Ambien is the brand name for zolpidem, a schedule IV-controlled substance used to treat insomnia. It is a sedative-hypnotic medication that works by slowing down the activity of the brain. Ambien is taken as a pill before bedtime and should only be used for short-term treatment of insomnia.
It is no secret that Ambien is one of the most prescribed drugs in America. According to the National Center for Health Statistics Ambien was the ninth most prescribed drug in 2010. This statistic is especially alarming when you consider that Ambien is a powerful sleep aid that is meant to be taken for only a brief period.
So why are so many people taking Ambien? There are several reasons people may start taking Ambien. For some, it is simply a way to help them get a good night’s sleep. But for others, Ambien can become a way to escape from their problems. Some take this drug to self-medicate anxiety, depression, or even stress. Because Ambien is a powerful sleep aid, it can be easy to become dependent on it. Some people are also using Ambien recreationally by taking larger doses than are prescribed or staying awake after taking it to get the intoxicating effect of the drug.
There are checks that doctors and pharmacies use to try to prevent situations like Ambien addiction. However, those who develop a dependency may find ways of obtaining more of the drug. Some may begin doctor shopping because they can no longer get refills from a specific doctor, or they may purchase the drug illegally.
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people do not realize that Ambien is a powerful drug that can be addictive. However, as they continue to use it, they may find that they need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. And when they try to quit, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can occur for up to five days after someone stops taking Ambien.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hand tremors
- Severe confusion
If you or someone you know is struggling with Ambien addiction, it is important to get help as soon as possible. There are many treatment options available that can help people overcome their addiction and live a healthy, productive life.
Ambien should be taken as a single dose before bedtime and should not be taken with food. The recommended dose of Ambien is 5mg once daily, dosage should not exceed 10 mg. Patients should take Ambien only when they are able to get a full night’s sleep (7-8 hours) before they need to be active again. Always consult your healthcare provider for information on your prescription and dosage.
While Ambien is well-tolerated, there are some potential side effects associated with the medication. It is important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with using Ambien.
Common side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
Severe side effects include:
- Memory loss
In rare cases, Ambien may also cause an allergic reaction. If you experience any of these side effects, be sure to contact your doctor.
Long-term Effects of Ambien Addiction
It is estimated that between 3 and 6 percent of people who use Ambien will become addicted. That may not seem like a lot, but considering how many people use Ambien, it is a considerable number. Those who do become addicted often find it difficult to quit because of the severe withdrawal symptoms. The long-term effects of Ambien addiction can be devastating.
Long term effects of Ambien addiction include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Impaired cognitive performance and mental health
- Damage to the brain
- Permanent memory loss.
If prescribed Ambien, be sure to monitor your use closely and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Ambien addiction is a severe problem that can have dangerous consequences that can lead to overdose and even death. Doctors will take your medical history into account when prescribing medication and will try to avoid drugs that come with addictive potential, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. However, even if you’re not prone to addiction, you should know that it is possible for someone to become addicted after taking Ambien for a prolonged period.
Here are some signs that you or someone you love might have an Ambien addiction:
- Taking more medication than prescribed
- Taking it for longer than required
- Not knowing how long you can remain asleep when using the medication
- Sleepwalking or sleep driving
If you feel like you are suffering from any of these symptoms, it might be time to reach out for professional help. A doctor can assess your situation and help you get through withdrawal.
Inpatient or outpatient treatment for prescription drugs is the best way to overcome an Ambien addiction. For those who became addicted to Ambien due to issues with sleep, a reputable addiction treatment center will help you find new ways of dealing with this problem. An Ambien Addiction Treatment Center like Lakeview Health has trained, on-site medical staff to help you in your recovery. At Lakeview Health, treatment plans are individualized and focus on treating the whole person. Because most cases of insomnia are linked to other issues including anxiety and depression, using Ambien for the treatment of insomnia can lead to abuse of this drug. Patients benefit from treatment plans that include more than just focusing on addiction treatment.
Some of the therapy programs we offer include:
- Cognitive-behavior therapy – CBT is used in both individual counselling and group therapy settings. This form of therapy assists patients in learning to identify and work to change negative self-image and thoughts.
- Dialectical behavior therapy – DBT is another form of talk therapy used in both individual and group therapy sessions. DBT focuses on helping patients learn how to emotionally regulate and understand why and how they experience the feelings that they do.
- Experiential therapy – Patients work through insecurities and other issues that they are facing by engaging in activities and events that facilitate the environment in which to do so.
- Family therapy Tries to reconcile the patient with their family in a safe and controlled setting where family members can express and share their feelings surrounding the substance abuse.
- Group therapy Patients discuss their feelings in a group setting with a counsellor or therapist serving as a facilitator, while their peers act as a support system.
- Music therapy – Music therapy encourages patients to use music to express themselves in novel and creative ways. This includes recording or listening to music, playing an instrument, or even composing music.
- Yoga therapy – This integrated approach helps patients move through their emotions. Strengthening and restoring both the body and the mind, linking the physical and mental components of healing.
Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, FL is an Ambien addiction treatment center providing custom, physician-supervised detox programs, as well as residential and partial hospitalization care. Call Lakeview Health now at 866 704 7692 to learn more about ending your Ambien addiction and starting a healthy recovery with the best possible support.
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