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Ambien is a prescription drug meant for individuals who have sleep problems. People who have difficulties falling asleep usually get this drug due to it being part of the sedative-hypnotics class of drugs. The medication is useful in making the patient fall asleep.
Ambien is useful, and a lot of patients who have been suffering from sleep issues praised it. But the drug is only prescribed for short-term use, mainly because it can lead to an addiction in some individuals. In case of addiction, it can be almost impossible to give up on the substance.
Someone who is addicted will experience Ambien withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit by themselves. This is why addiction has to be treated as soon as possible, ensuring that none of the dark aspects of drug consumption take over the person’s life. Ambien addiction may have to be treated in a rehabilitation center.
What is Ambien?
Ambien or zolpidem is a prescription medication given to people who are 18 or older and suffer from insomnia. At first, it was offered as an alternative to benzodiazepine drugs – a much safer alternative.
Ambien is part of the Sedative-Hypnotics drug group. It operates by activating GABA, a neurotransmitter of the brain with the ability to slow down the central nervous system (CNS) and the brain. If used for a short amount of time, the drug can treat insomnia.
Two types of Ambien can be found. One of them has a quick release that can initiate sleep, whereas the other has extended release and can help in maintaining one’s sleep.
The medication can be very safe as long as the patient follows the instructions given by the physician. However, in some situations, Ambien will come with some side effects, such as agitation, disinhibition, an increase in aggressiveness, depersonalization, as well as visual and auditory hallucinations.
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The Right Ambien Dosage
Ambien is generally prescribed for two weeks, and it shouldn’t be taken for longer than the doctor recommended. It is essential to follow all the instructions from the healthcare professional and the medication’s prescription label.
Most of the time, the recommended dosage for men is either 5 or 10 milligrams, whereas for women it’s 5 milligrams. The medication should be taken only once every night, and it should not be consumed during the day. Furthermore, nobody should take it at least 7 hours before they wish to wake up.
A 5-milligram dose may be increased when it doesn’t help the person go to sleep or stay asleep for more hours. The dose then increases to 10 milligrams.
Any amount that is higher than what the doctor prescribed can be dangerous, and nobody should ever go against the instructions they received.
Experiencing Ambien Addiction
People have the misconception that Ambien is not addictive because it is a prescription drug, or that it is not as addictive as benzodiazepine drugs. Well, that is not true, because the medication can be just as addictive. It depends on each situation, and not everyone will become addicted, but the risk is always there.
Short-term insomnia is something that often leads to Ambien addiction. Considering the drug is prescribed by the doctor for sleep issues, many individuals end up thinking that taking higher doses of the drug is safe. If someone keeps using Ambien for a longer period, they will notice that the drug is less effective, but also that they cannot stop taking it.
Ambien addiction develops as the body builds tolerance to the medication. When someone is becoming addicted, they should seek medical attention before it gets worse. Usually, they may need to go through a detoxification process.
Signs of Ambien Abuse
Some common signs that someone is addicted to Ambien include:
- Dealing with cravings for Ambien
- Refilling their prescriptions too frequently
- Wasting a lot of money just to obtain Ambien
- Becoming isolated
- Suddenly starting to take larger doses than the ones prescribed by the physician
- Taking part in very dangerous activities without being aware of them later
Symptoms of Ambien Addiction
Abusive Ambien use comes with some uncomfortable symptoms, and the longer the addiction goes, the worse the symptoms will become. Potential Ambien abuse symptoms include:
- Drowsiness the next day
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Problems with coordination
- Short-term memory loss or amnesia
- Shaking uncontrollably
- Slower breathing or heartbeat
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Going Through Withdrawals
When someone has been abusing Ambien for too long, they will start to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are especially common in people who suddenly stop consuming the substance, and they can be very difficult to deal with. Many times, individuals are tempted to go back to their Ambien consumption in order to get rid of the discomfort.
Someone who has been taking higher doses of the drug for a very long time will deal with worse withdrawal symptoms. These will include:
- Panic attacks
- Increased pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and breathing rate
- Stomach cramps
Usually, withdrawal symptoms will appear within 48 hours after taking the last Ambien dose. Withdrawal has to be treated in a detox center. In some cases, the withdrawal period can be life-threatening.
Treatment for Ambien Addictions
Getting rid of Ambien addiction can be done in a rehabilitation center. The person may have to go through detox, after which they may need to go to individual or group therapy. Skills training may also help.
The addiction should be addressed as soon as possible, especially if it resulted in withdrawal.
Why We Can Help
At Real Deal, you can manage both Ambien addiction and withdrawal successfully. Our detox service will make sure you are clean from the drug, and our treatment will make you stop wanting to abuse the substance.
What’s more, we offer therapy to help you manage underlying issues. We also have a sober living house, where you can stay until you start your new life without Ambien.
Are you struggling with an Ambien addiction? Make sure to reach out to our rehabilitation center as soon as possible to put an end to it.