Ambien is a prescription drug that is part of the drug class known as sedative-hypnotics and is a central nervous system depressant. It’s commonly prescribed to help treat insomnia. However, this powerful drug is highly addictive. Many people begin to take Ambien as a result of having difficulty sleeping at night, and it’s usually very effective at first.
But over time, people can develop a dependency on the drug and end up needing a higher dosage of it in order to be able to sleep. Additionally, if someone suddenly stops taking Ambien, they can find it nearly impossible to sleep without it for an extended period of type.
Both of these factors can create a dangerous cycle of addiction. In this article, you’ll learn about the side effects and risks associated with Ambien, and the addiction treatment options available.
Side Effects of Ambien
The most common side effects of Ambien include:
- Feeling drugged
- Daytime drowsiness
- Drug interactions (such as with alcohol)
Serious Side Effects
In addition to the above, Ambien can cause more serious side effects such as complex sleep behaviors, feeling impaired and drugged the next day, feeling suicidal, feeling depressed, and overdosing.
Complex Sleep Behaviors
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a boxed warning on Ambien prescriptions as a result of the risk of complex sleep behaviors. These complex sleep behaviors include performing activities while still in your sleep, such as walking, driving, cooking, and other activities that individuals have participated in while not fully awake.
Impairment the Next Day
Next-morning impairment is common with Ambien use. It involves feeling very drugged the morning after use as a result of the drug levels still being in the system. This can make it difficult to perform daily tasks such as driving and going to work. As a result of next-day impairment issues, the FDA has recommended that individuals taking extended-release Ambien CR should avoid driving and performing other high-alert activities for the entire next day.
Risk of Suicide
It’s possible that Ambien can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in individuals who are already depressed.
Anyone who takes Ambien is potentially at risk of overdosing if they do not follow the prescribed dosage. Symptoms of an overdose can include:
- Slowed breathing/trouble breathing (respiratory depression)
- Deep or fast breathing
- Slowed heartbeat
- Pale skin
The above symptoms require medical attention by a doctor immediately.
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms from Ambien can begin within 6 to 8 hours from when the last dose was taken. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last for up to 2 weeks. Many people experience a peak in withdrawal symptoms around 4 to 5 days from symptom onset.
One of the most common symptoms people experience when they stop taking Ambien is severe insomnia, making it difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. This causes people to begin taking Ambien again, which creates a cycle of dependence.
The withdrawal symptoms of Ambien can include:
- Intense cravings
- Severe mood swings
- Increased heart rate
- Panic attacks
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
How To Safely Withdraw From Ambien
In order to safely withdraw from Ambient, detox is the first step. Ambien detox provides a managed detox process by medical professionals to help keep individuals safe and healthy. At Malibu Detox, our Ambien detox center provides clients with 24-hour supervision and targeted treatment by medical and addiction specialists.
When joining our detox program for your addiction, our team will thoroughly discuss the detoxification process with you and answer any questions you might have. We’ll also conduct a medical assessment and review your medical history in order for us to create your personalized detox plan.
Under the supervision of our medical team, we’ll work to make you as comfortable as possible. Medication can be provided when needed to diminish withdrawal symptoms.
While it might be tempting to detox Ambien on your own, this is actually very dangerous and can cause serious health issues. Attempting to detox on your own can also result in relapse.
Start Drug Abuse Treatment Today at Malibu Detox
At Malibu Detox, our Ambien addiction services can help you overcome your drug addiction and achieve the long-term sobriety you deserve. Contact us today at (424) 234-2027 to discuss your personalized addiction treatment plan. We accept most major and private insurance plans and will work with you to navigate your coverage to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. Our admissions staff looks forward to speaking with you.