Ambien addiction is becoming more and more common as Ambien prescriptions are often the solution to sleep issues among adults. Without any intent to abuse their prescription, many find themselves the victims of Ambien addiction, completely unable to get to sleep without the drug and unable to control themselves under its influence. The only way to heal once Ambien addiction has taken hold is to stop taking the drug under a doctor’s supervision and learn how to get to sleep naturally. For those who are powerless to do so alone, an Ambien addiction treatment center can help.
In April of 2007, Ambien, or zolpidem tartrate, was approved for use in the treatment of insomnia characterized by issues falling asleep or waking repeatedly throughout the night, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Usually prescribed in the form of extended-release tablets that facilitate long, uninterrupted sleep throughout the night, Ambien has one layer that releases immediately to help the patient fall asleep quickly and then another layer of medication that is released later in the night to help patients stay asleep. To fall asleep more quickly, it is not recommended to take this medication with or immediately after a meal.
Ambien is only intended for short-term use. A period of seven to 10 days is the recommended use time for this and many similar sleep medications; longer use of the drug can lead to dependence and addiction as well as a host of other side effects. If the inability to fall asleep naturally persists for a longer period, it may be caused by another issue or it may indicate the presence of a sleep disorder. Additionally, adverse side effects may be dose-related; if the smallest dose possible is not maintained, patients may experience significant issues, including addiction.
What Addiction to Ambien Looks Like
Unfortunately, though the signs of Ambien addiction may be obvious to others, it is difficult for those living with an active addiction to recognize them without help from those who witness the symptoms.
Ambien addiction is a serious drug issue. Like most addictions, it is characterized by a dependence upon the medication. Patients begin to feel that they are incapable of falling asleep without the drug and often take more than prescribed in order to ensure its effectiveness as a tolerance builds. In some cases, patients may even augment their prescription with alcohol or other drugs to increase their ability to fall asleep.
Additionally, those who have a heavy dependence or addiction upon Ambien often report blackout periods. They wake up to find out from others that they have had long conversations they don’t remember while others eat or even drive while they are in an Ambien haze and have no recollection of the event. This threatens the safety of the Ambien user and the safety of those around him or her.
Risks of Addiction
The risks of Ambien addiction affect every aspect of the patient’s life. According to the National Library of Medicine, these risks include everything from acute side effects while under the influence to chronic health problems from ingesting too much of the medication in the long term. Here are just a few:
- Simple behavior changes. Abnormal thinking and behavior patterns can occur while under the influence of Ambien. This can mean lower inhibitions, aggression that is out of character, depersonalization and agitation.
- Hallucinations. Both visual and auditory hallucinations can happen while Ambien is active in the body.
- Complex behaviors. Some have reported doing complex activities like driving or cooking while under the influence of Ambien and other sleep-inducing medications. The occurrence of these behaviors increases when Ambien is mixed with alcohol and are rarely remembered by the patient.
- Neuro-psychiatric symptoms. Amnesia and anxiety are two of the most common neuro-psychiatric symptoms reported in users of Ambien.
- Depression. Increased depression is common among those who are already living with depression, and suicidal thoughts are common as well.
- Health problems. When taking any medication in larger-than-recommended doses or for long periods of time, liver and kidney function issues can develop.
The appearance of these risks during Ambien use and abuse does not mean that patients should immediately stop taking their prescribed medication. When these side effects and issues are evident, abrupt cessation of the drug can mean withdrawal symptoms that require medical supervision. A medical detox or supervised detox can help patients slowly stop taking the drug at a safe pace and learn how to live without it effectively.
Complex Behaviors Associated With Dependency
Complex behaviors are described as actions that take multiple steps as opposed to simple behaviors that are perhaps better defined as reactions and emotional responses. When Ambien addiction is an issue, these complex behaviors can be significant and dangerous. Some of the most common of these include:
- Conversations. More intricate than the average nonsensical conversation under the influence, those under the influence of Ambien can have long dialogues with another person that seem coherent and thought out yet they have no memory of speaking with that person the following day.
- Cooking and eating food. Complete preparation of meals from start to finish and then sitting down to eat those meals is another complex behavior that can occur.
- Sex. Also a common complex behavior when a patient abuses Ambien, and again, one that is not remembered the following day.
- Sleep driving. By far the most significant and dangerous complex Ambien-related behavior, those who drive without awareness while under the influence of sleep medication are a danger to themselves and everyone who crosses their path. The risk of sleep driving is increased when Ambien is mixed with other medications or alcohol.
What Happens During Ambien Dependency
Ambien addiction usually starts with regular use according to a legitimate prescription and really comes into effect when the patient begins to develop a dependence upon the medication. The psychological dependence upon the drug can be fierce despite the obvious physical issues associated with Ambien addiction. Most users feel like they can’t get to sleep without Ambien even if the sleep they get with the drug is not restful. The psychological need to use the drug and the inability to get through a night successfully without it are huge parts of Ambien addiction. This mental and emotional dependence is treated at Ambien addiction treatment centers along with any physical withdrawal symptoms that patients may experience.
Where to Find Information
Getting Ambien addiction help when you need it is the best way to break free from Ambien addiction. Hotlines, 911 emergency response, private sector healthcare providers, and Ambien addiction treatment centers are all great ways to get the help and information you need.
- 911 Emergency. If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has overdosed on Ambien, get immediate Ambien addiction help by calling 911. Time is of the essence when overdose is an issue and it’s important that you not waste time looking for solutions online. The only way to ensure the safety of your friend is to call 911 if he or she is unresponsive.
- Hotlines. If you need information about Ambien addiction, information on how to find an Ambien rehab, or help beginning an Ambien intervention for a family member, a good place to start is a hotline. These numbers are staffed by trained professionals who can either give you the information you need or point you in the right direction. They’re available 24 hours a day, which makes them capable of providing instant answers.
- Personal physician. No one knows you better medically than your personal physician, and if he or she was the one to give you your Ambien prescription in the first place, this may be a good place to start looking for the information you need.
- Health insurance provider. Finding an Ambien addiction treatment program that will work for you may mean quite a few phone calls and one of those should be to your health insurance provider. Here you will learn what addiction treatment services are covered by your insurance policy and the amount of financial assistance you can expect.
- Substance abuse treatment providers. If you would like to enroll in treatment but want to make sure that you choose the right Ambien addiction treatment center for you, you can plan ahead. Contact Ambien detox centers, outpatient Ambien addiction treatment programs and residential Ambien rehabs to learn more about the process. Find out about what your insurance covers and if the Ambien addiction treatment centers you’re interested in will work with your insurance. Do your research online and back it up with phone calls to ensure that the treatment centers you’re looking at actually offer the programs they tout online.
Are You Living With an Ambien Problem?
If you try to stop taking Ambien but experience withdrawal symptoms or if you feel that you are unable to stop taking the drug alone, you will benefit from Ambien addiction treatment. At a prescription drug rehab, you will be able to get the medical detox and psychological assistance you need to stop using the drug healthfully and remain drug-free long after you return home. Through psychotherapy, group sessions, alternative treatments and aftercare services when you complete your program, you can start a new life without prescription drugs like Ambien.
Confronting the Issue With Your Loved One
If a loved one is living with Ambien addiction, you can help them get treatment by holding an intervention for them. Again, your resources include hotlines, phone calls to treatment centers and professional interventionists as well as online information. Learn how to run an intervention yourself or hire a professional interventionist to assist you. Make sure to get as much information about the process as possible to get the best possible chance for success.
If you or your loved one requires assistance beating Ambien addiction, the time to get that help is now. Don’t put off Ambien addiction treatment for another day. Every day you wait means an increased risk of Ambien overdose, more money wasted and more opportunities gone. You increase your chances of losing your job, your family, your children and your entire life to Ambien addiction.
Ambien Treatment at Michael’s House
Michael’s House, located in Palm Springs, California, is a holistic Ambien addiction treatment center dedicated to helping active addicts become former addicts. If you would like to learn more about our program, contact us today. We can answer your questions about what to expect from Ambien addiction treatment, how to cover the cost of Ambien rehab, and the aftercare services you have to choose from when you leave our facility.
Call now at 877-345-8494 and take the first step toward changing your life.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494