Treatment for Ambien Abuse

Ambien is a sedative medication that is typically used to treat insomnia, which is a disorder that causes individuals to suffer from an inability to sleep. While this medication can be beneficial to individuals who suffer from sleeping difficulties, it is also a medication that is frequently abused. This medication is meant to be taken on a temporary basis, yet it has the potential to be habit-forming, causing some individuals to become dependent upon it in order to sleep at all. Additionally, the properties of Ambien that help individuals fall asleep can also cause pleasurable feelings of detachment and euphoria. For these reasons, individuals may also begin to abuse the substance.

As a sedative medication, an addiction to Ambien would be classified in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder. When individuals suffer from this disorder, they find that they have become dependent on Ambien, and are unable to cease use of the medication without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, once this type of substance use disorder has developed, it can be exceedingly difficult for individuals to overcome it without professional assistance.

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Statistics

Between 2005 and 2010, the number of emergency room visits that were related to the use of Ambien increased 220%, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to the DSM-5, 0.2% of individuals aged 18 and older suffer from sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder, of which includes an addiction to Ambien.

Causes and Risk Factors for Ambien Abuse

The causes and risk factors that can affect the onset of sedative, hypnotic, and anxiolytic use disorder, including an addiction to Ambien, may include the following:

Genetic: Genetic factors are said to play a prominent role in the development of Ambien use disorder. Individuals who have family members who suffer from sedative, hypnotic, and anxiolytic use disorder are more susceptible to suffering from the same disorder than are individuals who do not have a similar genetic background.

Environmental: The ease of access and the level of availability that one has to obtaining Ambien can greatly impact the onset of a substance use disorder of this kind. Due to the fact that this is a prescription medication, the frequency with which one is able to obtain the prescription can impact the duration and severity of the disorder. Additionally, associating with individuals who abuse substances, including Ambien, can make the behavior seem appealing.

Risk Factors:

  • Having an impulsive temperament
  • Having a novelty-seeking temperament
  • Beginning to use drugs recreationally at an early age
  • Associating with peers who abuse substances
  • Having a family history of substance abuse and addiction

Signs and Symptoms of Ambien Abuse

The signs and symptoms that may be displayed by an individual who is abusing Ambien will vary from person to person, but may include the following:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Taking larger doses of Ambien than was prescribed
  • Continuing to take Ambien despite having the desire to stop
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family
  • No longer participating in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Spending a great deal of time participating in activities that revolve around obtaining, consuming, or recovering from the use of Ambien
  • No longer performing at the expected level occupationally
  • No longer adhering to daily tasks and responsibilities
  • Engaging in reckless behavior

Physical symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Dry mouth
  • Nose irritation
  • Throat irritation
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle pain
  • No longer being able to fall asleep without taking Ambien

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Experiencing cravings for Ambien
  • Having a compulsive desire to acquire Ambien
  • Coordination problems
  • Experiencing delusions and/or hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Suicidal ideation

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Experiencing periods of emotional detachment
  • Increased anxiety and/or depression
  • Experiencing periods of euphoria
  • Agitation
If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Effects of Ambien Abuse

The effects of Ambien abuse can impact all areas of an individual’s life. Examples of possible effects can include the following:

  • Demotion or loss of one’s job due to being unable to meet expectations
  • Familial conflict
  • Relationship disturbances
  • Financial strife
  • Onset of physical and cognitive ailments

Co-Occurring Disorders

Ambien abuse often co-occurs alongside other types of disorders, which may include the following:

  • Tobacco use disorder
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Other substance use disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of Ambien withdrawal: When someone has been abusing Ambien for any given period of time, and then ceases use of the medication, he or she is susceptible to experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms may include the following:

  • Worsened insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Panic attacks

Effects of Ambien overdose: When individuals consume more of a substance than their bodies are able to metabolize, they will likely suffer from an overdose. Signs that someone may have overdosed on Ambien can include the following:

  • Irregular breathing
  • Delayed and/or decreased response to stimuli
  • Noticeably altered mental status
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Extreme confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Why Consider Treatment for Ambien Abuse

Individuals who suffer from the compulsion to continuously abuse Ambien may require professional assistance in order to overcome their addiction. By receiving treatment, individuals may be able to avoid lasting consequences that could result from their use of this substance.

There are various types of treatment options available that can assist individuals in overcoming an addiction to Ambien. Residential treatment, in particular, is often one of the most beneficial types of treatment that individuals can receive when battling an addiction to any substance. By engaging in residential treatment, individuals are able to step away from the stressors of their everyday lives and place their focus solely on becoming well again. Additionally, when taking part in residential treatment, individuals are sheltered from having access to Ambien, as well as from various circumstances that may tempt them to use.

Sober Living by the Sea is a network of exceptional addiction treatment providers that specialize in offering comprehensive care to men and women who are battling an addiction to any type of substance, including Ambien. These providers, which include The Rose, The Landing, and Sunrise Recovery Ranch, offer residential treatment, as well as other forms of treatment, that are tailored to meet each individual’s unique set of needs. The knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate staff at each of these treatment centers will work tirelessly to help each individual who is entrusted into their care overcome their addictions, and embark on a future that is filled with hope and sobriety.

get confidential help now: (949) 612-2210 or schedule a free, confidential evaluation at our program Email Us