Table of Contents

The Basics of Lunesta Rehabilitation

This guide was written to provide an overview of the Lunesta rehabilitation process as well as to offer helpful resources for persons recovering from Lunesta addiction.

Rehabilitation and treatment for Lunesta addiction typically encompass similar methods used for individuals suffering from benzodiazepine addiction. The first step is typically a closely monitored detoxification process, during which Lunesta is gradually removed from the body in a series of steps, including gradual drug reduction, drug replacement therapy, or a combination of the two.

For managing sedative withdrawal, outpatient detoxification is usually recommended because the withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Outpatient programs and hospitalization can help ensure the safety of the patient.

Many treatment plans may also include additional elements, such as behavioral therapy, support groups, and other remedies aimed at tackling the underlying issues for the sleep disorder. Patients can also receive ongoing social support long after being discharged as they begin to form healthier sleeping habits and eventually achieve optimal recovery.

Description of the Four Steps of the Rehab Process

For more information, read our guide to the rehab process.

What Makes Lunesta Rehabilitation Difficult?

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies Lunesta as a Schedule IV substance along with other similar sleep aids such as Ambien, meaning it has a lower potential for abuse and dependence when compared to other drugs at the Schedule III or Schedule II level, such as oxycodone, methadone, ketamine, and Tylenol with codeine.

Lunesta rehabilitation is primarily difficult because of the condition it aims to treat — insomnia. Not being able to sleep consistently and for as long as a person needs to can be debilitating, making it difficult to lead a normal life during waking hours. Long, seemingly endless periods of exhaustion can result in perpetual irritability, depression, and anxiety.

While Lunesta use may start off appropriately, rebound or lingering insomnia problems can lead to long-term use, which eventually leads to dependency. Some individuals develop a tolerance to Lunesta over time, which encourages them to take larger and larger doses to achieve the same effects.

The Unique Struggle of Lunesta Addicts
  • can lead to tolerance and dependency when used long term.
  • has a high tendency of relapse, even after detoxification and withdrawal.
  • can cause physical and psychological cravings, even after a detox period.
  • has significant, serious withdrawal symptoms, especially when ceasing use suddenly.

Lunesta Rehabilitation Statistics

Lunesta Treatment Admissions by Gender

52.1% Female
47.9% Male

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that in 2015:

  • 18,564,000 individuals 12 years of age and older used prescription sedatives, such as Lunesta, which is equivalent to 6.9% of the population.
  • 1,511,000 people 12 years of age and older misused prescription sedatives, such as Lunesta, which is equivalent to 0.6% of the population.
  • 2,801,000 individuals 12 years of age and older misused sedatives and/or hypnotics such as Lunesta and sought treatment as part of a dedicated rehabilitation program.

Demographics of Individuals Seeking Treatment for Lunesta Addiction

According to a 2017 SAMHSA report that charts admissions to and discharges from publicly funded substance use treatment facilities, women are considerably more likely to seek treatment for sedative abuse, which includes Lunesta. The gender breakdown of treatment admissions for sedatives was 47.9% male and 52.1% female. While sedative addiction occurs in all age groups, the most common age group admitted to a treatment facility for sedative use was individuals aged 25 to 29, with 42 being the average age of all individuals from all age groups who are seeking rehabilitation.

Sedative Treatment Admissions Percentages by Age Group, 2017
Age at the Time of Treatment Admission Percentage of Sedative Treatment Admissions
12-17 6.3%
18-24 15.2%
25-34 25.6%
35-44 15.8%
45-54 10%
55-64 7.8%
65+ 19.7%

Lunesta Detoxification & Withdrawal Process

Recovering from Lunesta addiction usually begins with a detoxification process, and it’s one that’s typically medically managed for the safety of the patient. During detoxification, the patient experiences a gradual dosage reduction, which involves slowly tapering the patient’s Lunesta dosage over a period of days or weeks. Sometimes, if gradual dosage reduction is ineffective, a long-acting benzodiazepine, such as chlordiazepoxide or diazepam, may be administered instead because they can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.

The length of the initial detoxification period depends on several factors, including how long and how much Lunesta the user has been taking and when they took their last dose. Lunesta’s half-life is about 6 hours, which means approximately half the dosage is removed from the body in this amount of time. Initial Lunesta detox can take several hours or days to complete, depending on the patient.

If the user has a long history of Lunesta use or if use of the drug has ceased abruptly, withdrawal symptoms can be severe.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Body Mind
Short-Term Symptoms Tremors
Stomach Pain/Cramping
Body aches
Nightmares or vivid dreams
Memory loss
Mood changes
Long-Term Symptoms Seizures
Gastrointestinal problems
Severe cravings
Chronic fatigue

Lunesta detoxification is linked to dangerous withdrawal symptoms

Lunesta is classified as a CNS (central nervous system) depressant. When dosages are abruptly reduced or stopped, patients may experience serious withdrawal symptoms, some of which may be debilitating or dangerous. Extreme anxiety, continued insomnia, hallucinations, seizures, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure can all put the patient at risk for serious complications.

Withdrawing from Lunesta can cause uncomfortable physical symptoms

In addition to debilitating side effects, the patient may also experience uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as stomach cramps, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

Lunesta withdrawal can lead to suicidal thoughts and personality changes

Aggression, agitation, changes in behavior, thoughts of self-harm, depression, and suicidal thoughts are all long-term withdrawal effects of Lunesta. This is part of why medically supervised detoxification programs are often recommended for Lunesta-addicted patients.

Lunesta Detoxification Medications

There is no one specific medication used to manage Lunesta detoxification and withdrawal, but medical professionals may use certain medicines that can manage symptoms and make the patient feel safer and more comfortable. In certain cases, a replacement non-benzodiazepine may be given to the patient to help manage withdrawal symptoms.

For more information about withdrawal, read our guide on Lunesta addiction.

Treatment for Lunesta Addiction

While there is currently no standardized approach to treating Lunesta addiction, there are other methods that have been widely used and known to promote successful recovery. The heart of Lunesta addiction treatment is behavioral therapy to treat the addiction itself and the underlying cause of the patient’s insomnia. While detoxification is primarily conducted on an outpatient basis, these types of therapies can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

Rehabilitation Settings

Within either an inpatient or outpatient setting, treatments such as detoxification services, behavioral therapies, and medication-assisted treatments are offered for varying lengths of time.

Inpatient treatment involves living full-time (including overnight) at a treatment facility for a set period of time. Outpatient treatment involves scheduled appointments at a facility in which you are free to come and go. Within each category, there are several distinctions.

Lunesta Treatment Programs
Setting Type of Treatment Description Duration Time Commitment
Inpatient Short-Term Residential Intensive treatment, sometimes in a hospital setting. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Long-Term Residential Intensive treatment in a non-hospital setting, most often a therapeutic community with other patients. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-12 months Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Partial Hospitalization Intensive treatment in a hospital setting. Patients do not stay overnight. Considered inpatient due to the hospital setting. Extensive services are provided and require a near full-time commitment every week. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Outpatient Intensive Day Treatment Extensive services of an inpatient program but patients return home each day following treatment. After completion, patients often transition to less intensive counseling. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-4 months Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:


Counseling Both individual counseling and group counseling focus on short-term behavioral goals to develop coping strategies. Therapies offered are moderate. Medication-assisted treatment is not available. As long as desired Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Support Groups Self-help groups center on maintaining abstinence after another form of treatment. Typically meet one day a week for 1-2 hours. As long as desired Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:

Behavioral and Medication-Assisted Therapies

Behavioral therapy for substance addiction seeks to identify and manage addictive behaviors that lead to use and prevent relapse. Behavioral therapy is based on the concept that all behavior is learned, and thus, unhealthy behavior can be changed through learning coping skills and increasing awareness of negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to substance abuse.

Behavioral Therapies for Lunesta Addiction
Type of Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Further reading:


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) addresses psychological issues and other problematic behaviors by changing the patterns of behavior themselves. This may involve developing new problem-solving skills, facing long-suppressed fears or anxieties, role-playing to learn coping strategies, and learning to use relaxation techniques, such as breathing, yoga, or meditation, to use as an alternative to sleeping pills and substance abuse.

CBT is also used to treat insomnia, which is the disorder that Lunesta primarily treats. Patients can use CBT to form healthier long-term sleeping habits so that, ideally, they’re not using prescription sleep aids anymore.

Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives

Further reading:

Contingency management (CM) seeks to prevent substance abusers from relapsing by offering positive reinforcement methods as an incentive, such as goal-oriented rewards, money vouchers, and other prizes. Whenever a patient demonstrates good behavior or reaches important milestones, such as attending support groups regularly or passing drug tests, they receive a reward.

While CM is not a cure-all on its own, it can provide extra motivation to keep patients on track and headed towards long-term recovery.

Lifestyle Changes

Further reading:

Recovering Lunesta abusers may benefit from drastic lifestyle changes, which can help improve sleeping habits and decrease the need for sleep aids like Lunesta. Specific lifestyle changes may vary by individual but typically include the limitation of stimulants, such as caffeine and tobacco, and establishing daily exercise and bedtime routines.
12-Step Facilitation Therapy

Further reading:

Twelve-step facilitation therapy, otherwise known as a 12-step program, is a form of self-help therapy. It usually takes place in group settings. The theory is that by sharing addiction stories in a guided setting, participants may obtain community-level support and guidance in their road to recovery. They can also gain access to real-world examples of healthy lifestyle behaviors, which can further assist them on their road to recovery.

How to Find Help

Finding a Rehabilitation Center for Lunesta Addiction

It’s important for individuals interested in getting help for their Lunesta addiction to find a rehabilitation center that is familiar with treating Lunesta addiction and offers comfortable, safe detoxification methods. Having medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists, nearby within the facility helps ensure complications from withdrawal and detoxification can be addressed immediately and that each patient’s physical, emotional, and behavioral needs are sufficiently attended to.

When searching for a rehabilitation facility, look for those that offer behavioral therapy and several types of additional support. Lunesta misuse often occurs from chronic insomnia, so addressing sleep issues along with addiction treatment can help minimize the chances of relapse and help ensure a lasting recovery period.

Our Directory

Our directory of rehab programs includes a comprehensive list of available treatment centers and programs as provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In the directory, you will find tools to filter the programs by setting, price, and location.