Alcohol Dependence: MedicationsMarch 7, 2011
Drug Addiction: Knowing the SignsMarch 10, 2011
Sedative-Hypnotic Dependence is the diagnosis used in the DSM-IV to describe the most severe addiction to Sedative-Hypnotics. Sedative-Hypnotics are prescription medications that work in nearly the same part of the brain as Alcohol. The drugs include barbiturates, benzodiazepines and tranquilizers. It is defined by having at least three of the following symptoms in a one-year period:
- Tolerance: The need to use increasing amounts of Sedative-Hypnotics in order to get the same level of intoxication, or using the regular amount of Sedative-Hypnotics doesn’t cause as strong an effect.
- Withdrawal: A specific set of symptoms that individuals experience when they stop taking Sedative-Hypnotics. Symptoms may include dilated pupils, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased temperature, shakiness, nausea and vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, coma and death.
- Using larger amounts of Sedative-Hypnotics and for longer periods than intended.
- Persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit using Sedative-Hypnotics.
- Spending excessive amounts of time trying to get Sedative-Hypnotics, being intoxicated or recovering from Sedative-Hypnotics use.
- Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of Sedative-Hypnotic use.
- The individual continues to use Sedative-Hypnotic despite knowledge of negative consequences (i.e. physical illness, relationship problems, job difficulty etc.)