Prescription drug use and abuse have become a big topic of conversation in the United States over the past decade. Drugs that were often prescribed even for minor health concerns have now led to addiction epidemics. One of the most prominent examples of this is the case of prescription narcotics, also known as opioids. While opioids may be the drug class that is most commonly discussed, other prescription drugs have become increasingly problematic as well. Benzodiazepines and sleeping pills are among these. Zolpidem is a sleeping pill, which is a nonbenzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic. While it’s not classified as a benzodiazepine, it acts like one in many ways. Zolpidem is sold under brand-name sleep aids like Ambien. It’s intended as a short-term insomnia treatment due to the fact that it can be habit-forming.
According to zolpidem prescribing instructions, it should usually only be taken for 7 to 10 days. At that point, if symptoms haven’t improved, a physician should reevaluate the situation. When zolpidem is used for two weeks or more, it may not have the same effect it did previously. Zolpidem abuse can increase the risks of substance use disorder as well. Signs of zolpidem abuse can include taking larger doses than prescribed, taking it more often or taking it for longer than instructed.
Substance use disorder is a chronic disease that leads to changes in the brain. Images of the brains of individuals who struggle with substance use disorde have shown areas which are related to behavior control and judgment to be physically changed. Addiction is characterized by compulsive, out-of-control drug-seeking and use. Even when there are negative consequences people who struggle with addiction are usually unable to stop using. Addiction occurs because repeated exposure to a substance has altered the brain. If someone displays signs of substance use disorder, they may require professional treatment. A zolpidem addiction treatment and rehab program should help the person stop using the drug, develop strategies to remain drug-free, and re-enter a productive life.
Zolpidem addiction treatment and rehab programs often include behavioral treatments, as well as medications. Some drugs, such as opioids, can be replaced with other drugs that can be used as part of what’s called Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT. Zolpidem doesn’t necessarily have a MAT protocol, but rehab and treatment can include mental health medications. For example, someone who is addicted to zolpidem may have an anxiety disorder. In this case, medical professionals may prescribe long-term SSRIs to help them manage these symptoms.
Behavioral therapies focus on helping people who struggle with substance use disorder change their old, unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving. During zolpidem addiction treatment and rehab, patients can learn how to manage their triggers and cravings. They can also learn how to avoid relapse. Many addiction treatments and rehab programs will integrate a combination of group and individual counseling, as well as family sessions.
A zolpidem addiction treatment and rehab program can be either outpatient or inpatient. Outpatient programs are intensive, but the individual continues their daily life activities, such as going to work. Outpatient zolpidem treatment is best for someone who has a mild addiction or who hasn’t previously participated in another treatment program. If someone has unsuccessfully tried another zolpidem addiction treatment program, has a severe addiction, has multiple addictions or has underlying mental health concerns, inpatient treatment may be the best option. Following the intensive portion of addiction treatment, patients are provided with aftercare planning to help them successfully transition back into their daily lives while avoiding relapse.
Zolpidem depresses the central nervous system (CNS). Zolpidem affects GABA and has a calming effect, which is how it helps people fall asleep. With CNS depressants, there are some specific elements of substance use disorder treatment that have to be included. First, most people will need to undergo a medical detox before they can start substance use disorder treatment. Prescription drugs like zolpidem may need to be gradually tapered down to keep the patient safe and avoid severe side effects. With CNS depressant abuse, there is also often polydrug abuse. It’s common, for example, to abuse zolpidem as well as alcohol or opioids. In these cases, substance use disorder treatment and rehab will need to address each addiction individually.
Substance use disorder is a disease, but recovery is possible through the right treatment. Contact our specialists to learn more about The Recovery Village today.
Zolpidem Withdrawal and Detox
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.