Ambien Addiction

Unfortunately, although Ambien can help many patients who are struggling with falling asleep, the drug can also have a high rate of addiction if you take it inappropriately. If you do not have a prescription for Ambien, if you are taking too much of it, or if you are taking it long after you should have stopped, you may be at risk for Ambien addiction and abuse. Since these issues are serious, you may need to consult with a treatment center in order to gradually taper off Ambien with the help of other medications. Getting help may be an important first step.
Many people have common questions about the medication known as Ambien. Some of the most common questions include:

  • What is Ambien used for?
  • Is Ambien safe?
  • Is Ambien a narcotic?
  • Is Ambien addictive?

Ambien is a sedative, which also may be referred to as a hypnotic drug. It also goes by the name Zolpidem. This medication impacts your brain chemicals that could be unbalanced for those individuals who struggle with insomnia. The immediate release tablet form of Ambien is used to enable individuals to fall asleep as soon as they go to bed. Your doctor can help determine which type of Ambien, be it the immediate release format or the extended release format, is most appropriate for you. These medications have a calming impact on your brain and can allow you to fall asleep more easily for those patients suffering from insomnia.

Usually short treatment periods of Ambien are recommended for up to two weeks. You should always take Ambien exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor and follow any instructions that are listed on the prescription label. You should never take the medication for longer than prescribed or take it in larger amounts that has been recommended. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration lowered the recommended dose for this medication.

Your doctor may now recommend that you take a lower dosage of this medication than he or she would have in the past. The primary reason for this is that Ambien can be habit forming. It is extremely important that you never share this medication with another individual, particularly someone who has a history of Ambien addiction (or any other addiction) or drug abuse. You should always keep this medication in a location where others, especially children or pets cannot get to it.

It is illegal to give away or sell this medication if you have a prescription for it. If you decide to discontinue Ambien on your own without a recommendation directly from your doctor, you may experience sudden and challenging withdrawal symptoms. When you intend to stop using the medicine, have a conversation with your doctor about the best way to do this in order to avoid these negative side effects.

In addition to Ambien, the medicine Zolpidem is also available as:

  • A rapid acting tablet
  • An extended release tablet
  • An oral spray
  • A rapid acting sublingual tablet

Ambien typically comes as a small pink or peach colored tablet. Tablets are available in strengths of 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams. Additionally, extended release tablets are available in strengths of 6.25 milligrams and 12.5 milligrams. It also comes in a circular blue tablet with the letter “A” embossed on it or as a white tablet with the signature “amb10” or “5421” in a capsule shape.

Those individuals who take Ambien without an active prescription to do so could be putting themselves at risk of serious side effects or developing Ambien addiction. If you identify pills that appear to look like Ambien, it is important to contact a medical professional about the most appropriate way to dispose of these. Those individuals who have struggled with Ambien addiction (or any other addiction) or drug abuse in the past may be particularly attempted to take medications such as Ambien. This is why it is important to dispose of these medications as soon as possible after you identify them.

ambien addiction
The recommended dosage of Ambien for women is 5 milligrams and either 5 or 10 milligrams for men. Patients should take this medication once each night, immediately before going to bed with minimum of 7 to 8 hours remaining before they plan to wake up. If the patient has attempted a 5-milligram dose and it is not effective, a doctor may evaluate his or her decision to increase that dosage to 10 milligrams.

In some patients, those individuals who took the 10-milligram dose continue to have side effects with Ambien in the morning after waking up. These included impairment of any activities that required complete alertness such as driving. It is strongly recommended that no individual take more than 10 milligrams of Ambien once daily immediately before they go to bed. It should not be re-administered over the course of the same night after it has been taken.

Those individuals who are debilitated or elderly may be especially sensitive for reactions with zolpidem. This is why the recommended dosage for patients that fall into this category is 5 milligrams per day, taken before bedtime.

Those individuals who suffer from moderate or mild hepatic impairment do not have the same side effects or are not able to clear the drug the same way as normal subjects. For these patients, a dosage of once daily before bedtime of 5 milligrams is strongly recommended. In the event that Ambien is combined with any other CNS depressant drugs, a potentially additive effect makes it important to share this doctor as dosage adjustment may be necessary. The impacts of Ambien can be slowed by taking the medication immediately after a meal.

Those individuals who take this medication may develop Ambien addiction, particularly if it’s used for recreational use or to achieve an Ambien high. Ambien is a prescription medication, given to those individuals who have trouble falling asleep as well as those individuals who have certain brain disorders. Ambien is also used to effectively maintain and initiate sleep by slowing down the brain’s activity. There are several street names for Ambien as well including: zombie pills, A-minus, or no-go pills.

If this medication is taken outside of a doctor’s prescription or medical advice, it may be abused recreationally when it is taken to achieve a high or euphoric feelings.

Misuse of Ambien can occur when an individual uses the medication for reasons other than a sleep aide, beyond a recommended use by their doctor or without a prescription. If taken for an extended period of time, Ambien can also become habit forming.

It is one of the most commonly abused sleeping medications on the market in the United States today because it is highly addictive and it can lead to psychological and physical destruction for an individual who is addicted. Ambien sales have created more than $2 billion each year in the United States and unfortunately, non-medical use of medication such as Ambien is becoming more common in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States for individuals who are seeking a body high.

There are several different causes of Ambien addiction, including:

  • Taking Ambien for reasons other than the intended use
  • Taking it without a prescription
  • Taking the medication outside prescription instructions

Ambien addiction may also be influenced by environmental factors like homelessness, poverty or peer pressure. It can co-occur with other disorders such as alcohol abuse. There are several different symptoms and signs that can happen due to Ambien abuse, including:

  • Weakness
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Coordination problems
  • Slowed heartbeat or breathing
  • Altered reasoning or judgement
  • Uncontrollable shaking

If you or someone you know is experiencing these side effects due to an Ambien addiction, it is critical to get medical attention as soon as possible.

Overdose is essentially poisoning. When an abuser takes such a high dose of Ambien that the body cannot metabolize it fast enough, the drug essentially poisons the body and begins to cause serious adverse side effects. Some such effects include:

  • Small pupils
  • Blurry vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Blue lips or fingers
  • Fainting
  • Collapse
  • Death

If you notice any of these overdose symptoms in yourself or a loved one, call 911 right away. Overdose is considered a medical emergency. Although there is no cure for Ambien addiction, rehab is a proven treatment method. After therapy and medical attention, it is possible to live a long and healthy life free of Ambien addiction.

Another question to consider when answering the “What is Ambien?” question is whether or not the drug is addictive. Ambien is becoming extremely popular outside of its intended prescription related use for those individuals who are seeking to achieve a high. In a class known as sedative hypnotics, Ambien can be a drug that individuals develop an addiction for. Signs of an Ambien addiction include:

  • Refilling prescriptions too often
  • Experiencing cravings for the medication
  • Taking larger doses than what has been prescribed
  • Isolating oneself
  • Spending large sums to obtain the drug
  • Engaging in risky situations without remembering them later

Many individuals initiate an Ambien addiction with the case of a short-term insomnia. Some people do not understand the full addictive potential of this medication because it is prescribed by a doctor and they believe they are only taking it to help them sleep. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks Ambien becomes less effective and some individuals are unable to discontinue taking the drug and unable to sleep without Ambien because their insomnia gets worse.

According to new research, the number of emergency room visits associated with taking Ambien has increased by 220% since 2005. More than half a million individuals are currently abusing sedatives such as Ambien across the entire country. Although Ambien has less potential for overdosing on the drug when compared with other benzodiazepine sedatives, it can be more challenging to detect an overdose because the signs of the overdose are similar to general impacts of the drug. Ambien can slow your heart rate to the point of failure or your breathing to the point of a fatal injury. A slow heartbeat or slow breathing is an indication that the person taking the medication may be in serious trouble.

When someone builds up a tolerance to Ambien, they will typically need larger and larger doses of the medication in order for it to work.

While you might be shocked to learn that Ambien addiction can easily develop, it’s important to take necessary steps to curb your dependence under the guidance of a doctor. Do not attempt to quit cold turkey as you may be surprised by the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. A doctor can recommend when it makes sense to taper off this medication by using a different drug. In more serious cases, going to a treatment center can also help you break your dependence on the drug in a safe manner monitored by professionals. Trying to this on your own can lead to serious issues, so it’s strongly recommended that you find a treatment center where you can get the help you need.

ambien sleeping pills
Unfortunately, abuse of Ambien and other sedatives has been on the rise in the United States. Those individuals who do not understand the serious potential for abusing Ambien in terms of an overdose or other injuries may be more likely to combine this medication with other drugs or with alcohol.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2013, more than 250,000 individuals living in the United States were abusing Ambien as well as other sedatives. More than two-thirds of patients visiting the emergency as a result of a Zolpidem related event are women. Those patients over 45 years old are most likely to be involved in a critical healthcare event associated with Ambien use. Up to 74% of emergency room visits were for individuals over age 45.

A report from the Drug Abuse Warning Network identified that there were serious increases in overdose or misuse in Ambien related events in emergency rooms between 2005 and 2010. Half of all emergency room visits associated with Zolpidem involved interactions or combinations with other medications, especially anti-anxiety or sleeping medications or narcotic analgesics.

Since Ambien addiction can easily develop, you should always follow the doctor’s orders when taking this drug or when discontinuing use. And if you or someone you know is struggling with Ambien addiction, help is available at The Recovery Village. There are various programs available to treat Ambien addiction and other disorders.

Ambien Addiction
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Ambien Addiction was last modified: September 20th, 2017 by The Recovery Village