What Happens When You Mix Lunesta and Alcohol?

lunesta and alcohol
Amanda Stevens

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Across the United States, about 60 million people struggle with chronic sleeplessness, or insomnia– and many of them use Lunesta. A sedative-hypnotic medicine, Lunesta was designed to help people fall asleep quicker, but at the cost of a number of adverse side effects. These side effects often can be dangerous, especially when Lunesta and alcohol are combined. 

For those with sleep disorders or other mental illnesses that make sleeping difficult, sleep aids like Lunesta make life easier. However, due to the way that this drug interacts with the body, building dependency and tolerance can happen in weeks. This can make sticking to correct dosages and following labelled instructions harder as usage progresses. 

Lunesta was created to serve as a short-term solution to sleep disorders like insomnia. However, because building tolerance and dependency on sleeping pills is so easy, over 500,000 individuals abuse sleeping pills annually


Understanding How Lunesta Impacts the Body

The brand name for eszopiclone, Lunesta was initially designed to help those struggling with sleeplessness get the rest that they needed. A nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent, Lunesta has been proven to improve sleep maintenance. 

A depressant, Lunesta decreases feelings of anxiety and muscle spasms by binding to the GABA receptors in the brain. Lunesta slows brain activity this way, depressing the Central Nervous System (CNS) and putting users in a calm, euphoric state. 

While similar in function and interaction with GABA receptors, sedative-hypnotics are distinct and different from benzodiazepines. Certain benzodiazepines are used as sleep aids, but sleeping pills like Lunesta improve sleep latency and quality of sleep more.


More than Sleep: Lunesta’s Side Effects

Although a sedative-hypnotic medicine, Lunesta doesn’t necessarily put users directly to sleep. Instead, this drug puts them into a dream-like state of mind that makes sleep easier to achieve. While helpful when inducing sleepiness, this state of sleep-like limbo can have a number of adverse side effects. 

During the period of time between sleep and after taking Lunesta, users can exhibit a number of odd behaviors. Like other CNS depressants such as alcohol, this can include abnormal and aggressive behaviors and decreased inhibitions. There have also been reported instances of sleep-walking and sleep-driving, a probability that is increased when mixing Lunesta and alcohol. 

Lunesta is often abused in order to achieve the dreamy, euphoric effects that come with taking more than the drug’s recommended dosage. Those abusing Lunesta to get high will often prolong the period of time before they fall asleep. This allows users to experience euphoria while in a dream-like state.

Even more often, sleeping pills like Lunesta will be combined with another CNS depressant like alcohol or opioids. Users will mix these drugs in order to enhance or achieve combined side effects, which may increase euphoria. However, this combination plays with the very real possibility of overdose. 


Combining Lunesta and Alcohol

Sleeping pills like Lunesta already have a high probability for dependency due to how it impacts the brain’s GABA receptors. For those with a history of mental illnesses, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse, the risk of psychological dependency is greater. 

Although not a benzodiazepine or opioid, combining Lunesta and alcohol can bring about the same catastrophic outcomes as other depressants. When mixed with other CNS depressants, a number of additive effects occur, which can include fatal overdose. 

Warning labels and medication guides very clearly direct those prescribed Lunesta to not take it if they have consumed alcohol. This is because overdoses and fatalities related to Lunesta have only occurred when combined with alcohol and other depressants. 

Because of how CNS depressants function, combining them can lead to users experiencing extreme sleepiness and trouble breathing. While Lunesta alone may usher in a self of calm, combining it with other depressants compounds the dangerous side effects. 


Getting the Treatment You Need at Recovery Unplugged

If you or someone you love is using Lunesta and drinking alcohol, it’s possible that they might overdose. The most common signs of overdose include dilated pupils, a weak pulse, clammy skin, and clammy breathing. Should you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately. 

Overdosing on Lunesta and alcohol has become too common of an occurrence. At Recovery Unplugged, we help those struggling with prescription drug addiction and sleeping pill addictions overcome their demons. 

Nobody wants to fall asleep and stay asleep forever. Our goal is to keep you from becoming another statistic. Every time you drink alcohol and take sleeping pills, you gamble with life and death. Addiction and overdose are sensitive issues that need to be faced with the help of professionals who care. 

At Recovery Unplugged, we use music to help our clients get to the root causes of their addictions. If you’ve overdosed on Lunesta and alcohol in the past or are struggling with addiction, we’re here to give you the support you need. Reach out to us today to begin your journey towards a life in recovery. 

We take our music-focused treatment for addiction very seriously, so we are going to hold our content to the same precision standards. Recovery Unplugged’s editorial process involves our editing safeguard and our ideals. Read our Editorial Process.

Amanda Stevens

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work.

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