Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Zolpidem Addiction
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In the short-term, zolpidem affects neural activity in the brain. Much like benzodiazepines, the drug is believed to affect the GABA neurotransmitters and receptors. When someone struggles with insomnia, they may have a GABA deficiency or malfunction. Zolpidem increases the availability and effectiveness of GABA. Side effects include drowsiness and relaxation, as well as feeling dizzy, lightheaded or having balance problems. Common short-term side effects of zolpidem may include headache, dry mouth, changes in appetite and psychological side effects like new or worsening depression.
Addiction is a disease that is characterized by uncontrolled, compulsive use. For many people, zolpidem addiction begins with recreational use of the drug or using it in social situations. Over time, a person needs higher doses of the drug to feel the same effects. Eventually, this can turn into intense cravings. Some signs of zolpidem addiction and dependence include:
- Compulsive, out-of-control drug seeking and abuse
- Feeling the need to regularly use the drug, often several times a day
- Intense cravings that take priority over everything else
- Taking more of the drug or using it for longer than intended
- Maintaining a supply of zolpidem
- Not meeting other responsibilities because of drug use
- Continuing to use zolpidem even in the face of negative consequences and outcomes
- Engaging in dangerous activities while under the influence or to get more of the drug
- Trying to stop using zolpidem unsuccessfully
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using zolpidem
People zolpidem addiction may experience other issues as well. Changes in mood and behavior often occur. When someone struggles with addiction, they will usually have declining performance at school or work and, in many cases, legal and financial troubles. Their physical and mental health will often decline. Polysubstance abuse is common with zolpidem abuse and addiction. It’s very typical for people who abuse zolpidem to combine it with other substances. This can develop into multiple, simultaneous addictions.
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