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Sonata Addiction

It’s another day in the office at 8 a.m., and you’re exhausted. You tossed and turned, and continued to wake up every hour the night before. You’re not alone. This has become a common theme for an estimated 50 million to 70 million people in the United States who suffer from disturbed sleep. This is a trend that has continually increased over time. As the stresses of life consume our bodies, it generally makes it harder to get a good night’s rest.

It is statistically proven that a good night’s rest is the foundation for a healthy life. Studies show a staggering 70 percent of those surveyed have at least one night a month with insufficient sleep, and 11 percent every night. While these problems are nothing new, they have managed to worsen with time. Throughout the years, there have been drugs created to help alleviate these problems Americans face.

In the early 1900s, barbiturates were introduced to Americans as a solution for their sleep problems. The intentions were pure, but as time rolled on, we began to see how addictive these drugs were. By the late 1950s, there was an end to barbiturate use when clinicians saw the destruction they had caused. The drugs were not being used for their intended purpose, and a spike in recreational use led to addiction. A new class of drugs called benzodiazepines was created as an alternative with promising results. As time went on, it was also apparent that these caused destructive behaviors in those consuming them. Over the years, various drugs have been created because of how dire the sleep crisis has become.

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Finally, a class of medications called sedative-hypnotics was introduced specifically for sleep disorders. The intention was to help users fall asleep without the adverse side effects that benzos produce. Sonata left individuals to believe it was safer and that there was no possibility of misuse, but that is not the case. Sonata, even when used as prescribed, can run the potential of serious side effects such as addiction. When using Sonata, you risk causing permanent damage to vital brain functions such as memory.

How Does Sonata Work?

Sonata is chemically different from benzodiazepines, but the two drug types share similar chemical properties. They work on the brain in the same manner by activating the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is a series of chemicals in the central nervous system (CNS) that inhibit nerve impulses. These cause feelings of stress and anxiety. GABA works by blocking these emotions from your brain to help achieve in keeping you calm.

Sonata, in essence, works the same as the naturally produced GABA. It stimulates these receptors into producing additional GABA that induce feelings of sedation.

The primary difference in how Sonata and benzos affect GABA is that benzos do not bind with all GABA receptors, and Sonata only binds with the ones that promote sleep.

What Are the Signs of Sonata Addiction?

A growing Sonata addiction is often harder to notice than other drugs. Sonata is a prescription drug, which means one must go through a doctor to legally obtain it, which makes some people think it’s safer to use and incapable of being abused. This is not true. All drugs carry some risk of addiction when they are misused or abused. The problem with sedative drugs is that getting sleep is vital for living a healthy life, and when someone finds a fix for their problems, they may continue to use despite the consequences.

This makes Sonata more dangerous than other drugs. In most cases, people can live with pain and other disorders, but you can’t live without sleep. This catch-22 allows justification of drug use, but the reality is you may not know you are becoming dependent on Sonata. These realizations often come too late.

There are signs associated with Sonata use that can relate to addiction. If you feel you or a loved one has become dependent or addicted to Sonata, there are symptoms you should familiarize yourself with what to look out for.

There are long-term effects that can become apparent over time such as:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Periods of confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Frequent headaches
  • Feelings of numbness or pins and needles

While these side effects can cause significant problems, there also are abnormal behaviors that relate to the drug. As the person who uses Sonata becomes more dependent on the drug, they likely will prioritize using and obtaining the drug. This is one of the biggest signs of a growing addiction.

As it continues to progress, warning signs will continue to become more clear. These can include:

  • Doctor shopping
  • Taking Sonata without a prescription
  • Consuming in larger doses than what is prescribed
  • Stealing 
  • Increased tolerance
  • Rationalizing behavior to justify use
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Lying about substance use
  • An inability to quit despite multiple tries
  • An inability to function without Sonata

If you have noticed that either you or a loved one is experiencing one or more symptoms on these lists, it may be time to consider professional addiction treatment. Early detection is key to saving lives.

What Is Involved in Sonata Addiction Treatment?

The potential for addiction with Z-drugs is inherently low, and Sonata falls even lower in the scope of drug use. This does not mean there is no potential for withdrawal symptoms that will push a user back to taking the pill. Due to its effects on GABA, the withdrawal symptoms of Sonata can be similar to that of benzodiazepines. Not only are these withdrawals extremely uncomfortable, but they can be fatal in some cases.

With that in mind, if you have decided to take the next step to a better life and attend treatment, the first step of the process must be a medical detoxification center. Detox can be a three- to seven-day stint under the supervision of trained medical staff. You will be monitored 24 hours a day to ensure safety during this transition. You will go through a transformation and achieve balance physically and psychologically as you remove toxic substances from your body. If you do struggle with extreme withdrawals, medical professionals will administer medication to combat the worst symptoms to achieve as much comfort as possible.

Once you have cleared the drug(s) from your system, you may be recommended to enter a residential treatment center or outpatient facility, depending on the severity of your addiction. Medical professionals determine this placement based on an initial assessment and other factors. If they assess you as appropriate to go home and attend therapies throughout the week, outpatient treatment may be recommended. For some, however, they need to hit the reset button and spend time on-site away from the stressors associated with the home environment.

During residential treatment, you will live on-site at a facility for up to 90 days on your journey to recovery.

You will attend therapy sessions designed to help you understand why your Sonata addiction began. You may be placed in group counseling, individual counseling, addiction education workshops, behavioral therapy and other kinds of therapy during your stay. A treatment plan will be developed and can be adjusted to your changing needs as necessary, particularly as new obstacles or barriers are recognized.

How Dangerous Is Sonata?

Sonata was created as a safer alternative to benzos, but the drug’s side effects can be dangerous even when taking as intended. One of the more dangerous and common side effects of Sonata is sleepwalking. This means that you can perform activities while unconscious and have no recollection of those activities.

Other side effects of hypnotic drugs include:

  • Leaving the house
  • Cooking and eating food
  • Driving a motor vehicle
  • Conversing with friends or family
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse

Sonata boasts a short half-life and its effects last about an hour. This could mean an increased risk of overdosing for someone who consumes the drugs frequently in high doses. If an overdose is not treated immediately, it can lead to organ damage, coma, or death due to suffocation.

Sonata overdose symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Tremors
  • An inability to remain awake
  • Unresponsiveness

If you witness someone overdosing on Sonata or any drug, immediately call 911 to avoid any adverse long-term side effects. One can die from an overdose, so it is imperative that the person get help quickly.

Sonata Abuse Statistics

  • 31% of people used Z-drugs to get high, and 10% abused them because they seemed safer to misuse than illicit drugs
  • The most common emergency room visits resulting from Sonata use are from attempted suicide.
  • Those who regularly consume sleeping pills like Sonata have a 44% higher chance of developing upper respiratory tract infections and sinusitis.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you or someone you care about is struggling with Sonata addiction, Ocean Breeze Recovery can help you take the steps you need to sobriety. We offer intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization services. If you or your loved one needs medical detox or residential treatment, please visit our sister facility, Arete Recovery.

Call 844-554-9279 now to speak with one of our addiction specialists about which of our treatment programs is best for you or your loved one. You can also contact us online for more information.


The State of SleepHealth in America. (n.d.). Retrieved from

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, April 30) Sleep Disorder (Sedative-Hypnotic) Drug Information. Retrieved from

Plante, D. T., Jensen, J. E., & Winkelman, J. W. (2012, June 01). Retrieved from

healthline. (2016, June 23) Recognizing an Addiction Problem. Tyler, M., Legg, T. PhD, CARN-AP, CASAC, MAC Retrieved from

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Postmarket Drug Safety Information for Patients and Providers – Sleep Disorder (Sedative-Hypnotic) Drug Information. Retrieved from

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