Ambien, also known as zolpidem, is a sleeping aid prescribed to relax patients who have varying degrees of insomnia. It is not meant to be taken for more than a couple of weeks. If taken longer than this due to a prescription, a patient’s attempt at self-medication or some other cause, its effectiveness decreases, and the user’s dependence on it rises past the point of discontinuing its use without assistance. The user is effectively trapped into taking a medicine that no longer helps.
Negative Side Effects of Ambien Dependence
Symptoms that result from taking Ambien longer than the intended period of time include the following:
- Mood swings
- Renewed insomnia
- Unbalanced movement
- Strange dreams
- Dry mouth
- Joint pain
- Respiratory obstruction
An undeniable sign of dependence is the continued use of Ambien despite the user’s awareness of its negative results in his or her life. Ambien can cause the user to hallucinate, have difficulty creating and retaining memories, seriously contemplate suicide and move around or attempt to drive while unconscious, which can cause injury to the user or others. Even more frightening is when the user is truly oblivious to the ill effects of unapproved or excessive Ambien use or when the user sees and denies them or attributes them to other causes because the user does not want to give up his or her medication. If this is the case, the user’s loved ones should consider intervening to help the user find treatment for a drug dependence that has clearly moved beyond his or her control.
The Level of Control an Ambien User Has Over Dependence
No one can control the development of dependence on a drug. Users do not know until they ingest a substance whether or not their bodies will respond with addiction or how long such a response will take to develop. Especially with prescription medication, patients are so confident in anything dispensed by a doctor that they fail to notice how Ambien is becoming increasingly necessary for them just to feel normal, much less fall asleep. Once the problem has been recognized, however, and the patient is ready to seek addiction treatment, recovery is always possible.
Recovery Options for Advanced Ambien Dependence
If you or your loved one has been taking Ambien for so long that quitting is no longer a matter of free will even though the ill effects of the drug’s overuse are clearly present, please call our toll-free helpline. We are available 24 hours a day with encouragement and recommendations for treatment that can break drug dependence permanently. If you are ready to regain a healthy life, call us today.