Ambien can be abused
Ambien – zolpidem – is a medication with important medicinal value as a sleep-inducing drug. However, people will often abuse Ambien to achieve an euphoric high and/or to alter perception and sensations. Some people may abuse Ambien to fuel existing dependence. And still others take Ambien to the point of causing themselves harm.
So, what are the signs of “Ambien Abuse”? What are some of the risks of using Ambien over time? And how can you reverse the pattern?
In this article, we cover the common signs and symptoms of Ambien use problems. We’ll also go over the adverse effects that result from such use. Then, we offer help options and treatment resources that can assist you on your journey to recovery. Finally, we invite your questions or feedback at the end.
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What is “Ambien Abuse”?
Q: How is Ambien abused?
Basically, drug abuse = taking a drug:
So, if you are:
…by definition, you are abusing Ambien.
Why do people abuse Ambien?
Ambien is a drug that directly changes the way the brain works. It alters the frontal cortex, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus and ventral pallidum. These parts of the brain control concentration, memory, and impulses. While most therapeutic use of Ambien is recommended for periods of a few weeks or less, prolonged use of Ambien stimulates the reward center of the brain, and can result in Ambien dependence and abuse.
Still, some people can remain on therapeutic doses of Ambien without abusing the medication, while other seem to be more prone to misuse. Why is this? Well, there is a delicate interplay of individual factors that contribute to whether a person starts abusing their sleep medication, or not.
The most commonly cited factors for Ambien abuse include:
#1 GENETICS – Individuals who have a family history of substance abuse disorders (SUD), especially within the closest family circle (parents or closest relatives) face a 50% higher risk of abusing drugs such as Ambien, or other illicit and prescription drugs or alcohol.
#2 TRAUMA – Experiencing a traumatic event at a young age, including psychological trauma, abuse, loss of a loved one, high stress living environment, and/or dysfunctional family dynamics can increase a persons chances of abusing psychoactive substances.
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Ambien abuse signs
Knowing when a loved one is abusing Ambien can be difficult. But if you monitor them closely, you will likely be able to spot some of the signs of Ambien abuse. Likewise, you may be able to identify some of the following signs for yourself.
Either way, drug problems are treatable. Gone are the days when drug issues were seen as moral defects. Instead, experts treat drug dependence and abuse as medical conditions. So, if you notice any of the following signs of abuse, keep reading. We’ll talk about how Ambien problems are treated a little lower in the text.
NOTE HERE: Ambien works by dampening signals in the brain. As a result, many of the side effects of abuse are related to this slowing down of central nervous system activity. Noticeable issues of an Ambien problem may include some or all of the following.
Behavioral signs of abuse:
Physical signs of abuse:
Psychological signs of abuse:
Adverse side effects of Ambien abuse
Ambien abuse is a serious health problem. In addition to increasing the potential for serious physical and mental health side effects, abusing Ambien can also heighten depression in patients with pre-existing history of mental health problems. Ambien abuse can significantly increase suicidal tendencies.
Ambien overdose is also a very real risk for those who abuse the medication. Symptoms of overdose include:
If you notice these symptoms in someone close to you who’s been taking Ambien, or suspect you might have OD-d on the medication… Call 911 ASAP. Or call the national Poison Control Center Helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Hotline experts do their best to provide emergency help in case of Ambien intoxication or overdose and will instruct you on what to do next.
Can Ambien abuse problem be treated?
In fact, Ambien abuse is a medical condition that can be managed medically and with success. The sooner you reach out for help – the better your chances at making a full recovery from the effects of the drug.
Q: So, how is Ambien abuse treated?
STAGE 1: Medical assessment. This is the first necessary step of treating Ambien abuse. The process of assessment allows your doctor to evaluate your relationship with Ambien, assess your general health, the severity of the drug abuse problem, and outline the next therapeutic steps fit for your needs.
STAGE 2: Detoxification. The detox process from Ambien generally consists of two main stages:
2.1. Tapering – This is a process of cutting back Ambien by decreasing in smaller, gradual dosages to avoid any severe withdrawal symptoms. The exact rate of how much and how often you will decrease is highly individual. Your tapering schedule will be created with the help of your doctor and based on your daily dose and physical response.
2.2. Medical detox – This is the process of eliminating all traces of Ambien from your body under the watchful eye of detox clinic staff. Doctors and nurses will offer 24-hour supervision and support, and will help manage the onset of withdrawal symptoms after you come off the drug.
STAGE 3: Therapy. Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy can be done one-on-one, in a group, or involve the whole family. The main goals of therapy are to uncover and address your underlying reasons for Ambien abuse, teach you effective techniques for maintaining sobriety, and help you develop skills that help you build a life that doesn’t involve Ambien abuse, or any other drug or alcohol abuse, for that matter.
Professionals that can help
Where can you get help for Ambien abuse? The following list of professional mental health services can get you started toward healthier use of Ambien. You can find help for Ambien from:
Got something to ask?
Do you have any questions about Ambien abuse and its treatment? Perhaps you have your own advice on getting over Ambien abuse that you want to share with others. If you do, just leave your comments and questions in the designated section below. We do our best to provide personal and prompt responses to all legitimate inquiries.
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My name is Alex. I got mixed up with drugs and alcohol most of my adult life. I came out the other side. Here sharing my testimonial and helping others become sober. Now living clean and living life to the fullest.