Ambien is a legal prescription drug that is classified as a sedative, or hypnotic much like Valium, Xanax, or Klonopin. It is used primarily to treat patients who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia. The drug is available in an immediate-release capsule or in an extended-release form that has an outer layer that dissolves quickly to facilitate sleep, then a slower-dissolving core that helps the patient stay asleep. Although prescribed and intended as a sleep aid, many seek Ambien rehab due to misuse of the drug and its propensity for addiction.
Side Effects and Addiction
Ambien has a long list of side effects, all of which require patients to contact their health-care provider if they manifest. While these unwanted effects are not common, some of them include, but are not limited to:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Memory loss
- Irregularities in heartbeat
Since Ambien is a sedative like Valium or Xanax, it has addictive properties. It is so addictive that it is not recommended for use for more than 5 weeks. Though the FDA classifies it as Schedule IV, which indicates a low potential for abuse, the other substances in this category are known to cause addictions that are difficult to recover from. In fact, over 500,000 people are currently considered Ambien addicts at the current time and at least 17,000 emergency room visits are attributed to Ambien every year.
Teens and Ambien
Teenagers are often prescribed the medication in hopes of treating their sleep problems. It should be noted that a full 44% of prescription drug addicts are under 18 and the number is on the rise, perhaps due to doctor’s increasing willingness to prescribe powerful medications to minors. Further, teens are using Ambien with the express intention of recreation and they are then reporting that they are able to resist sleep, despite the drug’s intended use.
To stave off the potential for abuse, the manufacturer has tried to create a product that cannot be snorted or crushed. However, Ambien addicts have still found a way to prepare the drug in a way that makes is easier and faster to metabolize.
Who Uses Ambien?
Ambien is prescribed to patients who suffer insomnia. If a person’s difficulty with sleep has become so great that the risk of side-effects outweighs the risks inherent to a lack of sleep, a doctor may determine that the substance is worth prescribing as a therapy.
Detoxifying from an Ambien addiction can be a highly unpleasant and painful experience. To best manage a detox from this substance, it is always advised to seek medical care, lest complications arise. For patients with an extreme habit, they can experience hallucinations, loss of memory, and confusion. An addict should not assume that they know how their detox experience will be, so seek professional assistance at this time.
Less extreme symptoms of detox include, but are not limited to: vomiting, shaking, mood changes, insomnia, and abdominal cramps.
Ambien Rehab and Recovery
Recovery from an Ambien addiction can be a long and grueling process. Sufferers might consider 12-step work or a substance abuse center. Whether the addict decides on an inpatient or outpatient recovery center, the key determinant of success will inevitably come down to the willingness of the addict to recover. Once the detox period has passed, a willing, honest, and open addict can find adequate treatment by working with a local 12-step recovery group. Often, more rigorous treatment is required, though a high level of personal commitment is always a requirement.
Ambien is particularly tricky, because it has a tendency to remain in the body and can trigger withdrawal symptoms long after the initial detox. Gaining full knowledge of these withdrawal symptoms, as well as learning effective coping strategies for resurgent cravings, is vital for long-term success.
If you are looking to recover from an Ambien addiction, or you know someone who is, you can receive a confidential assessment from one of our intake specialists. Getting the tools you need to recover will put you on the road to success. Recovery from Ambien addiction is achievable. Start today!