Dependence on Ambien: When It Becomes a Problem

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Dependence on Ambien: Signs of Addiction and Treatment

There is fine line between someone who uses Ambien recreationally and dependence on Ambien. This is because there is no safe amount of Ambien that a person can use recreationally and dependence is inevitable if the substance is taken for long enough. According to findings by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, emergency department visits that involved the abused or adverse effects of Ambien increased from 6,111 in 2005 to over 19,000 by 2010.

In this article, we will discuss an Ambien addiction and the best ways of overcoming dependence to Ambien.

What is meant by Dependence?

Our bodies seek to find a balance in order to better adjust to new environments we find ourselves in. If a person were to abuse a drug such as Ambien for an extended period, their bodies undergo changes in order to establish a new balance that accounts for the presence of Ambien. It may slow or speed up certain processes to accommodate the drug. Eventually, the altered state becomes so severe that without a dose of Ambien, the body cannot cope. This is what a dependence on Ambien is. It is also the reason for withdrawal symptoms, which continue until the body is given the time it needs to adjust back to its normal state.

How Long Does it Take to Develop a Dependence on Ambien?

Ambien is a controlled substance because while it does serve medical purposes, it is highly addictive and abuse is common. When prescribed, it’s normally not for more than a month – usually for around a week – in order to avoid the addictive properties. A couple of weeks are enough to develop a dependence on Ambien.

Basic Signs of Ambien Addiction

The signs that a person should look for do not necessarily mean that the person is addicted, but rather that the person’s body has started to adjust to the drug, which can quickly lead to an addiction. The following are some of the most common signs of Ambien addiction:

  • There is a need to take Ambien every day and cravings intensify if none are taken.
  • When Ambien isn’t taken, withdrawal symptoms emerge.
  • Over the course of the Ambien use, a tolerance has formed that causes the person to take more Ambien to get the same effect.

Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms

In the process of overcoming Ambien dependence, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms. These vary in intensity due to the level of dependence the person has. On average, a person is expected to experience the following withdrawal symptoms during detox:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Extreme nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Cramps in the stomach area
  • Delirium
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Depression

Overcoming Ambien Dependence

Since Ambien is an addictive substance, the best way to treat it is through rehab. In rehab, the initial withdrawal symptoms can be lessened through a medical detox that uses FDA-approved medication. Along with being helped through the process of detox through medication, the patient can also be monitored to ensure symptoms such as a rapid heart rate don’t cause serious medical complications.

After detox, an addiction to Ambien must receive further treatment in the form of behavioral therapy and possibly alternative treatment methods. Together with an addiction specialist, the addict learns new ways to cope with their insomnia, stress and other areas in the life and mental processes that led them to abuse Ambien.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.