as I seem completely tolerant and have even thought of just asking for valium to  the psyychiatrist t se if he could give me them to wean me off. I dread asking though,as I said I have a psycholoical addiction and I just start becming fearful of geting no help and made to feel like a pill shopper (i only have ne gp but its a medical prectise with lts of different ones, Sometimes I just crave so badly I want to give in as I know It makes me feel instant emotional relief. Do you ever feel like that?

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    • Posted

      Yes easy no whitdrawel symptoms,just feeling fed up due to lack of sleep, And the horrors of taking over the counter rubbish
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    • Posted

      With a medically assisted detox program where your Ambien dosage is gradually decreased, or tapered, over time. After tapering down slowly, you can stop taking Ambien with minimal risk of experiencing potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
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    • Posted

      Ur not alone Christine... I agree.. I was a normal person before this... Now I fight anxiety with meditation, I fight the pills because they terrify me and I feel like I might die without sleep.. The cycle of Dr's is endless.. What a mess. I'm relying on relaxation and exercise to get me out of this.

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  • Posted

    Thanks Margaret & Ken. Great explanations & advice! I'm now completely off these, after tapering for a few days, then had enough of that, as it was too hard. Stopped cold turkey, went through 6 sleepless nights,(and lots of agony) but was determined, as I knew to expect that. Got through & I AM FREE OF THIS POISON! Threw out the rest in the rubbish, to make sure I wouldn't be tempted ever again. Gone cold turkey on valium now, as my prescribing psych did not send me my script 2 weeks ago. My GP gave me the option of seeing another psych, but I said NO, as I want to free of that benzo poison as well. Going through some intense moments of absolute terror, & all that comes with withdrawal, but once again, my determination & faith in God is strengthening me. As for that last comment there, by the person who didn't even give their name, I'm speechless! What kind of brain-dead advice is that? Just goes to show what weed does to your brain! Poor misguided soul!
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    • Posted

      I've been o 15 ml of zop for over15 years now and after reading these posts am worried that is my doctor changes i'll be in the same boat as some of the people who have posted here as he is retiring soon and i cannot say the doctor who replaces him being willing to carry on with a large prescription like this. Do i have any rights in law to stop him from juicing me too quickly and there for causing me stress. If it was up to me i keep them on and if given a 30 would probably be on them for life as i get relief from depression as well as insomnia. Thank you
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    • Posted

      Hi Christine201. Would you mind sharing a bit more about your experience withdrawing off zoplicone, and whether you have been able to find a way to actually sleep normally now? My doctor told me this med is non-addictive (that was 10 years ago, prescribed to treat menopausal sleeplessness). I am so affected by this medication now that I feel I can no longer tolerate it. But...I am also terrified of withdrawing because I don't know if my ability to sleep has been permanently disrupted or if I will have seizures or what have you. My doctor is absolutely no use to me in this regard. She sees this as a non-issue - 'just stop, deal with a few days of sleeplessness, then get back to normal'. But everything I read tells me that I may have serious issues if I just stop. Can you tell me more about your experience?
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    • Posted

      Hello Hayley,

      I am replying to your'e post as its the most recent, and the others dont seem to be replying.

      I think I might be addicted to zoplicone. I say I think because I very stupidly ordered something which I thought was diazepam over the internet. I was taking diazepam and had got addicted, and was coming off - quite succesfully I thought. I was down to about 1.5 mg a day. But the stuff I ordered didnt look like valium, -different shaped tablets, so I was a but suspicious. But I took them, again in very small quantities. However, after a few months of this, and increasingly sleepless nights, I gave in and went to my local drug help clinic. I told them I was taking diazepam, but I wasnt sure how much.

      They said they would put me on a reduction programme starting on 20mg a day to 'stabilize' me. I started this programme about 2 weeks ago, and have been horrified to find that even 20mg a day doesnt stop me getting dreadful panic attacks which last for hours.

      The only thing that helps is if I have a couple of the other tablets I ordered over the Internet.  They dont exactly make me feel drowsy, but they do calm me down quite a bit.

      Now I'm really desperate as I dont even know what I'm addicted to anymore. I'm seeing the doctor at the clinic this Thursday and will explain the situation, but I dont know if they can help.

      I have been told by them before when I explained this situation that I might be better going into a proper residential detox centre, but I have some other health problems that I still have appts for and prescriptions for.

      I really want to be drug free, byut everything I try seems to end in failure.

       

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    • Posted

      I think a lot of people seek out a sympathetic doctor who will prescribe them privately.  I.e, write a private prescription.  Older doctors are always more sympathetic to this situation.  It's actually NHS guidelines ( for better or worse ) that stop NHS doctors prescribing sleeping pills long term. 
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    • Posted

      Iv found the side effects of withdrawal to be hideous.. Jittery, anxious, body tingling, feels like you woke up and had two whiskies for breakfast. I just want to be free of Dr's and pills. I feel it is a cycle.. The pills cause anxiety and I somnia if you stop and to stay on them you need Dr's... Endless bloody drs

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