Ambien, or zolpidem tartrate, is a prescription medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of sleep disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy. The National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus reports that some doctors prescribe Ambien in the treatment of parasomnias as well (e.g., night terrors, bed wetting, teeth grinding, sleep walking, sleep talking, etc).
While many can take prescription drugs like Ambien for sleep disorders and not develop a dependence upon the drug, many who take the medication for a prolonged period or who abuse it in any way will eventually need drug rehab to help them successfully stop taking the pills.
What to Expect
Ambien rehab is comprised of Ambien detox, Ambien addiction treatment through therapy and counseling, and various aftercare services once your stay is complete. A full treatment program, Ambien rehab seeks to provide care and healing on multiple levels. The many different parts of your life affected by Ambien addiction will all receive attention at Ambien rehab.
Therapy and counseling are the soul of Ambien rehab. Depending upon the type of treatment you choose, you can expect to experience traditional therapy options like group counseling and one-on-one personal therapy sessions as well as holistic treatment options like acupuncture, meditation, yoga, acupressure and others. The goal is to provide you with a well-rounded treatment program that provides healing for the mind, body and soul.
When Treatment Is Necessary
Ambien rehab becomes necessary when side effects are significant and withdrawal symptoms are present, stopping the patient from functioning normally in day-to-day life. How can you tell when Ambien rehab has become a necessity for yourself or someone you care about? One of the key ways is to identify negative side effects that are caused by the drug.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration Drug and Human Fact Sheet on zolpidem, Ambien can have a number of significant side effects including:
- Psychomotor impairment. This means an unsteady walk or lack of balance, disorientation, memory loss, inability to concentrate, dizziness and cognitive impairment due to Ambien.
- Next-day effects. In some cases, depending upon the dose, some may continue to experience psychomotor impairment, attention difficulties and impaired driving skills the day after taking Ambien.
- Simple behaviors under the influence. Some patients report blackouts while using Ambien. They have no recollection of the period before falling asleep including getting home, in some cases, or getting ready for bed.
- Complex behaviors under the influence. Complex behaviors, or multi-step actions, like driving or preparing a meal and eating can occur while the patient is under the influence of Ambien – without any recollection on the part of the patient.
When you are physically and psychologically dependent upon Ambien, the safest way to change that is to undergo treatment at an Ambien rehab. Here you will have the medical supervision you need to stop taking the drug safely and the psychological and emotional assistance to learn how to live without it successfully. Without Ambien rehab, relapse is only a matter of time.
When Treatment Is Not Necessary
People are sometimes terrified of developing an addiction to their prescription. Ambien especially is a drug that can cause some pretty severe side effects, effects that can be dangerous to the user and to those around him or her. Additionally, Ambien addiction requires medical and psychological treatment. However, not everyone with an Ambien prescription requires rehab. For example, simply having a prescription for Ambien does not mean that you will develop an addiction. Additionally, you don’t need treatment if you have only been abusing Ambien for a short time and can stop on your own. However, if you are physically dependent upon Ambien and experience negative effects in your life as a result of abusing the drug yet you still cannot stop, then rehab is necessary.
Co-occurring Sleep Disorders
According National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there are more than 80 different sleep disorders. Most patients who leave their doctor’s office with a prescription for Ambien have a sleep disorder. When they become dependent upon their medication, it is usually in an effort to beat the issues related to their sleep disorder. Unfortunately, when addiction becomes a problem and treatment is necessary, the co-occurring sleep disorder remains; it can make sleeping pill addictions very difficult to treat.
Sleep disorders are nothing to take lightly. They affect millions of Americans every year and can disrupt work life, home life, social activities, healthy living, and the overall quality of day-to-day experiences. Insomnia is far and away the most common, and other disorders like sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy are common issues as well. It’s important to choose a drug rehab that can effectively treat the issue of Ambien addiction but is also equipped to help you with your sleep disorder
Additional Resource: Facts and Statistics About Dual Diagnosis
Learning How to Live Without Sleep Aid Medications
According to a study done at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine/Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice in November 2008, there are a number of recommended ways to fall asleep naturally without medication despite the presence of sleep disorders. Here are just a few:
- Lifestyle changes. Drinking caffeine, smoking cigarettes and exercising at night are just a few things that can decrease your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Instead, exercising regularly and early in the day, eating healthfully by avoiding sugar and caffeine, and relaxing before bedtime without stimulating activities like TV or computers can all help.
- Aromatherapy. Lavender oils and chamomile oils, among others, have been shown to have a relaxing effect on patients. When used at bedtime, these can help you to de-stress and prepare your body for sleep.
- Herbs. Kava, valerian, lemon balm, skullcap and hops all have sedative properties and can be combined in tincture or tea form to aid in restful sleep.
- Supplements. Melatonin is the most common supplement designed to regulate the sleep cycle and some studies show that it can be beneficial in the treatment of insomnia. Those who struggle with a circadian rhythm abnormality find the most benefits in the use of this supplement. L-tryptophan and 5-HTP, which is converted to serotonin, may also be beneficial.
- Acupuncture. Using needles of various sizes to penetrate the top layers of skin, the painless procedure may “unblock” the flow of energy through the body and allow those who undergo regular sessions to sleep better when they receive treatments specific to that purpose.
- Music therapy. Some studies have shown that there may be benefits to music therapy when it comes to falling asleep.
- Yoga. Relaxation yoga has been shown to have a relaxing effect and be beneficial in helping patients fall asleep.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Perhaps the most effective treatment of all, CBT also increases the benefits of other relaxation techniques and therapies through sleep restriction and stimulus control.
Preparing for Rehab
While Ambien rehab does not cure Ambien addiction, it does provide you with access to the tools you need to heal as well as the guidance to use those tools effectively.
Preparation starts with packing, and if packing a positive attitude is too much to ask, then packing exactly as the Ambien rehab prescribes will certainly help you get the most out of the experience. Do not bring any items listed as contraband, but do bring a few comfort items from home and comfortable clothes. You will need a blank journal and pen and, if you bring electronics of any kind, expect to relinquish them upon arrival as these are heavily monitored during Ambien rehab.
Next, take a moment to connect with important people in your life. Your family, your close friends, and perhaps those you work with should know that you will be gone and when to expect you back. You may be able to include certain family members in aspects of your treatment, especially family therapy, and you can invite them to visit on specific days.
Ambien addiction recovery does not stop when you leave the treatment facility. For the rest of your life, you will be in recovery in some form or another, especially if you have a chronic sleep disorder or sleep issues and disturbances related to another chronic disorder. During your first few years of sobriety, you will need to take full advantage of aftercare services like support group meetings, alumni groups at your Ambien rehab and personal therapy. Building a strong support system and maintaining your focus as well as staying as healthy as possible all contribute to a successful recovery from Ambien addiction.
Getting Help for Ambien at Michael’s House
If you experience withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings, if you feel that you can’t stop taking the drug or need it for any purpose, or if you are abusing your prescription in any way, Ambien rehab may be the right choice for you.
Contact us at Michael’s House today at 877-345-8494 for more information. We can give you everything you need to get started on the life-changing treatment you need to free yourself from Ambien addiction.