What Is Ambien?

Ambien, also more widely known as zolpidem, is a popular prescription medication that is mainly used as a short-term treatment option for insomnia.

While Ambien works similarly to benzodiazepines; on a molecular level it is different from these substances. Ambien facilitates the development of feelings of drowsiness and deep relaxation, by actually directly slowing down activity in the user’s brain. Like benzodiazepines, Ambien binds to the same receptor sites; however, unlike benzodiazepines, Ambien only binds to one specific subtype – a subtype that is generally associated with sedation.

What all of this means is that, compared to benzodiazepines, Ambien will not only have noticeably less side effects but it will also have less of an adverse effect on the sleep-wake cycle. When someone takes Ambien they should ideally fall into a very relaxing deep sleep in just a few minutes and then subsequently wake up feeling rested the next morning.

On the other hand, one of the problems with Ambien Is the fact that the sedating effects that it delivers will very often feel extremely pleasing to users. As a result, a lot of users will unfortunately find themselves with an Ambien addiction; wanting to excessively use and abuse the drug for this “high” that it gives them.

The Statistics Behind Ambien Addiction

Ambien addition might seem like a minor threat in the grand scheme of this in the country, especially when compared to other drugs and addictive substances. However, cases of Ambien addiction have steadily been on the rise for well over a decade now.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported in 2014 that “the estimated number of emergency department visits involving zolpidem overmedication (taking more than the prescribed amount) nearly doubled from 21,824 visits in 2005-2006 to 42,274 visits in 2009-2010”.

In that same study, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also found that there were noticeably much more cases of zolpidem overmedication visits in 2010 that involved females; with 68 percent of the total cases being attributed to them. Nevertheless, males were also worth of note since their cases of cases of zolpidem overmedication visits showed a dramatic increase of 150 percent from 2005 – 2006 to 2009 – 2010. This was far more than the 69 percent that was attributed to females over the same period of time.

Side Effects Of Ambien Use And Ambien Addiction

Just like countless other types of prescription medication, zolpidem (Ambien) has quite a few possible side effects that can result from its usage. However, abusing Ambien can undoubtedly put you at a far greater risk of experiencing the negative effects of the drug – and it can exacerbate these side effects, making them far worse. Some of the most common side effects of Ambien use and Ambien addiction include:

  • Sleep walking
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Agitation
  • Drowsiness while driving

Individuals who take Ambien are often warned by their prescribing physician about the possible amnesic effects that the drug can have on them. This essentially means that there is a possibility that users can engage in specific activities while they are not fully aware of what they are doing or fully conscious. Modest cases of this can manifest itself in seemingly simple ways, such as the aforementioned sleepwalking or even talking or eating. However, there have been considerable Ambien related report related to individuals performing much more risky actions, such as driving or having sex.

It is also worth noting that when Ambien is taken with other drugs, these intensity ad frequency of these side effects can be considerably heightened. This is a serious problem in the US, since the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that well over 50 percent of Ambien emergency department visits were also found to involve other prescription drugs – the two most common ones being narcotic pain relievers and benzodiazepines. In addition to this, it was also found that alcohol, which reacts unpredictably with Ambien, was found to have been taken with Ambien in at least 14 percent of these hospital emergency department visits.

Ambien Withdrawal And The Road To Recovery From Ambien Addiction

Many people who use and abuse Ambien oftentimes will try to break out of their addiction on their own at first. However, the sad truth is that trying to do this on your own can be extremely difficult since Ambien withdrawal symptoms can be extremely agonizing to work through on your own. Some of these withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Stomach cramps
  • Panic attacks
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Hand tremors

If you or a loved one is battling with Ambien addiction or fighting to live with Ambien withdrawal symptoms, they don’t have to do it on their own – give us a call at (888) 317-0569 or visit Blvd Treatment Centers and let us help you on your road to recovery. 

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