Ambien is a common sedative often prescribed to people suffering from insomnia. It’s a relatively strong medication, which is why it’s primarily used for short-term treatment of the condition. If working as intended, it helps users fall asleep easier. Like most sedatives, it’s relatively simple to become addicted to Ambien, especially among those who abuse the medication. The following provides an in-depth look at the many signs and symptoms of Ambien addiction, as well as treatment options that can lead you to a healthier life.
Signs and Symptoms of Ambien Addiction
There are a wide range of signs and symptoms a person will suffer upon becoming addicted to Ambien. Addiction, in and of itself, results from a consistent abuse of the medication. Abuse occurs when the user takes more of the drug than prescribed or uses it for recreational purposes. When a person begins to abuse Ambien, her tolerance of the drug increases more and more, eventually getting to the point where the mind and body are dependent on the medication to function properly. This creates an issue where the user will need to take more of the drug to experience the same desired effects. It’s a vicious cycle that can only be broken through treatment. If someone you know has become addicted to Ambien, it’s important for the person to seek treatment as soon as possible, as the symptoms of addiction will largely become worse over time.
It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of Ambien addiction to properly identify whether or not someone you know has become addicted to the medication. For one, the person will crave the drug more often than she should, mentioning it on a regular basis if it’s not nearby. Her emotional well-being will start to depend on the drug. She’ll be happy and agreeable when on the medication, yet moody and aggressive during times when she isn’t. Severe depression will also likely begin to develop. When someone has become addicted to Ambien, her aggression and irritability may become a liability to her relationships with those closest to her. Many addicts tend to feel guilty about how they act among those they know, and withdraw from people around them due to this guilt.
While the aforementioned signs are just a few of the many behavioral changes an addict will begin to display, there are several physical and mental symptoms that’ll present as well. As Ambien is a sedative, it interacts directly with a person’s central nervous system, calming the individual when taken at standard doses. When taken at higher doses, the standard effects become much more unwieldy and the user starts to exhibit mental and physical symptoms that can be very problematic to her overall health. These symptoms include bloodshot eyes, headaches and issues with concentration. She’ll be dizzy on a regular basis and may even have impaired judgment. She may begin to display a stark change in appetite, while also experiencing diarrhea, heartburn, muscle pain, shakiness and stomach issues. Amnesia, mostly short-term, is also possible when addicted to this medication.
Those who become addicted to Ambien will also suffer what’s known as withdrawal when they stop taking the medication. The symptoms faced when going through withdrawal can affect physical and mental health dramatically, though receiving detoxification through treatment can largely help to mitigate these risks. The primary symptoms of Ambien withdrawal include vomiting, confusion, anxiety, sweating, fatigue, irritability and tremors. The more severe symptoms and health effects of withdrawal can include everything from panic attacks and psychosis to seizures and even suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, the majority of the more severe effects are rare and largely avoidable unless the addiction has been ongoing for a very long time. No matter how long a person has been addicted, waiting to stop using the drug until seeking treatment is recommended, as the withdrawal effects can be damaging to one’s health if not managed correctly.
Ambien Addiction Treatment Options for a Healthier Life
If you or someone close to you has become addicted to Ambien, addiction treatment is necessary to ensure the addiction and its effects don’t worsen. Rehabilitation programs involving the treatment of Ambien and similar sedatives focus on healing the psychological and physical issues that have developed within the user. Additional treatment will oftentimes be necessary if there’s an underlying mental health condition that’s adversely affecting the person’s health and the severity of the addiction.
Outpatient treatment allows patients to attend rehabilitation during the afternoons and evenings of certain days throughout the week, while still attending work and school as they did before entering treatment. This provides recovering addicts the ability to receive treatment while still staying in their own homes. Inpatient treatment is recommended for most cases of addiction, which requires the addict to stay in a rehab facility on a 24/7 basis for at least 28 days. Doing so will keep the individual away from the drug and in the presence of other addicts who are experiencing the same issues. Some of the primary Ambien addiction treatment methods include detoxification and group, individual and family therapy.