Ambien Abuse and Brain Injuries

Ambien is used to treat insomnia but has also shown promise in treating brain injuries

Ambien is a prescription sleep aid used by patients who suffer from insomnia. Ambien is a sedative and is also known as a hypnotic. Ambien works in the brain to balance brain chemicals that are specifically associated with sleep. When these chemicals become unbalanced, insomnia can result. Ambien is highly habit forming, and using the drug in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. Along with treating insomnia, new studies show promising results that Ambien may be able to help those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Ambien Dependence

Although Ambien is an appropriate choice for those suffering from insomnia, the drug is highly habit forming. Using the drug in ways other than prescribed by a physician can quickly lead to drug dependence and addiction. It is not uncommon to become dependent on Ambien, but understanding the signs of tolerance to the drug can help you or a loved one avoid addiction. If you or a loved one uses Ambien for insomnia, look for these signs of drug dependence:

  • Needing more Ambien to produce the same level of relief from insomnia
  • Becoming preoccupied with getting and using Ambien
  • Needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times
  • Going into debt to get and use Ambien
  • “Doctor shopping” to get and use Ambien
  • Engaging in illegal behaviors, like stealing, to get and use Ambien
  • Participating in dangerous activities, like driving, while under the influence of the drug

If you are experiencing even one of the symptoms mentioned, it is important to know that you are not alone. Help is available.

Ambien and Brain Injury

In 2011, the first major study on the benefits of Ambien in brain injury patients began, and the results have been promising. The drug has been primarily tested in those who are in a semi-vegetative state to see if there is any improvement in their ability to focus. The study shows that in a limited number of patients, Ambien helps to awaken a part of the brain, even if for a short period of time, that has been damaged by trauma. More studies are needed, but the drug shows promise and offers a place to begin for those families with loved ones suffering from debilitating brain injuries.

Finding Help for Drug Addiction

Ambien can be a helpful drug for those with insomnia. But using the drug in ways other than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one struggles with Ambien abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about treatment options.