Ambien is a powerful sedative prescribed to people suffering from acute insomnia. Users can become addicted if they use Ambien longer than two weeks or at higher than prescribed doses.
Some drugs are called sedative-hypnotics and Ambien is a member of the drugs. The same medical effectiveness is found in this non-benzodiazepine "z-drug" as benzodiazepines like Xanax without the same dangerous and habit-forming features those drugs are known for.
The Ambien was designed and marketed as a less addictive drug by its makers alternative to benzos for people with severe insomnia.
Although it is not as habit-forming as benzos, Ambien is an addictive substance. An addiction to this drug can form in as little as two weeks.
Users hardly notice they are addicted to Ambien until they try to sleep without taking it and then reality hits when they can't fall asleep. When people start to experience the side effects of quitting a drug, they realize how addicted they were to the drug.
Other signs of an Ambien addiction include:
Buying the drug again after you have exhausted it
Abusing the drug regularly
Experiencing cravings for Ambien
Getting involved in dangerous situations while having a memory lapse of the incident
Using too much money to buy the drug
Isolating oneself from family and friends
An Ambien dependency may begin with an honest effort to cure a one-off lack of sleep issue. Some users underestimate the addictive potential of Ambien because it's prescribed by a doctor and they only use it to help them sleep.
If you use Ambien for some weeks, its potency reduces. At this stage some users are unable to quit taking this drug because their insomnia has worsened to the point they cannot manage to sleep without Ambien.
Zolpidem is sold as Ambien. Due to a pervasive advertising campaign, the drug's properties as a sleep aid are widely known (even notorious) in popular culture. It is essentially prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. In whatever form you have it, it should be swallowed. In order to have a stronger effect many people are known to crush the tablets and to snort them nasally. Zombie pills, tic-tacs, no-go's, sleepeasy and A-minus are the slang terms for Ambien.
A strong sedative effect is produced by Ambien as it binds to neuroreceptors therefore slow the brain activity.
Before Ambien, benzodiazepines like Halcion were used but were criticized for their addictive properties, so Ambien was introduced into the market as an alternative. It is claimed by the makers of Ambien that their drug was safer and less addictive.
Despite the makers of Ambien touting the drug's superiority over benzos, medical professionals have said users are still at risk of developing an addiction. In 2015, addiction specialist Dr. Michael Weaver published a report on sedative abuse in which he said, "Non-benzodiazepine z-drugs are also very popular and prone to many of the same problems as benzodiazepines."
Ambien is a controlled substance and falls under the category of schedule IV. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) claims that it means that people aren't likely to use it recreationally. The reality is Ambien is abused because it causes euphoria and hallucinations.
Effects Of Ambien Abuse
Self-prescribing Ambien is in itself misuse of the drug Ingesting an extra pill to help you get to sleep is also considered as abuse. The addicted person requires larger doses to fall asleep once they build a tolerance to Ambien.
This tolerance causes the user to need a bigger dose in order to fall asleep, they illegally give themselves higher dosages.
Ambien is supposed to be taken immediately before bed, but it is found that some people took the drug hours before going to sleep. This leads to a euphoria that washes away insecurity and self-conscious behaviour.
Ambien can be considered as a safer alternative to benzodiazepine because the potential to overdose on the drug. A person who has overdosed on Ambien will display the same symptoms as the drugs effects, so it is hard to spot an overdose victim.
As a potent central nervous system depressant, Ambien can slow a user's breathing and / or heart rate to the point of failure. The result could be a fatal overdose. Someone with slow abnormal breathing or faint heartbeat could be on an Ambien overdose.
Typical Drug Combos
Most people combine Ambien with alcohol. The tolerance to Ambien leads to people needing higher doses of the drug just to fall asleep. Some people with an Ambien tolerance try to amplify the sedative effects of the drug by taking alcohol with their pill. The activities of the central nervous system are usually inhibited by alcohol and Ambien, giving the combination a lethal undertone.
Many people have also combined Ambien along with benzos like Valium.
Combining the benzos with Ambien cause the health risks similar to those of combining alcohol, with the most dangerous being a fatal overdose.
Ambien Misuse And The Stats
Recovering from Ambien addiction begins with a medically assisted detox. The detox process helps prevent relapse and issues caused by withdrawal symptoms. Detox resources are provided by many inpatient rehab or outpatient clinics, as well as counselling to work out behaviours that lead to Ambien use. If you're ready to quit, call us now on 0800 772 3971 to find out your treatment options.