Ambien is the brand name of a sedative hypnotic benzodiazepine known generically as zolpidem. It is commonly prescribed as a sleep aid but is also frequently abused for its calming effects. This misuse is not only physically dangerous, it can cause psychological dependence and rebound insomnia. Ambien may seem like an effective treatment for anxiety, but over time it will make your emotional and mental problems much worse. There are far better ways to treat anxiety than by abusing Ambien.
Ambien Side Effects
Even when used as prescribed, Ambien is a risky medication to use. When abused either recreationally or as a self-medication for anxiety disorders, the risks of negative side effects increase substantially. The following are some of the most common Ambien side effects to watch out for:
- Memory impairment
- Lack of balance
- Poor quality sleep
- Sleep walking
- Sinus congestion
- Dry Mouth
- Bowel irritation
- Muscle pain
One of the most troubling side effects of Ambien abuse is the possibility of engaging in dangerous activities in a dream-like state with no memory or rational control. People have reported operating cars and other elaborate and life-threatening activities with no conscious awareness.
What Does Ambien Addiction Look Like
Ambien addiction can be difficult to detect. Up to one third of individuals using the drug for as little as a few weeks will become dependent on it. As the user’s tolerance grows, he or she will need larger or more frequent doses in order to feel the desired effects. Ultimately many Ambien addicts find that they need a regular supply of the drug in order to fend off withdrawal symptoms, but they are unable to experience sound sleep regardless of how much they use. These people often combine their Ambien with alcohol or other drugs. This is extremely dangerous as it can result in overdose or death. The following are some of the most common symptoms of Ambien addiction:
- Increasing tolerance
- Dishonesty with friends, family, or medical professionals about your Ambien use
- The onset of withdrawal symptoms if you don’t have regular access to the drug
- Rebound insomnia
Unlike heroin or other more notorious drugs, Ambien addiction sneaks up on many people. Because it is so commonly prescribed, it often becomes a problem for people with no previous history of substance abuse or addiction.
Safely and Effectively Ending Ambien Abuse
It can be extremely dangerous to quit using Ambien suddenly once an addiction is established. Quitting cold turkey can cause seizures or even death. The safest and most effective way to permanently end your need for Ambien is through carefully engineered and managed Ambien rehabilitation. While some individuals can be effectively treated on an outpatient basis, the most successful programs are often residential in nature. Ambien addicts are treated with respect as they experience the following:
- Careful and thorough diagnosis of all co-occurring disorders
- Individual counseling of various types
- Group counseling sessions
- Medically supervised detox (gradual weaning coupled with careful medication)
- Mindfulness exercises
- Creative expression therapy (arts)
- Introduction to healthy new coping techniques
- Restful and comfortable lodging
- Sleep studies
- Long term aftercare programs
While initial treatment, which includes safe detox, can last for as little as 30 days, most Ambien addicts benefit from long-term counseling, accountability and support. This can happen through one-on-one counseling, group meetings, phone calls with your counselor or sobriety partner or even on-line support groups. Ambien dependence has become much more understood in recent years and its treatment more effective. One size definitely does not fit all, though. It is important that you receive a uniquely customized treatment plan designed around your unique needs and goals.
24-Hour Ambien Abuse Helpline
Ambien is not a good way to treat anxiety. While it might work for a time, ultimately it will cause more anxiety than it cures. If a chemical imbalance is a factor in your anxiety, there is a chance that a mental health doctor will be able to treat it with other medications or other forms of therapy. Self-medicating with Ambien might calm you down in the short term, but it is likely to cause even worse anxiety down the road. Long term Ambien abuse can cause permanent neurological damage as well as deep psychological distress. It can also lead to the abuse of even more powerful sedatives, alcohol, or opiates. Our Ambien helpline is open 24-hours a day and is staffed by caring professionals who are ready to offer you the following free services:
- Answers to all of your questions about Ambien abuse and anxiety
- Access to the most effective and proven Ambien recovery programs
- Free insurance consultation and confirmation of treatment coverage
- Logistical help regarding transportation and financing
- Referrals for professional interventionist services
The call can be as anonymous as you like and will be completely confidential. There are no strings attached. We are here for you when you are ready to take those first few steps toward freedom from Ambien. If you are not an Ambien addict but are struggling with anxiety and are considering self-medicating, please don’t. Call us right now at our toll-free helpline, and let us help you find the treatment you need.