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Ambien Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 13, 2019

Ambien is prescribed as a short-term treatment option for individuals with insomnia. Long-term use of this drug can lead to dependency and addiction, especially in individuals taking Ambien without a prescription.

Ambien, a brand of zolpidem, is prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. For thousands of people, Ambien, a quick-acting (nonbenzodiazepine) hypnotic, provides an initial few hours of sleep, and as Ambien CR, delivered in a controlled-release form of the drug, usually 6 – 8 hours of ‘maintained’ sleep. For thousands more there are debilitating side effects, a dangerous tendency toward dependency, and the risk of lapses in mental and physical control.

These very risks are key to the rise in recreational, illicit ‘enjoyment’ of this drug, with users counting on enhanced hypnotic effects such as vivid visuals and distortions, an overall ‘body’ high, mild euphoria, perceptual changes, and hallucinations which can be uncontrollable and life-threatening. Early in 2013, the FDA required the dosage for women be reduced by half, with a recommendation of the same for men taking the drug, which indicates rather quick attention needed to offset hundreds of documented cases revealing problems with the drug. With the strong possibility of dependency, coupled with adverse side effects, those who are taking this drug as new users should be extremely cautious, and for those who have become tolerant and/or dependent (addicted), a plan to become free of its stranglehold is of the utmost importance.

Short-Term Effects Of Ambien

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • amnesia
  • sleepwalking/somnambulism
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • altered thought patterns
  • poor motor coordination and difficulty maintaining balance
  • euphoria and/or dysphoria
  • increased appetite/nocturnal eating
  • increased or decreased libido
  • impaired judgment and reasoning
  • uninhibited extroversion in social or interpersonal settings
  • increased impulsivity

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It is ironic that many of these side effects are identical to those displayed in an alcohol intoxicated person, and needless to say, Ambien is not to be used when the recipient has been drinking.

Residual ‘hangover’ effects, such as sleepiness and impaired psychomotor and cognitive function, may persist into the day following nighttime dosage. Such effects may impair the ability of users to drive safely and increase the risks of falls and fractures.

There are major physical and mental conditions which arise after prolonged use of Ambien, beyond the recommended maximum of 12 weeks. Even at this extended regimen, with the minimum prescribed dose, the drug becomes more ‘tolerated’ by the body creating a drug dependency; when this occurs, the user feels compelled to take a larger dose to get to sleep. In either case, overuse and misuse affect the Central Nervous System which can result in seizures and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, especially for those who increased dosages. When Ambien is stopped, there is more often than not, a return to insomnia (rebound insomnia), which indicates that the most effective use is very short-term combined with other therapies which are non-pharmacological and can truly improve sleep quality.

Long-Term Effects Of Ambien

  • tolerance
  • dependence
  • rebound insomnia
  • physical/mental pain in withdrawal
  • seizures

Treatment For Ambien Addiction

A controlled rehabilitation setting is the most appropriate place for treatment, as safeguards for withdrawal symptoms are maintained. Also, several avenues are explored which help the patient regain a natural, health-giving night’s sleep, and can be applied, and completely adapted before returning home. A rehabilitation center considers the whole person, his or her age, medical history, habits, daily routines, choices in diet and exercise, and overall well-being.

The compassionate people at are standing by to help you find the right rehabilitation center to fit your needs. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to Ambien or other sleep-inducing medication, please contact us, now.

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