Ambien is a prescription sleep agent that has been known to cause some pretty peculiar behavior such as sleepwalking, driving in the middle of the night and even raiding the refrigerator, as well as some other odd behavior without the individual remembering any of the events once they are fully awake. Physicians argue that Ambien is not addictive, however, when taken in increased amounts or for longer than recommended periods of time can lead to dependency.
Same Potential for Dependency as any other Drug
Dependency occurs as a result of a tolerance developing from taking the drug over a long period of time. The National Institute for Drug Abuse reports that what generally happens is that once tolerance develops individuals taking Ambien will find that they have difficulty falling asleep and so they will begin to self medicate with more of the drug to achieve the same result as before. Really, developing an addiction to Ambien is no different than building an addiction to any other drug. To understand how out of control Ambien addiction has become, a study conducted by New York University School of Medicine reported that Ambien patients reported taking 10 to 20 pills a night as opposed to the one pill per day recommended dose. Doctors at NYU also suggest it is possible to become addicted to Ambien if the individual takes the drug too frequently. Some individuals take Ambien recreationally and it has become a popular drug at Pharm Parties on college campuses according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse. The doctors at NYU indicate that mixing Ambien with other drugs and alcohol could be potentially life-threatening.
How Ambien Works
Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic that is a short-acting sleep agent. Ambien is effective at slowing brain activity in the same manner as drugs such as Valium and Xanax, both of which are benzodiazepines or anti-anxiety drugs. Ambien is one of the most prescribed sleep medications available today second only to Lunesta. Ambien works in conjunction with a chemical in the brain called Gaba. When Gaba has released, Ambien coordinates with the Gaba to reduce brain activity. Sleep occurs within 15 to 30 minutes after taking Ambien and deep restful sleep continues for 7 to 10 hours.
Ambien Abuse Symptoms
Ambien abuse over long periods of time has the potential for side effects including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Short term memory loss
- Daytime drowsiness
- Coordination problems
Continued Ambien abuse may require detox. Withdrawal symptoms from quitting Ambien may include:
- Agitation and irritability
The best method to quit Ambien is seen as a tapering off method. When individuals stop taking Ambien abruptly it can cause the brain to have seizures.
There are several different methods for detoxification from Ambien abuse which includes traditional hospital inpatient medical detox and IV therapy medical detox. Hospital inpatient medical detox is the traditional method for detox in which patients are often placed in psychiatric units during detox and the medication that is often times used has been seen as ineffective at relieving the patient’s discomfort from withdrawal symptoms and as a result many patients have left detox before completing the process. IV therapy medical detox has been seen as the best method from Ambien abuse because it allows the medication to be adjusted as the patient’s withdrawal symptoms change which keeps the patient comfortable throughout the process. Research shows that patients who are able to complete detox are more likely to be successful in sobriety than individuals who cannot complete detox. If you or someone you know are struggling with an Ambien addiction and are in need of detox, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Gallus Detox Centers specializes in IV therapy medical detox, a safer and more effective method for detox from Ambien and will provide you with a customized plan to meet your individual needs. Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at 855-338-6929, to see if our treatment program is right for you.