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Ambien Withdrawal and Detoxification

Warning Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Ambien Abuse

It may be difficult to pinpoint Ambien addiction since most of the people take it for therapeutic purposes. Ambien addiction develops faster than the user thinks. The first step is development of tolerance when its use is continued for prolonged periods of time. The user takes more and more drug every next time to cope with tolerance. This is the reason Ambien is only prescribed for short term use. The potential of developing addiction is increased a great deal when it is abused. If a loved one is taking Ambien, it is important to make sure that they use the drug exactly as prescribed. Looking for signs and symptoms of dependence can be helpful to detect if the addiction has been developed.

Behavioral signs of Ambien abuse:

As the lifestyles are becoming more stressing, increasing number of people are turning to medications like Ambien to induce sleep. If their use is not kept in check, there is a great risk to develop dependence. Even people who use it for limited time can become addicted. Eventually, the user becomes unable to sleep without Ambien.

Some behavioral signs can be observed in an Ambien addicts such as:

  • The addict visits different doctors in an attempt to get a prescription for Ambien. The behavior is referred as ‘doctor shopping’.
  • The user seems drowsy and sleepy most of the times.
  • The addict loses interest in activities he previously enjoyed.
  • The addict spends excessive money and time on obtaining and using drug.
  • The addict show poor performance at school or office.

Side effects of Ambien abuse:

Although Ambien is effective when used for short periods of time exactly as prescribed by the doctor, its use is not free from side effects. These side effects become more severe when the drug is abused by taking it in more than prescribed amounts or by taking it without a prescription.

Some of the common physical side effects experienced by the users include:

  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive drowsiness/inability to stay awake
  • Dizziness
  • Problems maintaining coordination

The user may also sleep walk and perform a number of activities without even remembering a bit about them in the next morning. Some activities that people addicted to Ambien have reported performing include:

  • Making and eating food
  • Having sex
  • Talking on phone
  • Sleep walking
  • Getting into potentially dangerous activities such as dealing with sharp objects or driving

Ambien is a hypnotic medication that induces sleep by inhibiting brain activities. Since it interferes with the way brain functions, a number of psychological side effects are also experienced by the user including:

  • Depression
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Mental confusion
  • Involuntary shaking of hands
  • Agitation
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Nervousness
  • Delirium
  • Amnesia
  • Hallucinations

When Ambien is taken in amounts that are not high enough to induce sleep, or the tolerance for the drug has been developed, or the user forces himself to stay awake, hallucinations can be a side effect. The user may see, hear or experience things that are not there.

Long term health effects of Ambien:

Ambien is prescribed for short term use, two weeks at the most. The prolonged use can not only develop addiction but it is can also cause numerous side effects and long term health effects. With the prolonged use, the potential of abusing drug is significantly increased.

Some of the complications produced due to long term abuse of Ambien may include:

  • Depression
  • Excessive drowsiness during day time
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Confusion
  • Muscle aches
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Problems with digestion
  • Impaired muscular control
  • Family problems
  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems

With the prolonged use, tolerance is developed and medication becomes less effective. Even significantly high doses fail to produce desired effects. To cope with this situation, the user may start to crush and snort the drug. He may also combine with another substance to amplify its effects.
If a loved one is struggling with Ambien, help them quit the drug by slowly tapering off the dose. Professional help can also be taken to treat Ambien addiction.

Ambien overdose:

Since Ambien is a prescription medication, most people think that it is not possible to overdose on it. The fact is, a person can overdose on ANY drug whether addictive or not. Overdose reaction is resulted when excessive amounts of the drug are ingested and the body is not able to process the chemicals from the drug as fast as they are being consumed. It result into toxicity and numerous dangerous symptoms appear. People can accidently or intentionally overdose on Ambien. An accidental overdose is resulted when a person takes high amounts of the drug oblivious of its harmful effects. An intentional overdose may be done in an attempt to commit suicide.

Some symptoms associated with Ambien overdose include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Inability to stay awake

Planning an intervention for Ambien problem:

Many Ambien users may not recognize when its use has become a problem. If a loved one is going through a similar situation, it is important to talk to them about their condition and drug usage. Planning an intervention can be helpful to effectively talk to an addict and convince them to seek treatment for their addiction.

You may prepare a speech to talk to the addict. It is important to take extreme care because most of the addicts deny the truth and show violent behavior instead. A professional interventionist can be helpful in this regard. He can not only help you talk to your loved one about their addiction but also convince them to seek the treatment they need.