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Ambien Addiction

ambien addictionAmbien is a prescription drug that helps people who have issues falling asleep. Zolpidem is the active ingredient in the drug, which belongs to the sedative-hypnotics drug class. People suffering from insomnia often rely on the drug to help them fall asleep, which in turn helps them avoid fatigue during the day and enjoy regular sleeping patterns.

Many people who regularly rely on Ambien to fall asleep might become dependent on the drug. After a consistent amount of time taking the drug, people might build a tolerance and require a larger dosage to feel the same sedative effects. Increasing the amount of drug taken each time could cause people to become addicted to Ambien due to the associated effects, including a relaxed state.

If you or someone you know takes Ambien consistently, either to fall asleep or to achieve a “high,” it might be time to search for a rehabilitation facility. Treatment for drug addiction often helps people suffering from Ambien dependence. could help you or your loved one address sleeping issues and any substance use disorders in a safer manner than just relying on prescription drugs.

What Is Ambien?

Many people have made various inquiries about Ambien to either their primary care physician or in a Google search. Some of the most common questions about this drug are:

  • What is Ambien used for?
  • Is Ambien a narcotic drug?
  • What does Ambien look like?

However, the question most often asked is, “What is Ambien?” Ambien is prescribed to many people and mentioned often, but some people hear about the drug and don’t know what it actually does. Ambien interacts with the brain to produce a calming effect on the body. This can cause issues for anyone who attempts to operate a vehicle or machinery since the drug can impair motor functions or reactions. Additionally, people who take Ambien might feel drowsy the morning after a dosage and they should be cautious before attempting anything dangerous. The drug is taken to help people who experience trouble falling asleep at night.

This is an illness called insomnia and it is common for people who suffer from substance use disorders or mental illnesses. Taking the drug can help stabilize a person’s sleeping patterns but it can also become addictive if relied on too often. Ambien is not a narcotic drug, though. The Ambien drug class is sedative-hypnotics, commonly called depressants. Other well-known drugs that fall within this classification include:

  • Amytal
  • Ativan
  • Halcion
  • Librium
  • Valium
  • Xanax

Alcohol is also considered a sedative and often causes people to feel drowsy, making it very similar to Ambien.

What Does Ambien Look Like?

Ambien comes in capsule form and varies in size depending on the dosage amount needed to address a person’s level of insomnia. Some prescription drugs also come in liquid form, but Ambien only can be taken as a capsule.Ambien typically comes as a small pink peach tablet. Tablets are available in strengths of 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams. Additionally, extended-release tablets are available in strengths of 6.25 milligrams and 12.5 milligrams for people who only stay asleep for a few hours.

The hypnotic-sedative also comes in a circular blue tablet with the letter “A” embossed on it or as a white tablet with the signature “amb10” or “5421” in a capsule-like shape.Zolpidem, the main active ingredient in Ambien, can cause severe allergic reactions. If this happens, people should stop taking the medication and contact a medical professional immediately. Some of the most common reactions include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat

Additionally, people should not share Ambien with others if they do not have a prescription themselves. The recommended doses of zolpidem are not the same for men and women — or for people with different physical characteristics or insomnia levels — and children should not take the hypnotic-sedative. Misuse of this medication can result in dangerous side effects, including addiction or even overdose. Some of the most common ways people misuse Ambien include:

  • Increasing dosage without a doctor’s recommendation
  • Taking the drug longer than a prescription allows
  • Taking the drug without a prescription
  • Taking the drug after recently consuming alcohol
  • Mixing the drug with other prescription drugs that could have dangerous side effects together

Knowing what the drug looks like and how to take it can help people stay safe and avoid an Ambien addiction.

Is Ambien Addictive

When people ask whether Ambien is addictive, the answer is always yes. Ambien can be an addictive drug for people, and common signs of a dependence include:

  • Refilling prescriptions too often
  • Experiencing cravings for the medication
  • Taking larger doses than what has been prescribed
  • Isolating oneself
  • Spending large amounts of money to obtain the drug
  • Engaging in risky experiences without remembering them later

Many people develop an Ambien addiction from short-term insomnia. Since the drug is prescribed by a doctor to treat sleeping issues, many people feel like it is safe to take regardless of the dosage. Prescription drugs can be more dangerous and addictive than usual due to people relinquishing caution they often reserve for more restrictive drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. After a few weeks, Ambien becomes less effective and some individuals are unable to stop taking the drug. An additional side effect of taking the drug over a long period of time are worsening insomnia when the dosage is decreased or stops completely.

Although Ambien usage has a smaller potential for overdose compared to other benzodiazepine sedatives, it can be more challenging to detect an Ambien overdose because the signs of the overdose are similar to general symptoms of using the drug. Ambien can slow a person’s heart rate to the point of failure, or breathing to the point of a fatal injury. A slow heartbeat or slow breathing is also an indication that the person taking the medication may be in serious trouble. When someone builds up a tolerance to Ambien, they will typically need larger and larger doses of the medication in order to maintain its effectiveness.

Ambien addiction can easily develop and it’s important to take the necessary steps to curb a dependence under the guidance of a doctor. Do not attempt detoxification cold turkey because withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Ambien addiction may also be influenced by environmental factors like homelessness, poverty or peer pressure. It can also co-occur with other disorders, such as alcohol abuse. There are several different symptoms and signs that can happen due to Ambien abuse, including:

  • Weakness
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Coordination problems
  • Slowed heartbeat or breathing
  • Altered reasoning or judgement
  • Uncontrollable shaking

An overdose is essentially a poisoning. When a person takes a high dose of Ambien that the body cannot metabolize it fast enough, the drug essentially poisons the body and begins to cause serious adverse side effects, including:

  • Small pupils
  • Blurry vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Blue lips or fingers
  • Fainting
  • Death

If you or someone you know experience these side effects due to an Ambien addiction, it is critical to get medical attention as soon as possible. Overdosing is considered a medical emergency. Although there is no cure for drug addiction, rehab is a proven treatment method. After therapy and medical attention, it is possible to live a long and healthy life free of Ambien addiction.

Physical, emotional and social effects of Ambien abuse

Ambien abuse can lead to problematic withdrawal symptoms that may cause you to continue using the drug in order to control the effects. This leads to a vicious cycle of addiction, as you begin to experience frightening effects from withdrawal, attempt to stop taking Ambien, and later experience a return of the initial withdrawal symptoms. Getting help at an inpatient drug addiction treatment center is the safest way to break free of the cycle, as proper detox can help you undergo withdrawal without experiencing any uncomfortable effects.

Using Ambien not only puts you at risk of dependence and addiction but some serious physical, emotional and social effects. Some of the potential effects associated with Ambien abuse include: psychological problems, constant fights and arguments, excessive absences, increased aggression, negative consequences at work or school, accidents, inability to complete work, tolerance, sleep apnoea, sexual dysfunction, increased agitation, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, immunosuppression, confusion, serious health problems and an increased risk of death.

Short-term effects of Ambien abuse

The residual effects of Ambien abuse may persist through the next day, depending on the dose of Ambien taken and the time of night it was ingested. You may experience effects resembling a hangover from a night of drinking. After waking the next morning, you could experience several hours of persistent drowsiness, memory loss, headaches, and gastrointestinal disturbances like nausea.

In addition, Ambien can cause sleepwalking (also known as somnambulism) and a strange phenomenon is known as sleep-eating or night-eating syndrome – especially when you’ve taken multiple doses.o known as somnambulism) and a strange phenomenon is known as sleep-eating or night-eating syndrome – especially when you’ve taken multiple doses.

Long-term effects of Ambien abuse

One of the more severe effects of abusing Ambien is developing a tolerance to the drug. When you increase your dosage without the approval of your doctor – or take Ambien for a month or more – you can develop a significant tolerance to the drug. Increased Ambien tolerance can be identified by needing to increase your dosage frequently in order to feel the same effects initially achieved.

Insomnia is another long-term effect of Ambien abuse. When you’re suffering from Ambien-induced insomnia, you may increase your dose, because you’ve become tolerant to the drug. This can lead to overdose in the form of extreme drowsiness or even loss of consciousness.

Ambien and Ambien Abuse: Facts and Statistics

  • Abusing Ambien by mixing it with alcohol and other medications can lead to a dangerously reduced heart rate or even death
  • Ambien has a special coating to discourage potential abusers from crushing and snorting it. However, the drug is still crushed by some users through different methods
  • A study carried out by the US Department of Health and Human Services found that 44% of six million users with prescriptions were younger than 18
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, students who use Ambien to get ‘high’ have a difficult time falling asleep
  • Using Ambien can lead to extremely dangerous activities, such as sleep-driving and sleep-eating, especially as the user has no control over their actions

Choosing the Best Inpatient Ambien Rehab Center

Ambien is well known as a sleeping pill. Some people become addicted to Ambien as a result of using it for medication. These people often can't sleep without the drug and they also suffer physical illness if they stop taking it. Ambien addicts may or may not take the drug to get high; some people become addicted even when using it as directed.

Ambien Rehab Programs

man with eyes closed doing yogaAmbien rehabilitation programs focus on healing both the physical and psychological aspects of an addiction to this drug. Most programs allow patients to receive psychotherapy on a regular basis as well as treatment for underlying physical and mental health issues that are contributing to Ambien addiction.

There are various types of Ambien treatment programs available, but all programs focus on teaching addicts to function normally without having to use Ambien. Successful graduates of these programs are able to live happier and more productive lives after treatment. If you are struggling with Ambien addiction, don't lose hope.

Call us to start the process of regaining control of your own life.

Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Clinics

Many Ambien rehabilitation programs are inpatient. This means that patients live full time at the Ambien rehab center. Usually, patients live with other people who are also recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. This can aid the recovery because participants can give one another support and help each other feel less isolated when dealing with their problems.

In addition, inpatient treatment often leads to a more effective rehabilitation experience. Patients in inpatient treatment receive therapy at least once a day, and possibly more often. They also have access to therapists 24 hours a day while they are in rehab. Many rehab programs also offer intensive treatment for underlying mental or physical health issues that could be contributing to Ambien abuse.

Some people prefer not to use inpatient service, however, because they feel it disrupts their life too much. They can't hold an outside job, and they'll be away from their family while in treatment. These people may prefer outpatient treatment, which allows them to live at home and visit the Ambien treatment center for therapy.

Do I Need a Residential Rehab Facility?

Since Ambien is both physically and psychologically addictive, you may be better off going to an inpatient Ambien rehab center rather than participating in an outpatient program, at least initially. This will allow you to recover from the physical effects of withdrawing from Ambien and get some intensive treatment for your psychological addiction to the drug. Many people have more success with an inpatient treatment center. However, outpatient therapy can work for some individuals. The type of treatment that is right for you depends on your circumstances and needs.

Tolerance and Dependence

Ambien problems often begin when a patient develops a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance occurs when the body gets used to the drug; the dose you usually take ceases to have the same effect. In order to feel drowsy and fall asleep, you have to take larger quantities of the drug.

"Tolerance occurs when the body gets used to the drug; the dose you usually take ceases to have the same effect."


Many Ambien users get into trouble when they develop tolerance because they simply take another pill rather than consulting their doctors about the problem. This can cause the person to become dependent on Ambien. Dependence occurs when the body is so used to the drug that it cannot function normally without it. Some Ambien users become psychologically dependent on Ambien as well; these users feel depressed, irritable or angry if they do not continue to take Ambien. Once a user has become dependent on Ambien, an Ambien rehab center can help him or she withdraw safely from the drug and return to a healthier existence.

Are Ambien Rehabs Private?

Some Ambien users are extremely concerned with privacy. These users may go to a faraway Ambien rehab center to ensure that nobody in their hometown knows they are receiving treatment for an addiction problem.

therapyThe good news is that it is invariably illegal for Ambien rehabilitation centers to violate your confidentiality. Since addiction treatment is medical in nature, Ambien rehabilitation staff can't share details of your treatment or even inform others that you attended their center. However, Ambien treatment facilities do have the right to insist you have a roommate while you attend inpatient treatment. You can usually pay extra to get a private room if you so desire.

How Long Does Inpatient Ambien Rehab Last?

There are several standard treatment models for inpatient Ambien rehabilitation programs. The shortest programs last 28 to 30 days; there are also 60-day and 90-day programs available. Some Ambien treatment centers also offer long-term treatment.

Many patients enter their Ambien treatment program tentatively; they are unsure whether the program will be right for them. For this reason, most Ambien rehab centers allow patients to initially sign up for a 30-day program and then extend their stay. Often, patients and their doctors or therapists will discuss further treatment on a regular basis and decide together how long the patient needs to stay in treatment.

What Happens During Treatment?

There are several steps you have to take during your stay at an inpatient Ambien rehab:


rehab-professionalsWhen you first contact an Ambien treatment center, you meet with an intake counselor. The counselor talks to you about why you want treatment and asks you questions to try to find out how long you have had a problem and if you have other problems, such as other addictions or mental health issues, that require treatment.


You'll stay in the hospital for about a week so doctors can monitor your symptoms as you withdraw from Ambien.

Inpatient treatment

During the next 30 to 90 days, you participate in inpatient treatment. Usually, you attend therapy on a daily basis and participate in support groups.

Re-evaluation/extended stay

As you approach the end of your initial treatment period, you and your treatment providers discuss whether or not it is in your best interest to leave the Ambien treatment center. You may decide to stay in the Ambien rehab center for a longer period of time.


Once you graduate from rehab, you will probably need to attend outpatient therapy sessions on a weekly basis for at least one year. Some people also move into a halfway house or sober living facility after rehab instead of immediately going home. This allows them to participate in their normal routines while still living with other addicts and being subject to strict rules.

Paying for Ambien Addiction Treatment

Ambien rehab programs are not cheap. Depending on how long your stay is, how much therapy you receive and what your other needs are, you might have to pay thousands of dollars. You also usually have to pay for your food and lodging while you are in treatment.

Some health insurance companies cover Ambien rehabilitation programs. If your insurance doesn't cover this type of treatment, consider making financial arrangements with the program director. You may be able to make monthly payments or arrange some other type of special payment arrangement.

Should I Stay Near Home?

Some people prefer to save money and time by attending an Ambien rehab program near where they live. It's easier to get to the program if it's nearby, and friends and family can visit often. In addition, it will be easier to come back for outpatient therapy afterward if the Ambien rehab center is near where you live.

However, people who want to ensure their privacy may prefer to attend a program far away from home. This way, nobody in their place of residence will accidentally find out that they are living in an Ambien rehabilitation center. Also, this gives patients the opportunity to focus on their recovery, away from the day-to-day distractions of their normal lives.

I Want to Find an Executive or Luxury Rehab Center

If work-related duties are hindering you or a relative from looking for assistance for a narcotic or prescription drug issue or behavior-related addiction, executive rehab treatments will be what you need. Pairing highly-rated drug, alcohol or behavioral addiction treatments with the freedom of computer and mobile access, an executive team member can get support while staying relatively "plugged in".

Often, contemporary substance addiction and behavioral treatment facilities furnish the top-shelf amenities you'd expect to enjoy only in the world's finest hotels, with your comfort and well-being being the areas of focus. From in-house massage therapy and housekeeping services to 5-star chef-prepared meals and fine linens, you can get the best-rated drug, alcohol or behavioral addiction treatment for yourself or your relative while keeping comfortable. For support in determining excellent luxury treatment programs for Ambien addiction, dial our no-cost hotline now.

What Happens After I Finish Treatment?

Yoga womenOnce you leave rehab, you need to make arrangements for your aftercare. Outpatient therapy and other treatments can help you adjust to your daily life so you don't feel the need to return to using Ambien. Usually, outpatient therapy lasts at least a year; you and your therapist will decide together when it is appropriate to stop treatment.

Are You Ready to Get Sober?

Sometimes other people push addicts to get help. While it's important to listen to their opinion, you need to want sobriety for yourself or treatment is unlikely to be effective. Think about your Ambien use and ask yourself if you want it to continue. If you don't, you are probably ready for sobriety. Call us to get in touch with an Ambien rehab program.

Topics for Further Exploration

If the Ambien addict in your life isn't ready for sobriety, you may be interested in intervention programs. Interventions are carefully structured meetings in which friends and family express concern and strongly encourage the addict to get help.

Addicts who want help but are uncomfortable with the spiritual aspects of some traditional rehab programs may be interested in reading more about alternatives to 12-step programs such as non-spiritual recovery groups.

Whether you fall into these categories or not, you can get help for your Ambien addiction. It is never too late -- even if you have been using Ambien for years, treatment programs can help you turn your life around. Call us to take the first step towards a sober, healthy and productive life.

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