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Zopiclone is a sleeping pill popularly prescribed to manage insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Categorised as a non-benzodiazepine tranquiliser, zopiclone is a depressant of the central nervous system, typically available as oral tablets and often used in rehabs to manage alcohol withdrawals. Due to its high abuse liability and potential for addiction, zopiclone is considered a class C controlled drug in the UK, which means it is available only through a prescription.

Unfortunately, despite the strict regulatory checks, the prevalence of zopiclone abuse is rising. Thousands of people within the UK continue to suffer in silence despite the negative consequences because they are too afraid to stop due to the much-dreaded zopiclone withdrawal. If you or someone you know is fighting zopiclone addiction and need help to quit without damaging their health, seeking professional help is necessary. A high-quality rehab centre can offer a medically supervised programme to make your zopiclone withdrawal process as smooth and comfortable as possible without any lifelong consequences.

Someone taking zopiclone for an extended time can quickly build a tolerance to it. This means such individuals would need to take this drug more regularly or in quantities higher than the prescribed dose to feel its actual effects. With time, their bodies become entirely dependent on zopiclone to the point where they demand the presence of this drug to function normally. In such circumstances, withdrawal symptoms usually appear when this sleeping pill is suddenly halted or reduced. In the case of a zopiclone detox, the following symptoms can be expected to appear as quickly as five to seven hours after the last dose:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations

More severe symptoms such as delirium or seizures may occur in extreme cases. An individual dealing with addiction cannot stop taking zopiclone on their own. Because addiction affects both the mind and body, it is imperative to simultaneously deal with physical dependency and psychological elements of addiction. Therefore, going for a professional detox programme and therapy session is highly recommended.

Zopiclone withdrawal has two primary phases:

Acute Withdrawal

Also known as the early onset phase or the initial stage of withdrawal, acute zopiclone withdrawal typically from a few hours to a few days after the last dose. Many users experience a broad range of unpleasant and highly uncomfortable physical symptoms during this stage that may interrupt day-to-day functioning. To circumvent these difficult symptoms, most experts consider using the tapering technique, which involves gradually reducing zopiclone instead of quitting cold turkey.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is the final stage characterised by more severe psychological and emotional symptoms with milder physical symptoms. By the time an individual develops PAWS, their brain will have been through the worst of the withdrawal-related changes and would possibly be returning to its normal state of functioning. Many addicts report experiencing similar symptoms as those of acute withdrawal; however, they are more manageable.

Coming off zopiclone can be a variable experience for each individual, depending on the severity and duration of addiction. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all schedule for its withdrawal symptoms. Nevertheless, if you are addicted to zopiclone and are planning to quit, you may expect to develop the following withdrawal symptoms in the manner described below:

Day 1-2

Within the first two days of the last zopiclone dose, you will likely experience irritability, anxiety and occasional muscle spasms. Some users also report feeling low or developing a nauseous feeling.

Day 2-5

The main withdrawal phase begins after day 2, usually persists till day 5 and includes more severe symptoms. The symptoms acquired during these days include intense nausea, extreme restlessness, indigestion, pronounced sweating, intense zopiclone cravings, hallucinations, and oscillating moods.

Day 5 to 14

By the fifth day, most withdrawal symptoms will likely start fading in intensity. Some of them may persist with the same intensity; however, their frequency is significantly reduced. Many users may continue experiencing sleep disruptions, depression, and lethargy even when other symptoms slowly subside.

Almost all zopiclone withdrawal symptoms disappear entirely two weeks after the last dose. If they persist, especially symptoms like depression or low mood, a PAWS diagnosis is declared, which may last for months or years.

Sleeping pill addiction has become progressively prevalent over the past few years, and experts have devised different treatment plans and approaches to combat these addictive behaviours and withdrawal symptoms. Of these plans, some are not endorsed by the medical community, while others may not be suitable for every individual. Hence, it is vital to consult your GP or seek help from a mental health professional before embarking on any treatment for zopiclone addiction and withdrawal.

In general, most people agree that rehab is the best approach to addiction treatment and is more likely to provide individuals with permanent recovery. The treatment for zopiclone withdrawals in these rehabs may take on various forms. Irrespective of the treatment approach, the goal is to make sure that you go through the safest and most comfortable withdrawal as your body gradually resumes its normal state of functioning.

To achieve this goal, a rehab may take help from one or more types of treatments, either separately or in combination. These combinations are curated according to individual needs to tailor to each client separately. Treatment for zopiclone withdrawal can occur on both an outpatient or inpatient basis. The former is generally preferred as it provides the clients with a chance to recover under 24/7 medical supervision. On the contrary, an outpatient programme provides a more flexible approach toward recovery without any limitations. The better option for each client depends on their unique circumstances.

The combination of on-site therapy and medically-assisted detox in a relaxing environment provides the perfect holistic treatment approach for zopiclone withdrawal that no other option can replicate. In addition to this holistic plan, some rehabs offer their clients access to support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, that support them in attaining and maintaining an addiction-free life. 

Because of the high addictive potential and an uncomfortable withdrawal phase, coming off zopiclone alone is very unsafe. Self-treatment in such cases is usually associated with a very high failure rate, and joining a rehab is highly recommended for guaranteed recovery.

Some other benefits that you or your loved one can avail of by joining a professional rehab for zopiclone addiction and withdrawal include the following:

  • Medically-supervised detoxification process, performed under the guidance of experienced medical professionals to manage the uncomfortable side effects.
  • Availability of emotional and psychological support round the clock.
  • A private, secluded, and attractive environment where you can solely focus on recovery without the outside world’s distractions.
  • Maintenance of confidentiality and privacy to ensure that details of your condition do not become common knowledge for anyone outside the facility.
  • Highly experienced, qualified, and non-judgmental staff members to help you go through all key stages of zopiclone withdrawal.
  • Provision of care through a variety of therapy models that help you uncover and address the root cause of your addiction.
  • Bespoke dietary plans and fitness regimes to help you establish a healthy and firm foundation for recovery.
  • Entry into a supportive group with peers who understand your experience and can share useful insights for prolonged recovery.
  • Aftercare services for long-term support and relapse management

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