Ambien is one of the most commonly used sleeping pills around today, but also one of the more easily habit forming, leading many users to form an ambient addiction. The brand name for zolpidem tartrate, ambien qualifies as a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class. Normally, ambien will be prescribed to individuals experiencing difficulty with sleeping. There is ample evidence of ambien’s ability to provide some degree of relief, at least in the short term. Because of this success, ambien, which was first introduced in this country back in 1988, has now become the most prescribed sleep medication in the United States.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that ambien is only meant to be taken for relatively short periods of time, in order to re-set the body’s natural circadian rhythms of genuine insomniacs. When the drug is taken for longer than intended, or for the wrong reasons (such as producing hypnotic and euphoric effects), or when it is incorrectly self-administered, then ambien loses its intended value and can lead to the development of an ambien addiction. The “high” that ambien produces makes it especially compelling to those who have already shown a proclivity to drug abuse, or to those who are prone to bouts of stress and anxiety.
The Effects of an Ambien Addiction
As many people who have developed an ambien addiction can testify, its use can come with some frightening side effects, which include it’s potential to cause blackouts and amnesia. Ambien users have reported a wide range of alarming behavior while under the influence of the drug, such as sleepwalking, sleep-talking, binge eating, writing horribly misguided emails, along with engaging in otherwise uncharacteristic behavior. This behavior can perhaps be written off as harmless when it involves eating too much ice cream, or leaving the TV on all night. But it becomes increasingly dangerous if and when it leads to riskier behavior, such as driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in any other type of potentially hazardous activities while under the influence of ambien. As to be expected, these side effects are magnified when the ambien is used in conjunction with alcohol or any other drug. All the more alarming, recent reports indicate that ambien abuse is on the rise, as evidenced by the growing number of ER visits that were related to the ingestion of ambien (source: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20130501/er-visits-tied-to-ambien-on-the-rise).
Seeking Help For Your Ambien Addiction
If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, have a need for ambient addiction treatment, the first thing you might consider, but only under your doctor’s supervision, is discontinuing use of the drug. At Axis Treatment West, our staff of counselors and drug treatment specialists have over 100 years combined experience in the recovery field, all trained to help the ambien addict recover in a safe and effective manner. We recommend NOT attempting to stop using ambien in a “cold turkey” manner, as this may cause dramatic withdrawal side effects, such as muscle cramps, sweats, shaking, and seizures. Ambien addicts should keep in mind that the severity of withdrawal symptoms they experience will be proportionate to the amount of Ambien they’ve taken, as well as the length of time over which they have taken it. A drug treatment facility such as Axis West is almost always more effective in helping users to overcome an ambien addiction. Trying to get off the drug on one’s own is more likely to lead to relapse, followed by the necessity of going through withdrawal off the drug all over again.
The specific type of treatment we offer for ambien addiction will depend largely upon the ambien addict and his or her individual needs. Please call 866-737-3573 and speak with one of the admissions specialists at Axis West today to find out if we can help you take the first steps on the path to recovery from your ambien addiction.