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Ambien Dependence – Signs of Ambien Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

Is Ambien Addictive?

You might be considering the question, “How addictive is Ambien?” Ambien is used to treat insomnia. It is also known as zolpidem. It is in a class of medications called sedative-hypnotics, which work to allow the brain to sleep. Addiction and dependence is possible if the drug is taken for longer than two weeks at a time. Tolerance and dependency are both possible with the use of Ambien over time.

Understanding Ambien Dependency and Tolerance

Ambien dependence occurs when the body can no longer function correctly without the medication being taken. In this case, it would mean a person would have problems sleeping or getting to sleep without the pill. A physical dependence relies on a drug to create a chemical in the body. In this case, the chemical is causing the body to put the brain to sleep at an appropriate time.

Ambien can also cause a psychological dependency. This causes the user to think that he or she needs to have the drug in order to function properly, when it actually is not needed by the body at all. Psychological dependency can cause panic symptoms when the drug is not administered. Some patients may actually cause insomnia due to the stress of a psychological addiction.

Similar to other sleep-aids, Ambien can cause a tolerance to build in the body. To overcome the tolerance, a user must take more of the medication. However, this is not advised. There are other treatments and methods you can use to get a restful night of sleep. Contact your health care provider if the drug is not working correctly.

Effects/Side Effects

The short-term effects of Ambien include the ability to sleep soundly for seven to eight hours. However, the first two days of the pill may do the opposite. You can also develop cramps, nausea, sweating, nervousness, tiredness, and other symptoms. These symptoms vary between individuals, so what may occur for you is not what will always occur for someone else.

The long-term effects of Ambien can be difficulty getting to sleep due to tolerance, trouble stopping the pills due to dependency, and addiction.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

Withdrawal from Ambien can cause a number of issues, depending on the dosage you have taken and the time you have been taking the dose. Taking Ambien longer than two weeks increases the risk for withdrawal when the pills are stopped. Withdrawal symptoms may present as panic attacks, flushing of the skin, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, uncontrollable crying, and others. Rarely, seizures do occur. These symptoms are manageable and can be reduced by speaking with a doctor to set up a tapering plan. This plan will remove the drug from the system slowly, helping reduce withdrawal.

Treatment for Ambien Addiction

Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Options

addiction treatmentFalling into an addiction may be easy, but the road out may take time and effort. With the right plan of action and the right amount of support from friends, family members and doctors, anyone with the desire to quit a drug has high chances of succeeding. While guidance from medical professionals plays a large role in drug detoxification, rehabilitation and treatment, the support of loved ones can also greatly contribute to a successful recovery.

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Treatment for addiction to Ambien is completed by tapering the drug over time. A taper is very effective in removing the medication from the patient’s body with little to no withdrawal during or following treatment. A taper must be followed to work correctly, and some tapers are varied based on the chemistry of a patient’s body. During a normal taper, the drug is stepped down over a period of days or weeks, from a whole dose to half, and so on. The amount your doctor reduces your medication will depend on the amount you currently take and your body’s reaction to the reduced dosage. Sometimes, the drug must be stopped immediately. In medical emergencies, hospitals often carry antidotes for the drugs in order to counteract the respiratory depression that may occur with heavy usage.

In addition to stopping the drug, psychological help is available for users who need additional help staying off of Ambien. This helps the patients change their behaviors to reduce the chance for relapse. Counselors can also address concerns with possible medical conditions and with other problems a patient may have, such as life stress. A psychological dependency is most likely to be treated with therapy sessions.

Ambien abuse treatment is available from hospitals, clinics, and private doctor’s offices. Immediate help is available from emergency rooms and immediate care facilities. Hospitals treat patients regardless of their financial situations, so this should not be a factor that determines getting help. People interested in inpatient or outpatient services for Ambien addiction and recovery should call 1-888-803-9961 to receive the information needed to heal. A short contact form is also available for those who do not have access to a telephone or those who are hearing impaired.