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Understanding Ambien Addiction – Effects, Symptoms & Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. Speak with a Recovery Advocate by calling (855) 602-7202 now.

Ambien is the brand name for the sedative, zolpidem. It is also sometimes referred to as a hypnotic. It is frequently prescribed by physicians to treat patients who have insomnia as it can help patients to fall asleep.

While Ambien can have some positive effects for some patients, patients with a history of drug or alcohol addiction are advised not to take the medication because it can be very addictive. Even patients who have no prior history of addiction may develop an addiction by taking the medicine.

When a person is in the middle of an Ambien addiction, they may take huge doses of Ambien each day, and they may feel they are unable to stop. They also may find they need Ambien to fall asleep. While Ambien is not as habit-forming as drugs like Xanax and Valium, it is still an addictive substance nonetheless.

The Effects of Ambien on the Body

When a patient takes Ambien, the brain is slowed down in much the same way it reacts to drugs like Xanax and Valium. When a patient abuses Ambien, he or she may develop a tolerance to its effects, which causes a need for more Ambien to be effective.

Depending on what time of night it is taken, taking Ambien may result in a hangover-like residual effect the following day. It has also been known to cause sleepwalking, sleep eating and other bizarre activity. Ambien can cause the following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Trouble walking
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Problems with balance
  • Light headed feelings
  • Stomach cramps
  • Appetite changes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Tremors

The risks of long-term Ambien abuse include:

  • Persisten fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression and/or suicidal thoughts
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Muscle pain
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Digestive difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion

Ambien Addiction Signs and Symptoms

If you are concerned that you may have a problem with Ambien or you suspect your loved one may be addicted to Ambien, there are certain signs and symptoms to be aware of including:

  • Taking Ambien during the day
  • Using the drug for fun, not just for insomnia
  • Doctor hopping or pharmacy hopping to get multiple prescriptions
  • Taking a much higher dose of Ambien than prescribed
  • Trying to quit Ambien, but being unable to

Ambien Withdrawal

Patients who use the medication for a long period may suffer from withdrawal symptoms after stopping Ambien. These symptoms can not only be uncomfortable, but they can actually be dangerous. They can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Intractable insomnia
  • Stomach cramps
  • Delirium
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Seizure

You should not attempt to discontinue Ambien on your own. You can have medical assistance throughout any withdrawal symptoms you may experience at a detox center or in a medically-supervised detox at a treatment center. The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers these medically-assisted detox programs before patients go into treatment programs.

Ambien Addiction Treatment

The good news about drug addiction is that it is treatable. Just like any other disease, those who are afflicted with substance use disorder need to receive effective treatment. The best place to turn for Ambien treatment is a national treatment center like The Recovery Village Ridgefield.

Our facility is convenient to Vancouver, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. We offer medical detox, residential treatment programs, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient treatment programs and aftercare programs for patients who need treatment for Ambien addiction. If you are battling an addiction to Ambien, you don’t have to let it control your life any longer. Give us a call today.