Ambien can be beneficial for people who have been struggling with insomnia. If this prescription medication is taken as directed by a qualified physician, it can be both safe and effective. But if a person abuses Ambien, they can become dependent upon the drug. The intensity of Ambien withdrawal symptoms is one of the many factors that can keep a person trapped in the downward spiral of addiction.
What is Ambien?
Ambien is the brand name of a prescription medication. The generic name for the drug that is marketed as Ambien is zolpidem. Zolpidem is classified as a sedative-hypnotic.
Ambien is typically prescribed to treat people who have insomnia. The recommended dosage is 10 mg for adults and 5 mg for older adults or those who have certain health conditions. Ambien is not approved for children and adolescents.
This medication is not designed for long-term use. Prescribing information indicates that people should not use it for more than 35 days.
Side Effects of Ambien
Ambien use has been associated with several side effects and long-term problems. Side effects of Ambien can occur the first time a person uses this drug or after multiple uses.
Here are a few potential side effects of Ambien use:
- Having difficulty with balance or coordination
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Sleep problems
- Acting strangely, then later having no memory of what they did
- Walking, preparing food, driving a car, or having sex while asleep
- Dramatic mood swings
People who abuse and become addicted to Ambien may also have hallucinations, show signs of depression, and struggle with other mental health concerns.
Signs of Ambien Abuse and Addiction
People who have been abusing or become addicted to Ambien often attempt to hide their behaviors. This means that it isn’t always easy to identify the signs of Ambien abuse and addiction. But here are some signs that may indicate that someone has a problem:
- Trying to buy, borrow, or steal Ambien that has been prescribed to someone else
- Attempting to acquire Ambien via illicit online sources
- Lying to a doctor, or visiting several physicians, to get prescriptions for Ambien without having a legitimate medical reason
- Using Ambien in larger doses or for longer than indicated in the prescription
- Deceiving friends and family about the amount and frequency of their Ambien use
- Becoming angry or agitated when they can’t get or use Ambien
- Continuing to use Ambien even after having problems related to prior use
Anyone who exhibits these signs may be in crisis. They should consult with their doctor or another qualified professional. Ambien abuse and addiction are treatable. When a person gets the help they need, they can overcome the compulsion to continue using Ambien.
Dangers of Ambien Abuse
Ambien abuse has been associated with many dangers, including the following:
- Tolerance, which means they will need larger amounts of Ambien to achieve the effects they are expecting
- Painful Ambien withdrawal symptoms when they can’t use the drug
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Physical injuries related to sleepwalking and other behaviors while under the influence of Ambien
- Onset or worsening of mental health disorders
- Memory loss
- Respiratory distress
- Elevated risk for certain cancers
Not everyone who abuses Ambien will develop all the effects listed above. But the longer a person engages in this dangerous behavior, the more likely they are to experience problems
Preventing future damage and being able to start healing from past harm are two of the many benefits of receiving treatment for Ambien abuse from a reputable healthcare provider.
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline
Withdrawal is one of the classic signs of addiction. When a person has become addicted to a drug, and they then either end or significantly reduce their use of this drug, they may experience a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. This is known as withdrawal.
Ambien withdrawal can be extremely disconcerting. If a person tries to quit using this drug on their own, the distress of Ambien withdrawal can prevent them from stopping.
Here are some of the more common Ambien withdrawal symptoms:
- Powerful cravings for Ambien
- Elevated body temperature
- Excessive perspiration
- Racing heart rate
- Inability to sleep (insomnia)
- Tremors or shakiness
- Stomach ache or abdominal cramping
In cases of heavy Ambien abuse or long-term addiction, people who are going through Ambien withdrawal may have symptoms of psychosis or delirium.
Ambien withdrawal symptoms usually begin to occur within two days after the last time a person has taken the medication. The symptoms typically become most severe after about three to five days. Though they can begin to dissipate after that, some symptoms of Ambien withdrawal may last for two weeks or longer.
Ambien Detox and Treatment
Detoxification, or detox, is a healthier option than trying to stop using Ambien on your own.
When you enter an Ambien detox program, you will be under the care and supervision of a team of professionals. Detox programs are conducted in safe environments where you will not have access to addictive substances. This will prevent you from trying to end your withdrawal symptoms by once again using Ambien.
Depending on your symptoms and the policies of the detox program you choose, you may receive therapeutic and/or medical support to help you manage the symptoms of Ambien withdrawal.
Once you have successfully completed detox, you can transition directly into the next phase of treatment. As your treatment progresses, you can develop the skills that will help you resist relapse. With proper care, continued effort, and ongoing support, you can achieve long-term recovery from Ambien addiction.
Find Treatment for Ambien Addiction in Nashville, TN
Brentwood Springs Detox is an ideal environment to begin your recovery journey. At our center in Nashville, Tennessee, compassionate professionals get through Ambien withdrawal safely and with minimal distress. If you have found it difficult or impossible to stop using Ambien, our detox program may be the perfect place for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help.