What Happens When You Mix Ambien and Alcohol?
There’s a reason doctors prescribing sleeping aids such as Ambien (zolpidem) forbid drinking while taking these pills. Extremely serious interactions can occur upon mixing these depressants, and it’s impossible to control the harmful consequences you risk by doing so. As you build a tolerance to sleeping pills, you may turn to alcohol to amplify the sedative effects of the drug. This is extremely dangerous since both Ambien and alcohol depress your central nervous system, slowing your heart rate and damaging your respiratory system. Mixing Ambien and alcohol causes severe physical and cognitive impairment, can harm your liver permanently and increases your risk of overdose exponentially.
Combining two addictive substances like Ambien and alcohol is asking for trouble. In the short term, you run the risk of fatal overdose. Over time, you could end up with a chemical dependence on this deadly cocktail of depressants. If you or a loved one cannot stop using Ambien and alcohol, it’s time to seek professional help. Call The Recovery Village today to get started.
What Is Ambien?
Ambien, a brand name of the sedative zolpidem, is a hypnotic drug generally prescribed for insomnia. The drug works to calm your central nervous system by altering your brain chemicals, creating a conducive state for sleep. Ambien tablets, or “zombie pills,” can become habit-forming after only two weeks of usage, and as you form a tolerance, it may require more pills to achieve the same dreamy euphoria. However, continued usage of Ambien decreases your ability to do ordinary tasks, like driving, and can lead to psychological and physical harm and fatal overdose.
What Are the Side Effects of Ambien and Alcohol?
When you take Ambien and drink alcohol, you can feel sleepy, uncoordinated and disoriented, at first. Each drug amplifies the effects of the other, creating an uncontrollable domino effect of harmful consequences for your mind and body. Under the influence of Ambien and alcohol, you’re likely to experience:
- Memory loss
- Slowed heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
- Uncontrollable shaking
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Dangers of Mixing Ambien and Alcohol
It is not uncommon for people to combine Ambien and alcohol to enhance the effects of both drugs, and to possibly experience a deeper sleep, but this is a very slippery slope. Mixing Ambien with alcohol slows your brain activity and vital functions to a dangerously low rate. On their own, sedatives like Ambien are habit-forming after a short period of time, and as your tolerance to them builds, you’re more likely to overdose. Another central nervous system depressant, alcohol exacerbates the mind-altering effects of Ambien, and only contributes to addiction.
Combining the two drugs can leave you disoriented and confused, and it is very easy to unintentionally take more Ambien or drink more alcohol when you’re in this state. Along with irreparable damage to your liver, cognitive state and respiratory system, continued usage of Ambien and alcohol increases your chances of fatal overdose.
Treatment for Ambien and Alcohol
Polydrug abuse (Ambien and alcohol) is an increasingly common — and deadly — issue in America, but it is highly treatable. If you or a loved one is addicted to Ambien and alcohol, do not attempt to detox at home, as this can land you back in square one, abusing drugs again. Breaking the bonds of addiction takes more than willpower. It takes a team of compassionate, trained professionals to get on the path to true healing.
When you’re ready to be free from drug dependency, The Recovery Village can help. Our addiction specialists will work one-on-one with you to understand your current situation and get you the treatment you deserve. All of our programs — drug detox, inpatient and outpatient — are designed to help you leave Ambien and alcohol behind for good. If you’re ready to change, we’re ready to help you take the first step.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.