Ambien Withdrawal and Detox

Ambien is a medication that is frequently given to people who struggle with sleeping disorders like insomnia. Since Ambien has a risk of becoming addictive, it is recommended to take Ambien for two weeks or less at a time. If an addiction has already grown out of Ambien usage, a detox and withdrawal center can help design a treatment plan tailored specifically for individual needs so that a person can begin a safe and healthy detoxification process.
When Ambien is abused, individuals may take the medication in larger doses without the intention of ever falling asleep. Furthermore, some individuals may abuse Ambien by taking it with alcohol or other stimulants which can amplify the drug’s effect. A substance use disorder can quickly come from misusing Ambien. While a person may recognize that they have a substance use disorder, stopping Ambien use altogether may prove to be difficult as there are physical and psychological symptoms associated with discontinued Ambien use.

If a person suddenly decides to stop taking Ambien without a doctor’s supervision, this could lead to significant withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal from Ambien can be severe and may begin as soon as 48 hours after the final dose. They include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Delirium
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Cravings
  • Uncontrollable depression or crying
  • Abdominal discomfort or cramps
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate

Although the possibility of seizures happening during the withdrawal process occurs in less than 1 percent of cases, the seizures can be severe. Individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts or severe anxiety during withdrawal may receive short-term prescriptions for mood-stabilizing drugs. Any person who is considering stopping the use of Ambien is strongly recommended to consult directly with a medical professional about the best way to avoid potentially severe withdrawal symptoms and undergo a healthy detoxification process.

Withdrawal symptoms will typically disappear or lessen within a two-week period. The most severe Ambien withdrawal symptoms will occur within the first 3–5 days after a patient stops taking the medication. However, it is not uncommon for withdrawal symptoms to last for up to two weeks. In some situations, individuals may continue to experience serious Ambien side effects months after they have stopped taking the medication. There are different factors that can determine how severe a person’s Ambien withdrawal symptoms will be. These factors include:

  • Prescribed dosage
  • Length of time taken
  • Mixture with other drugs
  • Weight and age

A detox and treatment center can assist a person design a treatment plan that will address their individual needs. Inpatient or outpatient care can help someone who is struggling with an addiction to Ambien, and the structured treatment plan can help someone taper off the medication safely. Ambien withdrawal medication may also be helpful for allowing an individual to adjust to life without Ambien.

How a person chooses to taper off Ambien can be important for how successful they are in treating an Ambien addiction. A person attempting to do it on their own might experience severe withdrawal symptoms. For people who developed a dependency on Ambien, finding a treatment center that can help with inpatient or outpatient care assists with techniques to stop abusing Ambien as safely as possible. An Ambien detox and withdrawal center can help design a treatment plan that is most effective for the patient in a safe environment where they can be monitored by professionals. When an individual has taken higher doses over a longer periods of time, it is easier to become physically dependent as well as addicted, which is why it is recommended to detox at a treatment center in order to minimize the severity of the withdrawal effects.

If tapering off Ambien is the chosen method, the person should create a tapering plan directly with their physician. People should never attempt to rapidly reduce their reliance on Ambien as the body can go into shock. In certain cases, such as when an individual cannot taper or refuses to, hospitalization and rapid detoxification may be recommended. Controlling withdrawal symptoms with medication can assist a patient who finds themselves in such a situation. A doctor may recommend drugs during the tapering process to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and help to:

  • Reduce palpitations
  • Minimize seizure risk
  • Assist with rebound insomnia
  • Reduce psychiatric withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and depression

Some patients choose to try and detox completely on their own by quitting cold turkey, which is to stop the use of Ambien abruptly. This is not recommended by medical professionals because it can cause withdrawal symptoms to come on stronger and faster than they would through tapering. Quitting cold turkey also creates more opportunities for setbacks to occur, which can ultimately make the detox unsuccessful.

Withdrawal symptoms typically disappear or significantly decrease within one to two weeks after a patient stops taking Ambien. However, psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal from Ambien can persist for up to two weeks. In some situations, individuals may suffer with panic attacks, insomnia, cravings and other side effects for months after they’ve discontinued use of the drugs. Each patient’s withdrawal timeline is different, and withdrawal effects vary from patient to patient.

Factors that can influence a person’s withdrawal symptoms include  how long they took the medication, the potency of their dosages, as well as their age and weight. Although a medical professional may recommend psychiatric treatments for anxiety or depression that can be associated with Ambien withdrawal, there are also a few drugs that treat the actual withdrawal effects. For example, anti-seizure medications may be recommended for patients who suffer from seizures during the withdrawal process.

How the detox is handled can have a big impact on how successful a patient is with recovery. In order to determine the proper form of treatment to begin with, a person must first be evaluated. During this time, medical professionals and therapists at The Recovery Village discuss the patient’s unique situation and how to best deal with their addiction. The treatment team will be able to configure a plan that will best help assist the patient begin their recovery process.

Following the establishment of a personal recovery plan, the actual detoxification process begins. During this time is when the Ambien begins to exit the body. The patient may experience withdrawal symptoms at this point, but the treatment team can assist the patient through it. The patient can work with their team in various ways, such as during:

  • Inpatient Treatment: For someone looking for a more focused treatment option, inpatient treatment is a great choice. This option allows for 24-hour supervision to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort during the Ambien withdrawal and detox process. The time they stay in the facility will be determined by their team and depends on the severity of the addiction.
  • Outpatient Treatment: If living in a facility isn’t an option, The Recovery Village also offers outpatient treatment. Rather than live in the facility, the patient can commute to the rehab center for regular treatments. The amount of time that sessions is based on the severity of the Ambien addiction.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Another form of outpatient treatment, IOP treatment usually includes a minimum of nine hours of therapy per week. It could be split between a full week or several days at a time. This treatment can continue for several months but has the opportunity to last longer depending on the patient’s progress. Once the program is completed, the patient is able to begin a less intense treatment, such as regular therapy sessions.

After detox is complete, patients usually enter aftercare. During this time, patients take the skills that they learned through The Recovery Village and apply them to everyday life. Doctors or therapists may recommend that the patient joins a sober-living community or start a 12-step program to help ensure their sobriety.

The Recovery Village has several rehabilitation and treatment centers that are located across the country. Each center is ready to help people defeat their addictions. The centers include:

  • Orlando Recovery Center: The Orlando Recovery Center helps individuals recover from addiction and substance use disorders. The center even offers the opportunity to treat co-occurring disorders. Located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, this facility offers inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization and aftercare support.
  • Next Generation Village: The Next Generation Village focuses mainly on helping adolescents overcome their addictions, while also overcoming any co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Located in Sebring, Florida, this center has inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs for prospective clients.
  • Next Step Village: The Next Step Village in Maitland, Florida, offers outpatient and intensive outpatient programs, as well as a variety of aftercare services such as job placement and education assistance.
  • The Recovery Village Columbus: Located in Ohio, The Recovery Village Columbus provides inpatient, outpatient and aftercare treatment for those looking to begin detox. The center also has unique and individualized plans to help patients through recovery.
  • The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake: The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake in Colorado has different programs to help people who are looking to begin a drug-free life. This scenic facility offers inpatient, outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment for those looking to kick-start their journey.
  • The Recovery Village Ridgefield: Located right in southern Washington, The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers outpatient and aftercare programs. Just 20 minutes outside of Portland, this center assists individuals who are ready to begin treatment.
  • The Recovery Village: In Umatilla, Florida, The Recovery Village is a rehabilitation facility that provides recovery resources for individuals seeking treatment, specifically adults. Inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization treatment programs are available.
  • IAFF Center of Excellence: This center was created just for IAFF members. The IAFF Center of Excellence specializes in assisting IAFF members who struggle with behavioral health problems. This allows members to enter recovery sooner so they can return back to the work that they have dedicated their lives to. Inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs are all available at this center.

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.