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Ambien Addiction, Abuse and Treatment

Ambien Abuse, Addiction and Available Rehab Options

Ambien addiction has become very common, and many people in the U.S. are abusing this drug. The good news is that detox and rehab can help people overcome their dependence upon this medication. But not enough people realize just how dangerous it is. They assume that it is safe just because it is prescribed by a doctor.

Ambien has been around since 2007. It is a fast-acting medication that is prescribed to help people sleep better. It comes in a few different forms. The controlled release formulation helps people stay asleep when they have a tendency to wake up frequently. The traditional formulation helps people fall asleep faster than they would on their own.

It is no secret that a lot of people suffer from sleep disorders. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, 1 in 3 people struggle with at least mild insomnia. But Ambien was never supposed to be the cure for insomnia. It was only supposed to be a tool that was used short-term. For many of the people who take it, it has become a crutch that has led to an addiction.

Who is at Risk for Ambien Addiction?

Anyone who takes Ambien for a long period of time is at risk for becoming addicted to it. This is even true for those who take it according to their doctors’ orders. Of course, this drug is also often abused for recreational purposes as well. Those who abuse it in that way have an even higher risk of becoming addicted to it.

People who believe they might be addicted to Ambien often wonder:

  • What does it mean to be addicted to Ambien?
  • How do you know if you are an addict?
  • What are the long-term effects of this drug?
  • Does stopping Ambien result in withdrawal symptoms?
  • How does one find help for Ambien addiction?

Getting the facts is so important. This page will provide a better understanding of this drug and how it can impact people’s lives. It will also clarify the path to treatment and recovery.

Ambien Addiction Information

What is Ambien Abuse?

When people abuse Ambien, they are taking it in a way that is contrary to their doctors’ prescription. It could also mean taking it longer than they should, even if they do have a prescription for it. Most experts agree that it should not be taken for longer than a week to ten days.

Recreational Ambien users usually do more to the drug than just swallow the pills. It is not uncommon for them to crush the pills into a powder and then snort them to get the desired effects.

Once a person has been abusing Ambien for a period of time, it is very likely that they will become addicted to it. This happens frequently; even among those who have followed their doctors’ instructions to the letter. It occurs because the body becomes dependent upon the drug. Once that has happened, it is very difficult to stop taking it.

Some of the signs of Ambien addiction include:

  • Visiting more than one doctor to get a prescription. This is called doctor shopping.
  • Increasing the amount of Ambien a person takes each time.
  • Taking the drug more often than one should.
  • Going through withdrawal if a dose is missed.
  • Feeling odd or strange if the person stops taking the drug.

The Short and Long-Term Effects of Ambien

Ambien is a very powerful drug, and it’s hard to deny the effects it can have on the body, even when it’s taken in its usual dosages. If you take Ambien for a long period of time, these effects are generally more pronounced, and additional, long-term effects can begin to surface as well.

In the short-term, if you’re addicted to Ambien, you might experience:

  • Bouts of amnesia
  • Chronic and painful headaches
  • Problems with dizziness
  • Changes in your thought patterns
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Problems with coordination
  • A sensation of euphoria 
The longer you take Ambien, the more dangers the side effects. You are very likely to experience:
  • An increased tolerance for the drug
  • Rebound insomnia
  • A high risk of developing seizures
  • Physical pain if you go through withdrawal
  • Sexual dysfunction

Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms to be Aware of

When stopping your use of Ambien, there are always going to be symptoms of withdrawal to contend with, and these can be difficult to control and manage on your own. They can include:
  • Cramping or pain in the stomach
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Chronic fatigue throughout the day
  • Chronic fatigue throughout the day
  • A severe increase in depression

Usually, people find that trying to quit using Ambien on their own doesn’t work, and they immediately go back to using. This can lead to a dangerous addiction cycle, and it can also lead to overdose.

How Does a Person Know They Need to go to Drug Rehab for Ambien Addiction?

Even if you’ve been taking Ambien for a long time, it’s possible that you don’t really know if you’re addicted to it. Sometimes the signs of addiction can be so subtle that they’re easy to miss. However, if you exhibit any of the following, you may be addicted to Ambien:

  • Have you ever suffered with bouts of amnesia?
  • Have you ever been caught sleepwalking?
  • Do you find that your libido has been increased or decreased since you started using Ambien?
  • Do you find that you’re having hallucinations?
  • Have you experienced any withdrawal symptoms on nights when you have missed a dose?
  • Have you increased your dosage of Ambien without telling your doctor?
  • Are you taking Ambien in any way other than how it was prescribed?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you most likely are addicted to Ambien.

Types of Ambien Rehab Facilities in WA State

There are outpatient treatment options available to you if you have an Ambien addiction. However, it is a well known fact that this type of addiction is best treated in an inpatient setting. Inpatient Ambien rehab offers you the best level of support, which is something you really need during the early stages of your recovery from this addiction. It’s very easy to go back to using Ambien when it becomes hard to stay off it, and inpatient Ambien rehab makes that impossible.

Also, you’ll experience tremendous benefits from being able to talk about the reasons behind your addiction to Ambien. This is where the real healing begins, and it happens during inpatient Ambien rehab.


Northpoint Washington Offers Hope for Ambien Addiction Recovery

Suffering from an Ambien addiction can be so difficult. There are a lot of people who are surprised to learn that they have become addicted. They never thought it was possible to get addicted to a drug that was prescribed by their doctor. But it happens more often than people realize.

At Northpoint Washington, our goal is to provide support to those who want to recover from Ambien addiction. Our facility is beautiful. It is completely modernized, and when people walk through our doors, they often feel like they are at home, rather than at rehab.

Many of our staff members are also recovering addicts themselves. They understand how hard it is to recover on a personal level. We believe that makes them much better equipped to provide assistance to our patients.

Patients who are addicted to Ambien will need to go through our 28-day detox and rehab program. This is beneficial because it addresses both sides of their addictions. It is also convenient to access both types of treatment under the same roof.

Detoxing is the first step in recovery. This might include tapering off Ambien slowly as a way to minimize withdrawals. Additional medications may be given to help with withdrawal symptoms. This is known as medical detox, and it is considered to be the best way to stop using this drug.

During rehab, our patients work with a therapist, as well as in a number of different group therapy sessions. Therapy helps patients understand the scope of their addictions, and they learn why they started using in the first place. Making that association assists them in changing their behaviors and circumstances to avoid relapsing in the future.

A lot of the patients we see suffer from co-occurring disorders and/or cross addictions. When a patient has a co-occurring disorder, it means that a mental illness has contributed to their addiction in some way. A cross addiction occurs when that person is addicted to more than one drug, or they have another addictive behavior.

Addressing both of these is critical for recovery. When either of them is ignored, it only increases the patient’s risk for relapsing after rehab is over.

Ambien Addiction Treatment

Find Out More About Ambien Addiction, Abuse and the Available Treatment Options

We know that right now, your situation may seem hopeless. You may know that you need to stop taking Ambien, but the threat of not sleeping is preventing you from taking that step. Or, perhaps you have been abusing it recreationally, but you know that the situation has gotten out of hand. Either way, at Northpoint Washington, we are here to help you.

Do you have additional questions about Ambien addiction and abuse? Would you like more information about how detox and rehab can help you recover? Please contact us right away.

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Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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