SUMAYYA
06 September 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kajal Jain
M. Pharm
TREATMENT OF ADDICTION AND ABUSE OF ZOLPIDEM
Table of Contents

Addiction is a way of psychological disorder that will urge you to an intense level of behavior. It affects your brain to the point that you are losing control and are more significant in a state of using a drug. You will find it challenging to overcome drug addiction.

Like a drug, Ambien is used for the treatment of insomnia. Your doctor prescribes the medication only for four weeks, not more than that, but if you are using it for a more extended period, you will find addiction and abusive symptoms, and you will discover difficulty coping; there are some preventive ways out of there, let us discuss in detail.

The sleep problems include:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early

Ambien helps to relieve insomnia in adults. As the danger of dependence rises with treatment duration, it is necessary to keep treatments as short as possible.

How Does Ambien Addiction Happen?

Ambien belongs to the class of Sedative-Hypnotics. It comes under Schedule IV controlled substance and may be habit-forming. Schedule IV controlled substance means you always need a prescription to buy Ambien online from an online pharmacy or a local drug store. Ambien activates GABA, a neurotransmitter that slows down the brain and central nervous system.

As a result, the user has an easier time falling and staying asleep. Therefore, use the drug only when required under the supervision of a doctor.

Ambien is a less addictive alternative to Benzos for those with severe insomnia. Ambien is nonetheless addictive, even though it often takes users longer to become addicted to it.

Even at a prescribed dose, using Ambien for an extended period can lead to addiction. Dependence on Ambien can form in less than two weeks. 

Signs Of Drug Abuse and Addiction

It is conceivable for Ambien to cause a full-blown addiction at some point. Symptoms include cravings, reduced control over usage, compulsive use, and continuous use despite side effects. Many people are unaware that they have a problem until they stop taking medicine and realize they can't sleep without it.

Ambien addiction signs and symptoms include:

  • Snorting the pills after crushing them.
  • Taking Ambien many hours before bedtime.
  • Extremely frequent prescription refills.
  • Taking doses more often than recommended.
  • Failed attempts to stop using the drug.
  • Obsession with needing the substance.
  • Abandoning former interests in favor of getting and utilizing the drug.
  • Putting oneself in risky situations and having no recall of it later.
  • Habits like sleepwalking or driving while under the influence of Ambien.
  • Faking sleeplessness to obtain an Ambien prescription.
  • Putting a lot of effort and money into trying to use Ambien.
  • Isolating from friends and family.

What Happens When You Take Ambien And Stay Awake?

The term parasomnia in medicine refers to a behavior that a person might engage in when they are asleep. These include sleepwalking, hallucinations, meal preparation, binge eating, housework, and even driving in an altered state of consciousness. The individual has no memory of what happened the previous evening when they woke up.

People on Ambien may display odd behaviors and adverse effects not only the night after taking it but also the following morning. Many users of Ambien claim that the next day feels somewhat like a hangover.

They may show forgetfulness, especially concerning the previous day's activities, tiredness or drowsiness, headaches, and digestive problems. 

When Ambien is misused and used in high quantities, the person may stay awake and have adverse effects like hallucinations. 

If you are using Ambien, follow instructions on when and how much to take. If you exhibit strange behaviors while using the sleeping medication, whether you are awake or asleep, consult your doctor.

How Is Ambien Abused?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 500,000 Americans misuse sedative medicines like Ambien and others.

Abuse includes improper use of Ambien not recommended by a physician. Abuse includes even taking an extra tablet to help you fall asleep. After developing a tolerance to Ambien, a person needs higher doses to fall asleep.

It makes them more dependent on the medicine to fall asleep. In regular doses, Ambien induces relaxation and has calming effects; however, snorting or injecting the substance increases the risk of overdose or even death.

Abuse of Ambien can have the following effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow, sluggish breathing
  • Unsteady speech
  • Shakiness
  • Mood changes
  • Amnesia
  • Muscle tremor
  • Suicidal ideas
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic headaches
  • Digestive issues
  • Tiredness

Ambien And Alcohol

Taking Ambien with alcohol can be fatal. It can lead to an Ambien overdose and cause physical and cognitive damage. Additionally, drinking amplifies the effects of both Ambien and alcohol by acting on the same GABA receptors in the brain.

The CNS, which regulates respiration, heart rate, and brain activity, is suppressed by both medicines. Together, the effects are amplified, which can be risky and may lead to the following: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired or slowed breathing
  • Motor control issues
  • Unusual behavior
  • Memory issues

Ambien by itself carries the risk of suffering side effects the morning after sleeping - impaired driving, especially with less than a night of sleep.

Alcohol and Ambien combined may raise the possibility of adverse effects the following day. Therefore, while taking Ambien, individuals should avoid drinking alcohol entirely.

Prevention Of Addiction To Ambien 

The detoxification procedure helps avoid relapse and problems brought on by withdrawal symptoms. Here, the doctor tapers the dose while providing medical attention. Withdrawal symptoms are treated right away in this environment.

Rehab facilities aim to heal their patients. Family support, group treatment, and one-on-one talk therapy are all necessary components of recovery. These facilities provide patients with the tools required to maintain their Ambien sober levels.

Inpatient rehabilitation: Inpatient care entails 24/7 supervision in a residential facility, where they receive individual and group counseling, different therapies, psychiatric attention, and Education to help the patient comprehend and address the problems that contributed to their misuse of Ambien, as well as help them build coping mechanisms.

Outpatient rehabilitation: Similar to inpatient care, outpatient treatment usually involves treatments, mental care, Education, individual and group counseling, and more. After their daily clinic-based appointments, participants go back to their homes or sober living facilities. 

How To Treat Addiction and Abuse of Ambien?

As part of addiction treatment, address the underlying issue that led to drug usage in the first place. There are two possible therapies for Ambien addiction: behavioral therapy and dose tapering.

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs include a detox which involves tapering the dose under the control of a physician. The recovery is successful only when cognitive behavioral therapy goes hand in hand with the tapering-off procedure.

Some doctors recommend long-acting benzodiazepines like Valium to Ambien users. Valium helps with withdrawal symptoms because they are similar to benzo withdrawal symptoms. Valium is a highly addictive drug. Use it only under the supervision of a doctor to taper off Ambien.

Detox- Detoxing Ambien involves tapering the dose to wean the drug completely from the body.

Comprehensive Therapy- Therapy can assist drug users in resolving their underlying problems and acquiring new coping mechanisms and life skills. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can assist you in changing negative thought patterns and improving how you respond to situations and pressures. There are various ways of treatment.

Exercise and Mindful Practices - Regular exercise can improve your health and overall well-being.

Yoga, meditation, breathing, and calming techniques can help you cope with stress and trigger a relapse into substance misuse.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Ambien

In particular, after using the medication for a long time and at high dosages, abrupt discontinuation of Ambien can result in withdrawal symptoms. The user will experience uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of Ambien withdrawal:

  • Nausea and vomiting       
  • Anxiety
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Seizure
  • Tremors
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Cravings
  • Nervousness
  • Delirium

How to Taper the Dose to Avoid Addiction?

While it may take months, some people can taper off Ambien in as little as two weeks. In detox, your body gradually weans off Ambien while handling withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the patient, this treatment may be either inpatient or outpatient.

A person is less likely to develop withdrawal symptoms if they taper the dose gradually. Each person will experience the tapering process differently.

To replace Ambien, a doctor may prescribe or recommend different sleep aids. For those with sleeplessness, Melatonin or other natural therapies frequently offer relief.

Ambien Withdrawal Timeline

The withdrawal timeline of Ambien usually lasts between one and two weeks. Users start experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms 4 to 8 hours following the last dose.

Users will begin to suffer more intense withdrawal symptoms, such as rebound insomnia, cravings, trembling, Anxiety, and delirium, 24 to 48 hours after their last dose. Seizures and psychosis are common after detox. In extreme addiction cases, this frequently happens.

The withdrawal symptoms peak after three to five days. The detox may minimize discomfort when withdrawal symptoms may last for several weeks.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Being a regulated prescription substance, buying Ambien without a prescription is illegal. Ambien is not just a typical sleeping aid. It is a drug that has the potential to become habit-forming and be abused.

It may be time to get in touch with an addiction professional if you notice any indications of improper using or abusing the drug before they cause harm to themselves or others.

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