Will Ambien Rehab Help Me Feel Better and Sleep?
Ambien is a prescription sleep aid that can become highly addictive in a very short time. Because this sedative medication can cause a long list of dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects, getting professional help through rehab is the first step toward recovering. Inpatient and outpatient rehabs for people with addictions to Ambien and other prescription medications focus on helping you feel better and resolving your sleep problems.
Ambien: A Dangerous Sleep Aid
Doctors typically prescribe Ambien (zolpidem) for short-term problems with falling and staying asleep. This sedative, or hypnotic, medication acts as a central nervous system depressant, which causes feelings of relaxation and slows breathing and heart rate. Ambien isn’t meant to be taken for longer than one or two weeks, and the body can develop a tolerance for it in under four weeks, so that a user needs to take more and more to get the same effect.
Taking Ambien for long periods, or at high doses, can cause dangerous side effects, such as sleep activity that can include risky behaviors such as driving or having sex. This medication can also affect memory, so that users don’t recall where they were or what they were doing while under the influence of the drug.
Mixing Ambien with other substances that have sedative like effects, such as alcohol or prescription pain medications like Oxycontin, can lead to death. All these substances depress the central nervous system and slow breathing, so combining them can lead to asphyxiation and death.
Ambien Can Become Addictive
Ambien is both psychologically and physically addictive. People who take Ambien as directed can begin to depend on it to sleep, because they fear that if they stop taking it, their insomnia will start again. Ambien also acts on receptors in the brain and other parts of the body, so that stopping it causes a variety of physical withdrawal symptoms that include:
- Stomach cramps
- “Rebound” insomnia more severe than it was before taking Ambien
People who have been taking high doses of Ambien, or using it for a long time, can experience more severe withdrawal symptoms that can include:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicide attempts
How Can Rehab Help?
Because Ambien is very addictive, it can be hard – and potentially dangerous – to try to quit using it on your own. But with the help of inpatient or outpatient rehab programs designed for prescription medication abuse, it’s possible to withdraw safely from Ambien and begin recovery.
The first step in recovering from Ambien abuse is detox – the process of eliminating the drug from the system. Withdrawal symptoms begin within 72 hours of stopping, and can continue for up to several weeks. In a dedicated detox facility or inpatient rehab, medical staff can monitor patients going through withdrawal and prescribe a wide range of medications to ease the symptoms and help with rebound insomnia. Detox can also be done on an outpatient basis, with regular visits to a clinic.
Recovery in rehab typically includes counseling and therapy, as well as group sessions to support a recovering user’s progress. Withdrawal symptoms can linger, and severe insomnia can return, so recovering from Ambien abuse also involves resolving the sleep problems that originally led to taking it.
Some therapists and doctors working with people recovering from Ambien abuse may prescribe a different kind of sleep aid for the short term, but that can create the risk of another addiction. Counseling and psychotherapy can also help recovering Ambien users to pinpoint the causes of their sleep problems and find alternative ways to deal with them.
Ambien can provide welcome relief from short-term bouts of insomnia, but it can quickly become addictive. With the help of a rehab program designed for addictions to Ambien and other prescription medications, it’s possible to feel better – and get the sleep you need.
Are you worried about overusing your prescription medications? We’re here to help. Contact us at 800-430-1407Who Answers? to find the answers you’re looking for today.