Ambien and Its Uses
Ambien, also known as zolpidem, is a sedative, or hypnotic, drug that affects the chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause difficulty sleeping or insomnia.
The effects of the pills are released immediately and designed to help you fall asleep when you first go to bed. There is also an extended release form, Ambien CR, which has a coating that dissolves quickly to release a dose of the medication to fall asleep quickly, under which is another layer that dissolves slowly to help keep you asleep.
Some people using Ambien have been known to get up, walk around, make phone calls, drive a car, even have sex and have no memory of the events afterward.
Ambien is meant for short-term periods and used as prescribed by a doctor Ambien addiction is unlikely. However, if a patient continues to see other doctors who continue to write prescriptions for the drug, addiction is highly possible.
It is a very addictive drug, both physically and psychologically. It isn’t unusual for people who have trouble sleeping to become dependent on the drug. Because of the tendency to perform activities while on Ambien without knowing it, or with memory loss, it is also not uncommon for people who take Ambien to go to sleep to discover they’ve taken more Ambien pills while they were sleep. This presents some very dangerous possibilities.
Some people who have been prescribed the drug begin to raise their doses knowingly and without doctor consent because they enjoy the feeling of drunkenness. Still others begin to crush the tablets and inhale, or snort, the powder to get an immediate impact from the drug.
Recovering from an Addiction to Ambien
Addiction to Ambien can easily occur as the body builds up a tolerance to the drug and its effects, requiring higher and higher doses simply to maintain the desired effect.
Someone who simply runs out of the drug, or stops taking it, will experience withdrawal, including effects like nausea, fatigue, irritability, profound insomnia, stomach cramps, shakes and confusion. However, there can also be more serious symptoms from withdrawal those who have become accustomed to higher doses of the drug, including panic attacks, psychosis and suicidal thoughts or even suicide. For these reasons treating abuse must be done on a professional level rather than simply quitting cold turkey.
Recovery for Ambien addiction may include use of medications to aid in avoiding withdrawal symptoms. There are many programs available for addiction to Ambien and finding one is best done with the aid and advice of an expert in the field of addiction.