Insomnia is a problem that many Americans face. In a fast-paced society, it is easy to get caught up and end up facing difficulty sleeping. Ambien is a prescription medication that doctors provide to help patients fall asleep and stay asleep for a short period of time. In most cases, doctors will limit the number of pills to help get the body onto a sleep schedule without risking addiction. Ambien is a type of sedative that contains addictive properties.
While the drug can be beneficial when taken as prescribed, many individuals abuse it in order to experience its euphoric effects. This behavior can quickly lead to severe addiction, among other serious side effects, and often requires professional treatment.
If you or someone you love has been struggling with Ambien addiction, call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now to find safe, reliable treatment programs.
Ambien is a type of sedative that helps increase the natural chemicals in the brain that promote sleep. Although the drug is designed for short-term use, some individuals will find that after the prescription is finished it becomes harder to fall asleep.
The result of a growing tolerance to the drug and difficulty falling asleep is that some patients become addicted to the drug. High doses of the drug are not recommended due to the health risks that might develop.
Side Effects and Health Risks
Although ambien is designed for short-term needs, it comes with side effects and can cause serious health risks. Recognizing the potentially dangerous side effects will help minimize the risks to health by getting medical attention.
Common side effects of the drug are minor. In most cases, the minor side effects are temporary and cause mild irritation. The most common side effects include:
- Aches and pain in the muscles, joints and bones
- Numbness in the limbs
though the basic side effects are annoying and uncomfortable, they are not usually a sign of a serious reaction. Signs of danger after taking the drug include:
- Allergic reactions like hives and swelling
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling nauseous or sick
- Chest pain of any type
When serious side effects occur, it is important to stop taking the medication and seek medical attention immediately. Serious reactions can occur in some individuals due to allergies, complications with other medical conditions or sensitivities to the drug.
Dependence and Addiction
A key problem that is associated with ambien is the risk of addiction or physical dependence. Although physical dependence does not always lead to an addiction to the drug, it is a potential risk that might contribute to a developing addiction.
Dealing with the physical dependence is always the first step of managing the situation. Due to the ability to sleep when taking the drug, it is hard for some individuals to give up the medication. When addiction develops, psychological and mental changes result in a dependence that goes beyond the physical aspects of the drug.
Regardless of whether the problem is related to dependence on ambien to sleep or an addiction that leads to inappropriate behavior, both situations will require help to detoxify the drug. Detoxification is the process of flushing the drug from the system by not taking it and handling the withdrawal symptoms as they occur.
In the case of physical dependence, further treatment might not be necessary after the body as flushed the drug. Addiction will require further treatment to reduce the risk of relapsing and drug-seeking behavior because psychological and mental dependence on the drug have developed.
Who Needs Ambien Rehab?
Ambien rehab is necessary for those who become addicted to the drug after abusing it often and in large doses for a long period of time. Unfortunately, sleep medications like Ambien can cause addiction when abused for the euphoric effects they can cause. Most individuals who misuse these types of drugs take them in large amounts and then fight the urge to sleep, which causes a strong, euphoric high.
According to the National Library of Medicine, Ambien usually isn’t prescribed for longer than 2 weeks. This is partially done to help patients avoid the possibility of becoming dependent on the drug and, potentially, turning to abuse. However, those who do begin misusing it will need professional treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Ambien Abuse
Ambien abuse can cause certain severe signs and symptoms. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some of the common effects associated with acute Ambien abuse and drugs like it include:
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- Problems with movement and memory
- Lowered blood pressure
- Slowed breathing
While the long-term side effects of Ambien abuse are mostly unknown, it is possible for an individual to become addicted to the drug and experience dependence and tolerance. In addition, the withdrawal syndrome associated with Ambien can be quite severe and even dangerous. According to the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, “Abrupt cessation” can lead to “a withdrawal syndrome that mimics [the] benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome” with symptoms including
- Sleep disturbances
Also, if your loved one has been abusing Ambien often and in large doses, it is extremely important to be aware of the possibility of respiratory depression. One’s breathing can slow considerably while using this drug, especially when taking it in high doses, and this can lead to an overdose as well as coma, brain damage, and even death. According to DailyMed, drinking alcohol while taking Ambien can also increase the likelihood of these severe effects, and unfortunately, many individuals who misuse CNS depressants participate in this behavior for the very purposes of intensifying the effects of both drugs.
Someone who is exhibiting any of these signs and symptoms, especially those associated with Ambien withdrawal or overdose, must receive professional treatment as soon as possible in order to have a safe and effective recovery from their abuse of this addictive medication.
Treating the Addiction
Ambien is dangerous to health when an addiction develops. When the drug is taken with other medications, such as pain killers or anxiety medications, it can result in fatal drug overdoses. Treating the addiction is the best way to regain control and fight the drug.
Addiction treatment will always begin with detoxification and then provide counseling to work out the psychological aspect of the drug. Since ambien can change chemicals in the brain with extended use and addiction, treating the psychological and mental health conditions that arise will make it easier to avoid the drug in the future.
The aftercare program is designed to help prevent a relapse. When addiction develops, relapsing is a potential risk after completing the program. Physical dependency that does not develop into an addiction will not have the same risk because it did not develop far enough to lead to a psychological need for the drug.
Overcoming an addiction to ambien is challenging, but ultimately leads to a healthier lifestyle. Although insomnia is a problem, habit-forming medications are best used as a last resort. The drugs are highly addictive, so alternative options are the best way to deal with sleeplessness.
Treatments for Ambien Abuse and Addiction
The treatment options for Ambien abuse and addiction are extremely common among all types of drug abuse treatment programs. Medications and behavioral therapies are often utilized together to help minimize the issues experienced by the patient during withdrawal and addiction treatment and to teach the individual how to avoid further abuse in the future.
Currently, there are currently no pharmacological treatment options specifically approved to treat Ambien addiction. However, the NIDA states that medications can “help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.”
- Often, other types of CNS depressants are given to the patient in controlled doses to help wean them off their dependence on Ambien. This will also protect the patient from experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, which is extremely necessary given the danger of Ambien’s withdrawal syndrome.
- It is still important to note, though, that detox itself is not a treatment for addiction and alone will do little to ensure that the individual stops abusing drugs. Still, it can be a helpful step in one’s overall recovery, and in the case of CNS depressant addiction, a very necessary one.
Behavioral therapies are often very effective for the treatment of addiction, and as stated by the NIDA, they are used more commonly than any other treatment option in addiction recovery. Different behavioral therapy options may be used together to create a well-rounded treatment program for addicts recovering from Ambien addiction.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is a popular behavioral therapy that helps patients relearn the ways to cope with cravings and stress, practice better life skills, and replace unhealthy attitudes and beliefs toward their substance abuse with healthier ones.
- Contingency management: Contingency management works by allowing patients to receive a reward every time they pass a drug test. This program can be very helpful to addicted individuals by slowly rerouting the reward pathway of the brain away from substance abuse and toward beneficial rewards one can gain from a drug-free lifestyle (NIDA).
- 12-step facilitation therapy: This is a therapeutic program that helps patients prepare for participation in a 12-step support group like Narcotics Anonymous. It focuses on some of the most important and beneficial aspects of the 12-step process, including surrender, acceptance, and participation.
- Group therapy: Group therapy allows patients to meet other individuals who have experienced the same issues they have and to discuss their feelings and experiences in a safe, group environment, allowing for additional support during recovery.
- Family therapy: Family therapy can help uncover negative actions and attitudes within a family that are helping to enable the patient’s substance abuse. The program can also help families learn to relate to one another better and to heal hurt feelings.
- Motivational enhancement therapy: This program focuses on strengthening one’s motivation to quit abusing drugs and helping the patient understand their need for treatment in order to have a safer, healthier future.
In addition, there are other types of treatments that can be beneficial to those seeking help for Ambien addiction. Support groups, like the 12-step options mentioned above or non-12-step groups like SMART Recovery, can be helpful during and after professional treatment. Many rehab centers even allow these groups to hold meetings in their facilities so patients can attend them while in recovery.
Holistic methods can also be helpful, especially for those individuals who are not particularly comfortable sharing their experiences during traditional therapy sessions. Art and dance therapy can be very beneficial to creative-minded individuals while other options can also be implemented into one’s treatment, including
- Animal and pet therapy
- Massage therapy
- Tai chi
What Are the Types of Ambien Rehab Programs?
Most patients will be able to find beneficial Ambien rehab in either an inpatient or outpatient facility. The former provides 24-hour care to patients while the latter allows them to live their lives during treatment. One can see their family, work, and do many other things while attending outpatient care. However, it is very important to consider how serious your needs are in order to choose the best type of program for your safe and effective recovery.
How Do I Choose the Right Ambien Rehab Program?
Ambien addicts often need to seek professional treatment right away because of the danger of the withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug. In many cases, inpatient care is necessary, especially if you believe you are likely to experience severe symptoms for which you will require 24-hour monitoring and professional care. There are a number of other reasons why an Ambien addict may want to choose inpatient care, including
- A high psychiatric severity or the presence of other psychological disorders in addition to one’s addiction
- This is called a comorbid disorder, and according to the NIDA, must be treated along with one’s addiction. Often, the safest way for this treatment to occur is in inpatient care.
- A lack of social support from family and friends
- A severe addiction that is very likely to lead to relapse if the individual is not constantly being monitored for drug use
- A home environment that is not conducive to recovery
However, some individuals can be treated for Ambien addiction in an outpatient program, especially if their addictions are less severe. As stated by the NIDA, individuals who seek outpatient care are often those with extensive social supports and jobs, those who do not need the controlled environment of an inpatient program. Therefore, it is very important to consider all of your needs in order to decide which type of program will be most effective for you.
How Can I Find Ambien Rehab Centers?
The first step of recovery from Ambien addiction is understanding that you have a problem and asking for help. Rehab centers for substance abuse and addiction exist all over the country, and we can match you to the one that will provide you with the most effective care for your current situation.
Call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now and speak to one of our treatment advisors. Then you can begin your journey of recovery from Ambien addiction and abuse.