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Is There Rehab for Ambien Addiction?

Ambien (zolpidem) is a prescription sleep aid that belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. Although it can help with short-term problems with insomnia, it can cause a number of undesirable and even dangerous side effects – and it can also become addictive. Rehab for Ambien addiction aims to help people withdraw from the drug and to find other ways to treat the sleep problems that originally led to its use.

In the past, doctors typically treated insomnia with a different class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which included mediations like Valium. Because those drugs have the potential to become highly addictive, in many cases they are now being replaced by Ambien and a few other hypnotic medications for relief of sleep problems. But Ambien can become addictive too, especially if taken in larger quantities than prescribed, or for longer periods of time.

Why is Ambien Addictive?

Ambien can become addictive in several ways. People who take it as prescribed for insomnia can keep taking it longer than recommended because they worry that if they stop, their sleep problems will return. Some take more Ambien than prescribed for its relaxing and euphoric qualities, and eventually need larger and larger amounts of the drug to feel good. Others never have a prescription of their own for Ambien, but buy it from prescription users or on the street for recreational use.

Because Ambien is a sedative, it depresses the central nervous system to produce positive feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. Taking high doses of Ambien can cause an overdose, with symptoms that can include:

Ambien Addiction

Ambien abuse can lead to overdose, which can be fatal.

  • Depressed, slow breathing
  • Bradycardia – a slowed heart rate
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma – and even death

Over time, the brain and body adapt to the drug, so that suddenly stopping it triggers a range of potentially dangerous effects, such as:

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Delirium
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Severe “rebound” insomnia

Even taken as prescribed, Ambien can trigger dangerous side effects that include short term memory loss and next day drowsiness. People taking Ambien may also engage in “sleep activity’ that can include driving or having sex.  For these reasons, a variety of rehab services focus on helping people struggling with an addiction to Ambien.

What is it Like? What Goes on in Drug Rehab?

What to Expect in Rehab for Ambien Addiction

Both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs offer services for addictions to prescription drugs as well as for typical “street drug” addictions. Because prescription medications fall into several different classes with distinctly different effects and withdrawal symptoms, rehab for Ambien addiction focuses on issues specifically related to sedative-hypnotic drugs.

Rehab for Ambien addiction begins with medically supervised detox and withdrawal. Because the symptoms of Ambien withdrawal can be severe, health care professionals trained in addiction medicine can provide medications for short-term relief and intervene in case of emergency. Longer-term recovery support includes the counseling and group therapy services typical of substance abuse rehabs in general. With counseling and therapy, Ambien users can learn to cope with lingering withdrawal symptoms and develop new strategies for avoiding addiction.

But because many people take Ambien for sleep problems, stopping the drug can cause those problems to return, often worse than before. A key aspect of rehab for Ambien addiction involves uncovering the cause of insomnia and helping users find other solutions for their sleep problems. That could include ways to reduce stress that leads to insomnia, or techniques for relaxing before bed.

Used as directed and for very short periods, Ambien can help users get the sleep they need. But Ambien can become addictive relatively quickly when used longer than directed or at high doses. Rehab for Ambien addiction helps users resolve their sleep issues – and recover an addiction free life.

Are you worried that you might be addicted to Ambien – but don’t know how to stop? We’re here to help. Contact us at 800-681-7369Who Answers? to find the solutions you’re looking for today.

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