Ambien (Zolpidem) is a sedative/hypnotic primarily prescribed to help treat insomnia or other various sleeping disorders. It works in the body by slowing down activity in the brain which helps the person fall asleep. Conventional tablets ranging from 5-10 mg dosages are used to help people fall asleep while extended release tablets not only help the person fall asleep, but help them stay asleep as well.
Ambien is usually prescribed for short-term use due to its dependent and addictive qualities. When taken in high dosages or for extended periods of time it is very easy for someone to become physically or psychologically addicted to Ambien. People not only abuse Ambien by ingesting large dosages but can also crush the pill and snort it to produce a stronger effect from the drug. People that abuse Ambien have also been known to use other substances such as alcohol to help produce a more intensified effect. If an individual develops an addiction to Ambien it is strongly suggested to seek professional help. In some serious cases of Ambien addiction, a supervised detoxification may be needed. Often times during detox, the individual is slowly tapered off of Ambien by slowly lowering the amount taken. This approach will help prevent serious withdrawal symptoms and help prevent possible seizures that could possibly occur during this process.
Withdrawal symptoms from Ambien addiction include:
- stomach and muscle cramps
- panic attacks
Although none of the withdrawal symptoms of Ambien are life threatening, they are still very serious and make it very difficult for the individual to stop taking the substance on their own.
Side Affects of Ambien
The most common side effects of Ambien (Zolpidem) are drowsiness and dizziness. Due to these side affects it is highly recommended that the individual dedicates 7-8 hours of sleep when taking Ambien. It is also recommended that the individual abstains from engaging in any physical activity or work due to these side effects.
Common Side Effects Include:
- Drowsiness during the day
- Lack of hand and eye coordination
- Stuffy nose, sore throat
- Blurred vision
- Amnesia or forgetfulness
- Strange or abnormal dreams
- Constipation and nausea
- Headache or muscle pain
Serious Side Effects Include:
- Moods of sadness or depression
- Unusual thoughts, risk taking behavior
- Feelings of agitation or restlessness
In some rare cases, Ambien has been known to cause severe allergic reactions. If this happens, stop taking Ambien and immediately seek medical attention. The most common signs of an allergic reaction from Ambien include: hives, swellings of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, and difficulty breathing.
Treatment for Ambien Addiction
Treatment for Ambien addiction usually depends on the severity of the individual’s dependency on the substance. In more serious cases it is strongly advised to seek professional care at an inpatient detoxification center or an addiction treatment center. This type of care will not only provide the individual with the proper medical care they need, but also provide them with the proper counseling and therapy. This treatment and care will help the person deal with any physical and emotional dependency that may have developed and prevent possible relapse in the future. In less serious cases of Ambien addiction taking a few proper steps can help the person develop proper sleeping habits. This can be done by avoiding caffeine during the afternoon and evening, developing a bedtime routine, avoiding naps during the day, and practicing yoga or meditation to help relax the body and ease the mind. Facing ones addiction to any substance is a difficult process and is something that should not be done alone.