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Ambien is a sedative medication often prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. While this medication has not proven to be effective in maintaining sleep over a long period, it is effective in initiating sleep.
Ambien can be dangerous when misused or over-used. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Americans about an increased risk for motor vehicle collisions when taking Ambien. The medication is sometimes abused for its hypnotic and sedative properties, with people over-using existing prescriptions and obtaining prescriptions illegitimately for recreational use.
Extensive abuse can lead to physical and psychological dependence over time, leading to tolerance, which often requires medical intervention.
Negative physical effects of Ambien use can include:
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Feelings of fatigue
- Perceptual changes
- Visual distortions
- Short-term memory loss
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Prescription drug abuse is a particularly alarming problem across the United States, with three main categories of medications abused on a regular basis: opiate painkillers, central nervous system (CNS) sedatives, and CNS stimulants.
Ambien, the brand name if zolpidem, is a sedative drug used for the treatment of insomnia and abused for its hypnotic and sedative qualities. Prescription pills are abused whenever they are taken in a different way than intended by a doctor or medical professional. There are many ways to misuse and over-use prescription medications, with methods of abuse largely dependent on the substance in question.
Typical methods of Ambien abuse include:
- Increasing dosage levels
- Combining it with other medications
- Using Ambien prescribed for someone else
- Crushing up tablets to snort or inject them for a more effective high
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What are the Signs of Ambien Addiction?
An ambien addiction does not take very long to form. It can take as little as two weeks. It can be hard to identify an Ambien addiction because many people may not know they need the drug to sleep until they stop taking it. Withdrawal symptoms and other signs can indicate an addiction to these sleeping pills.
Other signs of addiction include:
- Taking repeatedly larger doses of the medication
- Experiencing cravings
- Refilling prescriptions more often than usual
- Refilling prescriptions unusually often
- Taking the medication and partaking in activities you don’t recall the next day
- Spending all your time and money on the drug
- Becoming isolated from friends and family members
- Hiding pill bottles
Ambien and other sedatives are associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome. In order to address the addiction, and treat the withdrawal effectively, medical intervention is often recommended.
Chronic users of Ambien, especially those who use high doses on a regular basis, are more likely to develop physical dependence and experience severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued. Possible withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and seizures, which can lead to additional medical complications if left untreated.
A medicated detox program is recommended to prevent abrupt withdrawal and help stabilize patients prior to rehabilitation. While natural detox programs can also be useful in certain cases, slow and steady medical detox is generally believed to be the safest and most effective way to withdraw from sedative drugs. In a safe and medical environments, patients will be slowly weaned off the medication, while being supervised by healthcare professionals.
At Get Treatment, we understand that undergoing treatment for addiction can often be scary and overwhleming, but being able to live a life free from drugs and alcohol is the ultimate reward. We can help you find a drug and alcohol rehab center where you can detox safely and comfortably knowing
Detox is designed to enable drug discontinuation and promote abstinence in the early stages of recovery. It does nothing to address the underlying psychological issues that led to the drug addiction. These psychological factors must be addressed directly through inpatient or outpatient rehab programs.
Also known as residential rehab, inpatient programs involve a live-in arrangement for the duration of treatment. Outpatient programs allow patients to come to therapy on a daily basis, but return home at the end of the day.
Relapse prevention is an important part of the rehabilitation process. Recovering addicts are taught how to recognize triggers and develop new psychological coping skills to help them once they leave the rehab facility.
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Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Drug Safety and Availability – Questions and Answers: Risk of next-morning impairment after use of insomnia drugs; FDA requires lower recommended doses for certain drugs containing zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, and Zolpimist). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm334041.htm
Abuse, N. I. (2014, May 14). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse
Last updated on April 7th, 2017 at 03:57 pm