Ambien is a medication given to people who deal with sleep problems. It helps the brain and central nervous system calm down so that the user can be able to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods. Since insomnia is an issue that affects so many people, Ambien is a very common prescription.
Therefore, the possibility of abuse is always there, especially in individuals who are desperate to get back to a normal sleeping schedule. Experts do not recommend using the medication for prolonged periods, yet some people do it, sometimes at increased doses. What’s more, addiction may develop even when the patient respects the doctor’s instructions completely.
In case of addiction, quitting the drug can be difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms that show up. Sometimes, medical attention is necessary. It is very important to know what withdrawal involves and how it is treated if you ever experience it.
What You Need To Know About Ambien
Ambien or zolpidem is a drug prescribed for sleep problems like insomnia. Many healthcare professionals look at z-drugs such as Ambien as being less dangerous and habit-forming compared to benzodiazepines and other drugs. But the drug is still addictive, which can lead to misuse.
Zolpidem works by affecting the central nervous system (CNS) and brain and allowing them to relax, which in return allows people to fall asleep. Not only that, but depending on the type of Ambien, individuals can also stay asleep for longer periods when using the medication.
There are two types of Ambien medication: the immediate-release form and the extended-release form. The former is used to make you fall asleep, whereas the latter has two layers.
The first layer dissolves fast to help the individual fall asleep, while the second one will dissolve slowly to ensure that the user stays asleep.
Typically, someone will be prescribed about 5 mg of Ambien per day. Doses should only be increased when the doctor says so.
Developing An Ambien Addiction
After using Ambien for a long time, the body develops a tolerance to it and will start to require higher amounts to achieve the same effect. Using amounts higher than prescribed and for longer periods is what leads to addiction.
The person will start craving the drug and will not want to give up on it. That’s because they love the calming effects they get from the drug, as well as the fact that they are able to sleep.
Ambien addiction is not something pleasant, especially in the long term, and it requires going to a rehabilitation center for treatment.
Ambien withdrawal is something that happens to a person who is addicted to the medication and tries to quit “cold turkey”. Ambien affects GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps slow down the central nervous system and brain functions. The drug will increase its activity, making sure that you calm down and fall asleep.
If you stop taking Ambien randomly after getting used to it, the body will not only crave it but will also try to recover in its absence. This is what results in withdrawal.
Withdrawal has to be treated under medical supervision.
Withdrawal Risk Factors
Every person will go through different symptoms during withdrawal. The detox process will vary from one person to another. Still, some risk factors affect someone’s withdrawal, such as:
- Whether they’ve been using large Ambien doses
- Whether they’ve been consuming Ambien for very long periods
- Dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression makes it more likely for someone to experience intense Ambien withdrawal symptoms
- Biological and genetic factors
- Whether Ambien was used along with other substances, such as other drugs or alcohol
- If the individual is in a very stressful or bad environment while experiencing the withdrawal
- Whether the instructions of the medication were respected or not
Timeline For Ambien Withdrawals
Ambien withdrawal has a pretty clear timeline. Symptoms will show up not long after the last dose of Ambien.
The addict will start having difficulties focusing on things or remembering them within 48 hours since the last dose. After 48 hours, they will start to deal with insomnia, anxiety, delirium, mood swings, abdominal discomfort, and other issues.
Between 3 and 7 days, the symptoms are the worst, and the likelihood of relapsing is very high. But between weeks 2 and 4, the symptoms will slowly start to go away, and after a month, they will usually be gone completely.
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms
Ambien withdrawal comes up with numerous symptoms, which can either be mild or severe depending on a few factors. It will depend on the severity of your addiction and how long you’ve been using the drug. Here are a few symptoms that may occur in someone experiencing Ambien withdrawal:
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Rebound insomnia
- Uncontrollable crying
- Sweating excessively
- Abdominal cramps or discomfort
- Higher heart rate or breathing
Treatment for Ambien Withdrawals
Usually, when treating Ambien withdrawal, things have to be planned carefully. In an ideal situation, the person should be able to get off the drug without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. To do this, the person goes through medical supervision while the Ambien dose is gradually decreased rather than stopped suddenly.
Since the person developed an addiction to the drug, they will have to go through detox. Detoxification will help them get the drug out of their system and work towards an addiction-free life.
Then, in order to treat underlying issues and find better coping mechanisms, one may go to individual or group therapy, where they can also overcome the fear of withdrawal.
Treatment for Ambien addiction and withdrawal is more complex, and it will require a longer time. Medically-assisted detox and therapy are necessary for helping a former Ambien user quit successfully.
Reasons for Choosing Real Deal
If you seek help from Real Deal, you can rest assured that you will receive quality services that will help you recover from your Ambien addiction and withdrawal.
We focus on rehab and good treatment, but also offer individual therapy. You will be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the severity of your addiction. At the end of it, you will be a new person with new forces to face everything life throws at you.
Make sure to reach out for help as soon as you notice any withdrawal symptoms. You should take care of this issue as early as possible to prevent running back to your addiction.