Ambien, or zolpidem, is a prescription medication used to treat short-term insomnia, typically for periods of one or two weeks. Classified as a sedative, or hypnotic, this drug creates a calming effect on the user and helps to adjust the chemicals in the brain that when unbalanced can cause sleep issues and insomnia.
Side effects of zolpidem include dizziness. In some cases, more serious side effects such as memory loss, anxiety, hallucinations, confusion, thoughts of suicide, or other abnormal thoughts may occur. Rarely those taking Ambien report performing activities in their sleep such as driving, making phone calls, or preparing food.
It’s recommended that you only take Ambien when you know you can devote 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It’s also important to avoid alcohol while taking this drug and that it is only taken for the time period determined by your doctor.
Signs of Ambien Addiction
Long-term insomnia is generally a sign of a larger, underlying issue such as stress, pain, or anxiety. This is why Ambien is only recommended for short-term insomnia. Many who try this drug fear that they will be unable to sleep without it and begin taking the drug for a prolonged period of time.
This extensive use can lead users to require more of the drug to feel the same effects. This dependence can increase the severity of potential withdrawal symptoms in the event the user stops taking the drug including:
- Feeling light-headed
- Shaking or seizures
- Uncontrollable crying
- Panic attacks
- Stomach cramps
Treatment for Ambien Addiction
If you or a loved one finds they are dependent on Ambien, it is important to never stop taking the drug abruptly, as this will only increase the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Instead, those taking zolpidem should be weaned off the drug slowly to reduce the effects of withdrawal.
At Talbott Recovery, we provide a variety of treatment programs, including help for those who find themselves dependent on Ambien. Conveniently located in Atlanta and Dunwoody, our campuses provide both intensive outpatient programs and day treatment options.
Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs and getting help for you or your loved one’s Ambien addiction.