Last Updated: August 4, 2020

 

Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic sleep aid that can easily become addictive and escalate into severe health problems that can greatly disrupt your life.

Ambien is intended to reduce insomnia and help you fall asleep at a faster rate. Although it is meant to be used for two weeks at the most, negative symptoms and side effects will become much more prevalent if it is continuously taken for additional weeks or months. A person dependent on such prescription medication will have their general health decline because the body can only take so much in terms of sedative amounts. 

However, you can get support and treatment through Transformations Treatment Center if you struggle with Ambien addiction. It is more than possible to lead to a drug-free life.

Ambien Addiction Symptoms

With Ambien addiction, a large number of symptoms can present themselves over a period of time and affect the entire body. A person with an addiction may gradually increase their Ambien dosage in order to maintain the same results they had when they were taking a smaller amount. Withdrawal symptoms may also be present when they try to discontinue using the sleep aid and can cause a multitude of other problems. There are several symptoms of Ambien addiction:

  •     Being unreliable while at your work environment. 
  •     Discontinuation of pleasurable activities because of heavy drug reliance.
  •     Having a constant obsession over needing to use Ambien and trying to find ways to obtain more of it. 
  •     Paying an unreasonable amount of money for their Ambien prescription.
  •     Wanting to quit using Ambien, but not being able to.

Withdrawal symptoms from Ambien can include:

  •     Dizziness and blurred vision.
  •     Mood changes like depression, aggression, and irritability.
  •     Daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, and overall lethargy.
  •     Respiratory issues and stomach cramps.
  •     Heartburn and slower heart rate.
  •     Low blood pressure.
  •     Tremors and an unsteady gait.
  •     Diarrhea.
  •     Short-term memory loss, confusion, and inability to focus.
  •     Suicidal ideation.
  •     Difficulty falling asleep and having the insomnia coming back.
  •     Unintentionally completing tasks while sleepwalking, such as having unprotected sex, operating heavy machinery, or driving a car.

There is a higher likelihood of addiction if alcohol use is also a factor with Ambien use. If Ambien is combined with other drugs, this can lead to a drug overdose and possibly even become fatal. Even with a prescription from a doctor, Ambien is not a harmless drug and can be hazardous if not used with proper care. Addiction can take a major toll on your life, but Transformations Treatment Center can help you if you are struggling and give you the chance to detoxify and start over. Even if you struggle with addiction, you never have to go through it alone.

Signs of Ambien Abuse

It can be hard to see the signs of Ambien addiction in a loved one, or even in yourself. The signs may involve being secretive about the Ambien use or denying that there is any sort of problem, which makes it all the more imperative to recognize the following detrimental behavioral signs:

  •     Difficulty navigating social situations that involve family and friends.
  •     Impulsive behaviors that diminish good judgment.
  •     Disorientation of your daily sleep cycle, causing you to fall asleep during irregular hours.
  •     Mixing Ambien with alcohol or other substances in order to amplify its effects.
  •     Drug dependency due to consistent drug tolerance.
  •     Feeling nausea and nervousness.

While abuse and addiction are not exactly the same, they can unfortunately go hand in hand when it comes to frequently using drugs like Ambien. There have even been cases where a person has seen more than one doctor in order to obtain multiple prescriptions of Ambien. They may also use money they’ve stolen in order to pay for it or even steal the sleep aid itself.

It essential for family members or friends to check in and see if any of these signs or symptoms line up with their loved one’s behavior. If a family member or friend does notice any of these signs, our Family Member Support Guide highlights great ways to find help for them. 

Ambien Addiction Statistics

40 million prescriptions of the drug are issued each year, more than any other type of sleep aid that is currently on the market. This creates a troubling view of what an addiction to Ambien can actually look like:

  •     Half a million Americans (approximately 1 out of 1000 adults) struggle with addiction to sleep aids, including Ambien.
  •     From 2005 to 2010, there were over 19,000 visits to the emergency room due to Ambien use. 
  •     Ambien plays a major role in alcohol poisoning, which claims the lives of over 2000 Americans yearly.
  •     Up to 5 percent of those who abuse Ambien and other sleep aids will develop an addiction over a period of time.

Knowing these statistics can be of great benefit to family members or friends wanting to reach out and help a loved one. Transformations Treatment Center can provide support for them if they decide to stage an intervention with a person who is either unwilling or unable to talk about their addiction.

Treating Ambien Addiction

It’s never too late to reach out for professional help and find ways to treat the problems that come with Ambien addiction. You can forge a new and better path for your life going forward.

Transformations Treatment Center can help you recover using an individualized and research-based treatment plan. Rehab treatment and detoxification programs in a Summit Detox center can be used to meet your needs and provide you with the opportunity to make positive changes in your life in order to stay sober.

Detoxification is a gradual process and involves placing you in a clean environment where you will be weaned off the medication slowly in order to monitor any side effects or symptoms that result from drug withdrawal. This is a safe, comfortable, and helpful way to assist you when overcoming withdrawal symptoms. The process will occur in a hospital-like environment at a treatment center for alcohol and drug use. The amount of Ambien taken daily will be steadily lessened as a way to approach sobriety in the safest way possible. 

It is not recommended for you to suddenly stop using Ambien without gradually reducing the dosage over time. Going through drug withdrawal can be a painful, but ultimately necessary process in order to beat the addiction entirely. The symptoms of withdrawal that Ambien can produce include the following:

  •     Panic attacks.
  •     Uncontrollable crying.
  •     Nausea and vomiting.
  •     Shakiness and seizures.
  •     Long-lasting insomnia.
  •     Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.
  •     Intense anxiety and agitated moods.
  •     Uncontrollable crying.
  •     Heavy sweating.
  •     Intense cravings and delirium.

This process should take around 7 to 10 days, but can be prolonged if you need more time to get your addiction under better control. The role of detox is to ensure that you have adequate support during what could be the most difficult stages of withdrawal from the drug. You will be monitored by medical professionals such as doctors, mental health therapists, nurses, addiction specialists, and other compassionate staff members for 24 hours a day. Extra precautions will be taken to confirm that you have constant access to medical care and that your withdrawal symptoms are being carefully examined.

Underlying issues, such as common co-occurring disorders, should also be a major focus after finishing the detoxification process. Mental health issues could be a contributing factor to why substance abuse became so prevalent in your life. The diagnosis and handling of other substance abuse issues can be a key step in the recovery process. Understanding these issues and learning how to recognize them can be an incredible relief and a positive part of the healing process. This can also prevent the possibility of relapse from occurring.

Ambien Recovery

Once the detoxification process is complete, the recovery process will begin. The treatment of addiction is handled in a holistic manner that is evidence-based and highly individualized to your overall experience. This is done in order to assist you in the best possible way and to make sure each individual problem that has arisen for you is tackled during the process. You will be provided with a variety of medical treatment options – including holistic treatment approaches – that will make the progression of withdrawing from Ambien much healthier and more endurable. These methods could take the form of:

  •     Attending an intensive rehab program, whether it is outpatient or inpatient.
  •     Being partially hospitalized on varying levels.
  •     Multiple choices for housing that can assist you in the overall recovery process.
  •     New medication is prescribed for the common co-occurring disorders you may have.

 

Addiction treatment programs can also include a mixture of therapy sessions, whether it is intended for a group, an individual, or their families. Going to therapy is a powerful way for a therapist to help you analyze the influences that may have brought forth the addiction in the first place, whether it was based on certain circumstances or other unaddressed problems in your life.

Some holistic treatment approaches include:

  •     Finding better ways to manage stress
  •     Using proper coping mechanisms
  •     Increasing positive life skills. 

Having these means to effectively deal with difficult personal issues are a good way to sustain sobriety long after the treatment has ended. Through behavioral changes, you can make sure you are longer hindered by these addiction issues and are empowered enough to begin a new drug-free journey in your lives.

Transformations Treatment Center’s aftercare program will offer continuing care and support for you even after your treatment is finally completed. 12-step programs or continuing therapy will provide an outlet for you to work through issues concerning your sobriety and how to be more accountable for your health-conscious behavior.

Transformations Treatment Center has been able to help an incalculable amount of people with their addiction to abused substances like Ambien. 

We have individualized and evidence-based programs tailored to help every patient no matter what they need. Through detoxification and holistic care, medical professionals will be able to treat you and teach you the right skills to lead you towards a healthier life free of addiction. Contact us if you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and would like to have more information.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077937/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/ambien/faq-20058103

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