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The Dangers Of Snorting Lunesta (Eszopiclone Insufflation)

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D

When a person snorts Lunesta, putting the drug into the body faster than intended, they increase the chances of adverse effects, including development of addiction and dependence.

Addictioncampuses.com The Dangers Of Snorting Lunesta (Eszopiclone Insufflation)

Drug produce different effects depending on the method of abuse, such as snorting, smoking or injecting. Snorting Lunesta (eszopiclone insufflation) is a method of recreational abuse which causes the drug to release its effects faster than normal.

While snorting may appeal to someone who has become addicted to or dependent on Lunesta, this method can result in severe side effects and dangers, including the risk of developing a tolerance, addiction to the drug and increased risk of overdose.

What Is Lunesta (Eszopiclone)?

Lunesta (eszopiclone) is a sedative-hypnotic prescription sleep aid. This medication is typically prescribed for people with insomnia (a disorder which causes consistent trouble with falling and staying asleep) and other sleep disorders. Lunesta works by lessening brain activity and producing a sense of calm in the body so a person can fall and stay asleep.

Despite its usefulness in treating sleep disorders, Lunesta can be harmful when abused. Even people who take it as prescribed are warned to take it only before bed, as the drug produces extreme drowsiness and sedation.

People taking Lunesta should not attempt to engage in physical activities, such as driving or operating large machinery and should be aware they may get up while sleeping (sleepwalking) and do things which they will not remember in the morning.

Although Lunesta is intended for oral use and is only available in an immediate-release form, the drug is long-acting, which means it remains in the system after a person no longer feels the effects from it.

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Dangers Of Snorting Lunesta

Dangers of snorting Lunesta mostly result from increasing the chances of adverse side effects by forcing the drug to work faster than intended. Lunesta is designed to work in the body right away, but snorting any drug produces nearly instant effects. When a person snorts Lunesta, it bypasses the digestive system and heads directly to the bloodstream.

The most common dangers of Lunesta abuse include:

  • Abnormal thoughts and behaviors: Some people who take Lunesta may experience more aggressive behavior than normal, or may experience agitation, confusion, visual or auditory hallucinations, worsened symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or ideations. The frequent snorting of Lunesta only increases a person’s chances of these effects.
  • Development of anxiety: While a person on Lunesta may already have an anxiety disorder (anxiety can often be linked to insomnia), Lunesta abuse may lead a person who does not have the anxiety to develop it, or worsen the symptoms for someone who does.
  • Leaving bed while not fully awake (sleepwalking): People who take Lunesta may get out of bed, perform activities and have no recollection of these events in the morning. Some reported activities while sleepwalking on Lunesta include: making and/or eating food, driving a car (sleep-driving), engaging in sexual activity, making phone calls and sleepwalking places.
  • Memory loss: This can include forgetting events from the night before, as well as memory loss in general over time. Abuse of Lunesta by insufflation increases this risk.
  • Severe allergic reaction: People with an allergy to any of the ingredients in Lunesta, including the main active ingredient, eszopiclone, should not take the medication and may experience a severe allergic reaction if they do.
  • Addiction, dependence, and tolerance: Abuse of any drug can lead to addiction, and drugs which result in withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using them can lead to physical dependence. These conditions can be worsened by tolerance, or when a person becomes so used to Lunesta, they no longer feel the effects of it, though the drug remains in their body. Repeated abuse of Lunesta due to tolerance increases the risk of overdose.

When a person snorts Lunesta, putting the drug into the body faster, they increase the chances of adverse effects, including the development of addiction and dependence. Snorting (insufflation) also comes with a host of possible negative side effects. Many affect a person’s nasal passages and throat, but some can affect a person’s overall health.

Dangers of snorting Lunesta (eszopiclone insufflation) include:

  • the collapse of nasal passages
  • decreased/loss of sense of smell
  • increased infections
  • increased nosebleeds
  • increased runny nose
  • bone loss in the nasal area
  • nasal obstruction/deformity
  • perforated septum (hole in nasal septum)
  • possible lung damage
  • trouble swallowing
  • worsening of allergies

If a person snorts Lunesta and shares the device they use to snort it, they may also face an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis C.

Addictioncampuses.com The Dangers Of Snorting Lunesta (Eszopiclone Insufflation) Harmful When Abused

Short-Term Effects Of Snorting Lunesta (Eszopiclone Insufflation)

Common side effects of Lunesta are fairly mild, but the instance of these effects is increased when a person abuses the drug. This is especially true of snorting due to the quick release of effects.

Short-term effects of snorting Lunesta include:

  • cold symptoms: congestion, runny nose, sneezing, loss of smell, nasal drip
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • a headache
  • lightheadedness
  • next-day drowsiness
  • development of or worsened snoring

Risk of these side effects may further increase if a person abuses the drug with another substance, like alcohol.

Long-Term Effects Of Snorting Lunesta (Eszopiclone Insufflation)

Lunesta is not designed for long-term use, so chronic abuse of it can lead to adverse effects. Some of the most damaging possible long-term effects of eszopiclone insufflation include the development of tolerance, addiction, and physical dependence, as well as increased health risks due to damage within the nasal region from snorting.

Addiction can lead to changes within a person’s life, such as damage to relationships with family and friends, financial strain, lack of interest in personal obligations, decreased performance in work or school and more. Dependence can result in harrowing withdrawal symptoms which keep a person going back to the drug again and again.

Lunesta (eszopiclone) withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • a headache
  • loss of energy
  • nausea
  • stomach cramps
  • shakiness
  • realistic, strange dreams
  • vomiting
  • rebound insomnia
  • sweating
  • short-term memory loss
  • troubles concentrating

Addictioncampuses.com The Dangers Of Snorting Lunesta (Eszopiclone Insufflation) Not Designed For Long-term

How Lunesta Affects The Brain

Lunesta works in the brain by binding to its chemical receptors, gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), causing an influx of these chemicals in the brain. The GABA increase is what causes a person to become drowsy and leads to sleep, which is why Lunesta, and other non-benzodiazepine sleep aids like Ambien (zolpidem), are short-acting. They help people fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for a full seven to eight hours.

However, due to the addictive properties of the drug, it is typically only prescribed for short-term use to help a person re-establish a healthy sleep cycle and wean off the use of it.

Unfortunately, a person who abuses Lunesta (takes more of it, increases the frequency of dosage or takes it in a way other than prescribed) may develop addiction or dependence and have a hard time quitting use of it.

This is because a person using Lunesta may come to rely on the drug to fall asleep, believing they cannot seek sleep without it. When this happens, the person is addicted, or mentally reliant on Lunesta.

If a person starts taking the drug more often or increasing dosage without consulting a doctor, they also increase risk physical dependence and withdrawal.

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Treatment Options For Sleeping Pill Abuse And Addiction

There are a variety of treatment options for sleeping pill abuse and addiction, including inpatient rehab programs and outpatient aftercare. People addicted to snorting Lunesta may also struggle with dependence on the drug, and should consider an inpatient rehab program with a medically supervised detox component.

Within inpatient programs at Addiction Campuses, a person can access professional help to taper off the use of Lunesta, receive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and have constant support and medical care to ensure a successful detox. Then, the person can move on to a formal inpatient program which usually includes counseling, behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Before choosing a program, an Addiction Campuses treatment specialist can help a person determine which rehab center will best meet their needs, help them identify issues which need to be addressed and set them up with a counselor who will design a customized program.

Mayo Clinic - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/in-depth/sleeping-pills/art-20043959

Psychology Today - https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-rest/201101/silly-uses-sleeping-pills

U.S. Food & Drug Administration - https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM134691.pdf

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D
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