Ambien is prescribed to treat insomnia, but like most drugs it can become habit forming. It is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drug that is a sedative. It is also called a “z-drug.” It has the same effects as benzodiazepines like Xanax, but it is marketed as less likely to cause addiction. However, at our facility for drug rehab in Raleigh NC we know that addiction does occur with this drug, and it often happens in as little as two weeks.
The drug was marketed as a safe way to fight insomnia for short term use, and because it is a non-benzodiazepine drug, it was considered less habit-forming than other options. But medical professionals have admitted that even that class of drugs can lead to addiction.
Ambien is meant to be taken before bed to help with sleep for a short period of time but often users find they cannot go to sleep without it. Once they are dependent on it, it can be hard to stop taking it without suffering withdrawal and side effects. If you need help with substance abuse, call Legacy Freedom. We offer affordable drug rehab in Raleigh NC.
How Ambien Works
Ambien basically slows down the brain. It allows the brain and body to relax so that a person can fall asleep. It works on the same receptors in the brain as Xanax and Valium. It does not necessarily cause sleep but it initiates it, and its effects kick in after about 15 to 20 minutes. It is known to have strange side effects, such as hallucinations and bizarre food cravings. People have also been known to get up in the middle of the night and do unusual things that they may not remember in the morning.
It takes 6-8 hours for it to leave the system, so someone taking Ambien should plan to have that many hours of sleep so that they can ensure the drug is out of their system.
Ambien causes drowsiness and a feeling of being lightheaded that can continue beyond the evening and into the next day. Other side effects of Ambien include stuffy nose, dry mouth, nose or mouth irritation, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, headaches and muscle pain.
There are some major side effects reported by people who have taken Ambien, including a form of amnesia that causes a person to not be able to remember things coming up. The reason this may occur is because the drug binds to GABA receptor sites located near the hippocampus region, which is responsible for processing memories. It is suggested that the drug interferes with the hippocampus’ ability to retain memories. It is noted more frequently in the hours after someone has taken Ambien.
Another major side effect reported with Ambien use is sleepwalking. There have been more claims of this occurring with people taking Ambien than any other sleep aid. It is believed it happens because the drug can cause partial arousal, so people may be aware of outside stimuli and react to it in some way, but they can’t wake up fully because of the drug’s sedative effects.
While Ambien is supposed to be taken at night before bed to help with sleep, some people have found that it produces a euphoric high, so they take it without any intention of going to bed. It can also cause hallucinations, so people take it recreationally for those experiences. One former addict said she started taking it earlier and earlier in the evening because she enjoyed the high she got from it.
Addiction can also occur when a user can’t go to sleep without it. The drug is supposed to only be taken for a short period of time, but if a person can’t sleep without taking the drug, dependence often occurs. One a person builds a tolerance to it, they need larger doses in order for it to have the same effect. In turn, it is a cycle that is hard to break because it strengthens their dependence on it and makes it harder to stop.
Ambien is often mixed with alcohol, which can be extremely dangerous. Both substances depress the central nervous system, so the combination of the two can increase the effects. If you, or a loved one, is addicted to Ambien, we can help you. Call Legacy Freedom today. We offer the best drug rehab in Raleigh NC.
What Is Dependence?
Dependence is defined as relying on or being controlled by something. In reference to drugs, it is when a person feels he or she cannot function without the use of a drug or alcohol. When someone who is addicted to a drug stops abruptly, he or she has physical withdrawal symptoms. They can include flu-like symptoms such as aches and pains that can last for 24-48 hours, tremors, seizures, depression, anxiety, hot flashes, irritability, restlessness and lack of appetite.
If you or someone you know is experiencing dependence on Ambien or other drugs to get to sleep, call Legacy of Raleigh to speak with an admissions counselor. They can answer questions about dependence, addiction and how to get help.
Overcoming an addiction starts with recognizing there is a problem. Signs of an addiction include taking pills for longer than your doctor recommends, taking more than the prescribed dosage, obsessing over how to get more, or obtaining more pills illegally. If you feel you can’t function without them, or take them just to “feel good” then you may have a problem.
If you have frequent blackouts, find that you may have engaged in unusual behavior and do not remember it, sleep walk or have a loss of coordination and balance, they could be signs that you are taking too much Ambien.
If you, or a loved one, have developed an addiction to Ambien, there are treatment options. Addiction is more than just a physical dependence on drugs. Once the initial detox period is over and the drug is out of your system, there are other psychological and behavioral issues that need to be addressed. A comprehensive, customized treatment program can help someone deal with those issues through various therapies.
Legacy Is the Best Choice for Alternative Drug Rehab in Raleigh NC!
If you’re turning to drugs to sleep better, give us a call at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center. We are here to help you learn new ways to deal with your addiction. We offer alternative therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation and more. We have flexible options for drug rehab in Raleigh NC that allow you to continue to work or go to school while you seek help. Call our Raleigh rehab facility today to speak with an admissions counselor and get on the path to a better life.