An Ambien addiction can start off as innocently as simply wanting a better night’s sleep. Maybe you’re just a restless sleeper, or maybe you’re waking up tired after a long night’s sleep. After trying various sleeping aides with little to no effect, your doctor may advise you to take a prescription sleeping pill like Ambien. Ambien is currently one of the most popular and effective sleeping aids available and delivers almost immediate, sedative effects within 15 minutes of use. However, because of Ambien’s powerful nature, it is only meant to be used for short periods of time, usually up to 2-6 weeks. If Ambien is used for longer than the prescribed period, it can lead to an Ambien addiction, which can even require ambien detox and treatment.
Effects of Ambien
Ambien is a type of sedative-hypnotic medication that is designed to depress the central nervous system to bring on immediate and undisturbed sleep. Ambien is one of several central nervous depressants widely prescribed for insomnia and it only meant to be taken for no longer than 2-6 weeks. Because Ambien can be extremely addictive, if it is taken for longer than this initial period, a patient can quickly develop an addiction and dependence to the drug.
Because the body’s responses are slowed when taking Ambien, people are not advised to drive or operate machinery while taking the drug. People using Ambien should go to bed immediately after taking the drug, or they can be at a risk for sleepwalking or even sleep driving. Many patients using Ambien have suddenly found themselves awake in different parts of their homes, and even in different parts of their city, without having the slightest idea of how they got there.
Some other effects of Ambien include:
- Impaired memory
- Slurred speech
- Slow and Impaired coordination
- Extreme irritability
- Over excitement and altogether unusual behavior
Side Effects of Ambien
Regardless of the dosage, Ambien can produce several possible side effects including:
- Euphoria and Dysphonia
- Strong Delusions
- Uninhibited extroversion in social settings
- Decreased libido
- Increased appetite
- Loss of memory
- Impaired judgment and reasoning
Treating an Ambien Addiction
If you are suffering from an Ambien addiction it is not recommended to stop taking the medication abruptly. Because long-term use of Ambien can lead to physical and psychological dependence, stopping the drug abruptly can lead to symptoms of moderate to severe withdrawal. While Ambien withdrawal symptoms are rarely life-threatening, they do put Ambien users at a greater risk for developing life-threatening seizures.
For individuals suffering from a chronic Ambien addiction, it is recommended that they seek out Ambien addiction treatment through a detox and drug rehab facility. Here they can receive medically supervised Ambien detoxification treatments which will help to minimize painful withdrawal symptoms. Once the individual has successfully detoxed from the drug, they will begin cognitive and behavioral therapy to help treat the addiction and prevent the risk of future relapse.