Many drugs may be from the same family of substances but act in different ways. One may address the same issue but doesn’t have the same side effects. The same goes for Ambien which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for prescription use in 1992.
Ambien is a successful sedative-hypnotic and many other drugs try to copy it. This is a popular medication that temporarily treats insomnia and that was originally designed to be safer than previous insomnia treatments, including barbiturates and benzodiazepines, which were both found to be addictive. The truth is that too much of something will always become an addiction.
What is Ambien User For?
Ambien is prescribed primarily to treat insomnia, and sometimes other sleep disturbances. There may be an underlying problem that requires an additional diagnosis and treatment If insomnia continues beyond two weeks. Ambien is not intended for long-term use because it can be intoxicating, abused, and even a source of addiction.
As part of a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics, Ambien slows down brain processes and induces a sense of relaxation that allows a person to go to sleep. The drug can cause mental and physical impairment, especially lasting daytime drowsiness, so it is important to take Ambien as prescribed, right before going to bed and getting at least eight hours of rest. It may not be safe for a person taking Ambien to drive or operate machinery even the day after use.
Is Ambien Addictive?
There have been several reports of abuse and dangerous intoxication over the years of Ambien although it is not considered addictive when taken as directed. Just like anything that you do repeatedly, religiously for long periods, it can be habit-forming, meaning that a person who takes it may feel like they rely on the substance to treat insomnia or sleep disturbances or to manage their life. This can happen with Ambien and while they do not seek intoxication, people that take it may become anxious if they have to stop taking the drug.
People who are addicted to Ambien and feel like they rely on it, may escalate their dose, struggle with tolerance to the substance, and feel anxious or panicked when they cannot take the drug. They may be in denial that they need or crave the substance. They may feel ashamed of their struggle.
Signs that a person struggles with Ambien addiction are similar to any other substance abuse include:
- “Losing” the drug and needing constant refills
- Going to more than one doctor to acquire the drug
- Frequently talking about the drug
- Getting in financial trouble by spending money on the drug
- Spending more time away from work, school, family, or social obligations to use the drug
- Appearing intoxicated or fatigued frequently
- Being sick more often due to coming down from Ambien intoxication
- Getting hurt because of drug intoxication
- Getting anxious or upset when asked about the drug
- Lying about how much they’ve taken
- Stealing Ambien
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop taking the drug
Withdrawal symptoms for someone dependent on Ambien that suddenly stops taking it may include:
- Agitation and irritability
- In severe instances, convulsions or seizures
Ambien abuse can also cause serious health problems, which can include:
- Rebound insomnia
- Nausea and vomiting
- Addictive euphoria
- Memory loss
- Loss of coordination, leading to falls or physical harm
- Exhaustion or fatigue
Reported, on both in people who take the medication as directed and in people who abuse Ambien recreationally, it can cause typically walking, eating, talking, driving, and even participating in sexual activity while asleep. This is called parasomnias.
Parasomnias put the person in physical danger. If they occur when the person is taking the medication as directed, the prescribing doctor may stop the treatment. When they occur in a person struggling with Ambien addiction, they may not be addressed and can lead to serious harm.
Get the Help You Need With Ambien Addiction
If you or someone you love has a problem with Ambien, the detox center at Allure is here to help. We deliver safe, compassionate, and highly individualized care on a medical basis. Read on to learn more about who we are and why we’re one of the best drug and alcohol detox facilities in the industry. Start healing from substance abuse today.