Destination Hope Blog » Ambien Overdose & Ambien Addiction

Ambien Overdose & Ambien Addiction

Ambien overdose is not an exaggeration and neither is Ambien addiction. Everybody wants a good night’s sleep, but at what cost? For many people in this country and around the world, their struggles with insomnia have led them to the doorstep of a powerful sleep agent called Ambien.

For whatever reason, our society has deemed Ambien to be a “safe” prescription drug that has minimal likelihood of being abused. How the general population came to this incredibly mistaken consensus is unknown, but Ambien is a highly addictive substance that in actuality is very prone to abuse and misuse.

Ambien is the brand name for a drug called Zolpidem, a powerful brain-altering substance that belongs to the sedative-hypnotic class, which also includes benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium. The side effects of Ambien are especially troubling. Ambien works by literally slowing the activity in your brain to promote sleep. Because of that, side effects of Ambien that are regularly reported include the following:

Side Effects of Ambien

  • Retrograde Amnesia which prevents individuals from remembering things that happened just before and after the drug is taken
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleepwalking
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Compromised cognitive skills
  • Long term mental health and memory issues

Ambien is a medication that is only supposed to be prescribed for the short term. It is generally recommended that Ambien not be taken for a course longer than two weeks. There are two main reasons behind this.

The first is that Ambien is extremely habit-forming and overuse can lead to dependence and eventual addiction. The second is that excessive Ambien use can cover up serious mental and physical conditions that are the true underlying causes for insomnia. This is why individuals who are prescribed Ambien are supposed to see a doctor if normal sleeping habits aren’t restored within seven to ten days after stopping the drug. Unfortunately, many doctors and patients don’t heed these warnings and instead choose to ignore the risks of Ambien, leading to overprescribing and abusing the drug instead.

Individuals who take Ambien improperly, such as taking too much, increase their potential for an overdose and can even slip into a light coma. Other symptoms of an Ambien overdose include confusion, dizziness, clumsiness or staggering, severe nausea or vomiting, difficult or slow breathing, slowed heart rate and unconsciousness.

The likelihood of an overdose increases dramatically when an individual is also taking other drugs like benzodiazepines, opioid pain relievers and alcohol, which all depress the central nervous system. Ambien overdoses are no small matter as they can result in heart failure, coma and death.

Breaking the Cycle of Ambien Addiction

Most individuals who become dependent on Ambien become that way through legal prescriptions from their doctor, rather than obtaining the drug in an illegal fashion. The struggle is sincere, we as individuals need sleep to feel good and energized when performing our daily functions, and Ambien can help achieve desired sleep. When a person stops taking the drug, their insomnia can return and they quickly begin taking it again.

When you build up a tolerance to Ambien, eventually your body will crave it, requiring it to sleep. Simply stopping taking the drug, after you’ve gained a dependence, is not enough, nor is it recommended to stop cold turkey, as one of the side effects of Ambien withdrawal are seizures, which can be life-threatening. Treatment at a facility like Destination Hope is likely the most effective method to break the cycle of your Ambien addiction.

Destination Hope is a drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida. It’s difficult for many to understand, but Ambien is a regularly abused, highly addictive substance that requires addiction treatment just like all psychoactive substances.

If you or a loved one feels unable to stop taking Ambien, please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Destination Hope immediately. Don’t let the dangers of Ambien sneak up on you. Let us help you avoid that circumstance altogether.