What is Ambien?

Ambien, also know as Zolpidem, is a sedative and hypnotic. Ambien affects chemicals in the brain with abnormal functioning in individuals with sleep disorders and insomnia. Ambien is used to treat insomnia.

Sleep medications may be useful as a short-term solution, however having a dependency on it may result in addiction.  There are two parts of Ambien, a quick-release one that assists with inducing sleep, and extended-release to assist with maintaining sleep.

Ambien (zolpidem) is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, that binds to the benzodiazepine binding site on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA-A) receptors. Multiple studies report while the drug is efficient and safe in treatments of insomnia, there were reports of abuse and dependence.  Some cases that involved zolpidem produce abuse qualities, euphoric effects, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

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Doctors commonly prescribe Ambien be taken within a few weeks, however, if a patient’s sleep disorder continues, a medical professional should recommend another alternative. This is due to the fact that if taken longer then prescribed,  Ambien is very addictive,  it can develop tolerance, and create powerful side effects.  Though Ambien is not a benzodiazepine, like  Xanax or Valium, it has the same elements as these addictive prescription drugs.

How can you become addicted to Ambien?

Although it may be safe to take Ambien as prescribed by medical professionals, and it may not be addictive at first, however many patients tend to maintain their Ambien intake due to persistent sleep problems, which in turn develop into dependence, abuse, and a full addiction. FDA reports that this drug should be taken no longer than ten days due to a high risk for dependence. The longer the medication is taken, the more chances you can become addicted to it. A person may require higher dosages in order to receive a desirable effect. If the drug is mixed with alcohol or other illicit substances, it can result in more harmful side effects and lead to more severe addiction.

What are the signs of Ambien abuse and addiction?

Individuals who misuse Ambien may exhibit multiple signs of drug abuse:

  • Chronic drowsiness
  • Doctor shopping with the goal to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same drug.
  • Difficulties speaking
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of memory
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Being angry and hostile
  • Loss of judgment
  • Shortness of breath
  • Spending large amounts of money on medication
  • Stealing and lying in order to get more drugs

If you or your loved one is battling Ambien abuse or addiction, it is critical to get help and assessment from a recovery expert, and undergo a comprehensive treatment.

What are Ambiensome withdrawal symptoms?

  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal cramps, vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Convulsions

Those individuals who are dependent on Ambien may experience rebound insomnia, as a reverse effect of misusing this prescription medication. Rebound insomnia often manifests int the first stages of a detox process, while in rehab treatment.   Other triggers for relapse may be withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Your medical professional will make a decision about your treatment plan, which may include tapering the intake of Ambien in order to reduce dependency and get help with managing coinciding symptoms both physical and mental.

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However, for most patients, medical intervention along with therapy can cause lasting results, and lead to a successful recovery. Behavioral therapy is used following medically assisted detox, to ensure a successful recovery and to avoid relapse in the future.