In these frenzied times of distractedness and digital addiction, the quest to get a sufficient night’s rest appears as elusive as the attainment of world peace. There is ample evidence that insomnia, where people have a difficult time falling and staying asleep, is a public health crisis. One study states that one in four Americans will develop acute insomnia every year.
While prescription sleep aid use in the U.S. is low relative to the sheer number of people who have insomnia, the number of individuals who use prescription sleep aids like Zimovane remains substantial. That number was as high as 9 million at one point, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With widespread use comes the potential for abuse.
In fact, Zimovane and other sedative-hypnotic drugs are deceptively addictive and dangerous. Though they were formulated to be safer than benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan, and Xanax, drugs like Zimovane produce a multitude of distressing effects and withdrawal symptoms.
What’s more, they are often abused with alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, a practice that can result in death.
Zimovane is the brand name for zopiclone, which was first introduced by a French pharmaceutical company in 1986. When zopiclone arrived, it was hailed as an improvement over benzodiazepines in that it did not produce “next day sedation, dependence, and withdrawal syndrome.”
Zopiclone is structurally different from benzos but operates in the same fashion: it is also a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, along with alcohol, barbiturates, and, yes, benzodiazepines. Zopiclone, zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien), dubbed “Z-drugs,” are prescribed for sleep.
When it enters the body, zopiclone medications like Zimovane increase the delivery of the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA in the central nervous system. This action is what depresses the CNS, which makes a user drowsy and causes them to be less alert.
Like other zopiclone products, Zimovane is prescribed as a short-term remedy for insomnia and is only to be used for seven to 10 days. It is recommended that adults take between 3.75 to 7.5 mg (milligrams).
Though Zimovane was formulated as a safer alternative to benzos, when abused, it can produce the same troubling effects and withdrawal symptoms as those other CNS depressants.
It’s worth noting that Zopiclone is not commercially available in the U.S. as it is designated as a controlled substance. However, it is diverted and made available for sale on the “black market.” It has also been made available online.
Side effects like dry mouth and drowsiness occur in more than 1 in 100 people who use Zimovane. Rarer still are the serious side effects that can arise from use. They include:
When someone exceeds the recommended dosage for Zimovane or uses it longer than the prescribed amount of time, that person risks becoming dependent and addicted to the drug.
This is especially the case with recreational users, who will abuse Zimovane and other sleep medications by taking them in unintended ways, i.e., by crushing, snorting or injecting them. They also tend to abuse Zimovane with alcohol, benzos, or other prescription pills.
Zimovane dependence occurs when someone becomes accustomed to the drug. The person will feel normal only when Zimovane is present in their bodies. However, once it cycles out of the person’s system, they experience intense symptoms of withdrawal. One such symptom is referred to as “rebound insomnia,” where someone will have more difficulty falling asleep than when they first started taking the medication.
Physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms include:
Zimovane produces withdrawal symptoms that are similar to those of other Z-drugs and benzodiazepines. What’s more, withdrawal can last months or even years. Distinct symptoms occur in both the early and long-term stages of withdrawal.
Because of the sheer multitude of its withdrawal symptoms, attempting to detox from Zimovane on your own is highly dangerous. This is particularly true if you have abused Zimovane with alcohol or other CNS depressants.
The withdrawal symptoms from this Z-drug can be life-threatening. When abused with other depressants, the potential for fatal respiratory depression greatly increases. That’s why professional addiction treatment is recommended. It is the safest, most effective route to recovery.
When you enter into professional recovery, you will undergo a medically supervised detoxification, which is also referred to as acute treatment. With detox, Zimovane and other toxins will be removed from the body, and the concerning withdrawal symptoms that arise will be alleviated.
Like alcohol and barbiturates, the withdrawal symptoms of sedative medications like Zimovane are enough to cause someone to relapse, which increases their chances of succumbing to overdose. When taken with alcohol, Zimovane can produce overdose symptoms such as depressed respiratory function and suffocation, which can result in coma, brain damage, or death.
A professional recovery program will offer clinical stabilization services after detox, to thwart that outcome. During the clinical stabilization process, you will receive therapy and counseling to help you get to the root of your addiction.
The various, evidence-based treatment approaches at this stage include:
Outpatient care, where you receive ongoing treatment and counseling on a part-time basis, is also available. Depending on the severity of your addiction, your outpatient program can occur after acute treatment or clinical stabilization.
Once treatment is completed, you can get connected to a recovery community that provides long-term support and counseling.
Zimovane does not have to claim your life. Let us help you find the treatment option that helps you achieve successful recovery.
Call 844-326-4514 anytime, day or evening, for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable addiction recovery specialists. We can help you find the right treatment option. You can also contact us online for more information.
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/zopiclone/
CDC Report: 9 Million Using Prescription Sleep Aids. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201308/cdc-report-9-million-using-prescription-sleep-aids?amp
Ocean Breeze Recovery. (2019, February 22). Zimovane Withdrawal. Retrieved from https://oceanbreezerecovery.org/sedatives/zimovane/withdrawal/
One in four Americans develop insomnia each year: 75 percent of those with insomnia recover. (2018, June 05). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180605154114.htm