Ambien Withdrawal & Detox
Following abuse or addiction to drugs like Ambien, it is important for users to recognize there can be Ambien withdrawal and detox repercussions that must be dealt with for the user to become clean of the effects of the drug. Keep reading to find out more about Ambien withdrawal and detox.
Ambien uses and purpose
Before we explore the withdrawal symptoms that come with abuse of a drug like Ambien, let’s explore exactly what Ambien is and how it is meant to benefit the user. Ambien is currently the nation’s best-selling sleep aid and is prescribed as a temporary treatment for insomnia. Unfortunately when taken inappropriately, it is possible for the user to become addicted to the effects of Ambien. When this happens, there is a potential for withdrawal symptoms to occur.
Ambien withdrawal symptoms
In cases when a person has become addicted to the use of Ambien, they might decide to cold-turkey quit taking the medication, or might do so at the suggestion of their doctor. It is important to be aware of the Ambien withdrawal symptoms ahead of time. These include:
- Nausea and/or stomach cramps
- Shakiness and confusion
- Worse insomnia than the patient experienced prior to taking the drug.
Depending on a person’s state of health when undergoing these Ambien withdrawal symptoms, they can range anywhere from mild to deadly. Elderly patients or those with pre-existing health conditions should be carefully watched under the direction of a healthcare professional while undergoing any kind of Ambien detox or withdrawal from the effects of the medication.
It is especially important to note that like with other addictive medications, once a person begins experiences the negative withdrawal symptoms, they likely will be motivated to finding access to the drug as quickly as possible in order to relieve themselves of the withdrawal symptoms and achieve the same effect as before. This can be dangerous for a variety of reasons including leading the person to harmful health effects, potentially engaging in illegal activity and it perpetuates the addiction cycle. This is why it is sometimes necessary for a person to completely go through an Ambien detox before they can begin to move on from the addiction.
Serious Ambien Withdrawal symptoms:
In some cases, withdrawal from Ambien doesn’t just result in a few unpleasant physical changes. Sometimes if a person has built up a high enough tolerance to the drug, it can result in severe withdrawal symptoms that can be deadly. This may include:
- Mild to severe panic attacks
- Psychosis and hallucinations
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
In a 2012 study in Australia, a look was taken at 91 violent or unnatural deaths in which zolpidem (Ambien active ingredient) was present. The results indicated that 60% of them were suicides.
Ambien detox methods
While many Ambien abusers and users might continue to take the drug for long periods of time, even though it is meant for short-term use, because they feel they cannot function without it. Some individuals may not even experience a sleep disorder, but instead enjoy the “drunkenness effects” that comes with Ambien abuse in high dosages. Despite the reason for continuing with abusing the drug, there are times when it is not possible for a person to simply quit the drug “cold turkey” and move on with life. If a person has built up an excessive and dangerously high tolerance to the drug, more serious steps might have to be taken. This is where Ambien detox methods might play a role.
- The first step is to contact your (or your loved-ones) healthcare professional. The prescribing doctor should be alerted to the abuse right away. From there the doctor may recommend several different paths that can be taken to detox a person from Ambien.
- Sometimes if the abuse has gone on too long, it might be time for rehabilitation. Many in and out-patient therapies and rehabilitation centers offer assistance to help an addicted person through the detox method. Typically a person would stay on site during the days of the detox so they could be closely monitored as they experience the withdrawal symptoms. This is both for the benefit of ensuring nothing goes wrong medically (and if it does, can be treated immediately) and to help prevent the user from trying to find more Ambien or other drugs to fill the void.
Once a person has been through an Ambien detox, they can begin to rebuild their life. Underlying issues that caused the initial abuse and or addiction will first need to be addressed to help prevent cases of relapse.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Ambien, be sure to contact your doctor right away to get started on the path to feeling better again.