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Ambien Abuse: Addiction Signs & Treatment

sleeping pill addiction ambienSleeping disorders are very common in the United States, and one of the most commonly prescribed medications is a sedative called Ambien.

Millions of American families are affected by substance use and addiction disorders. The signs of substance use disorder are not always obvious. When a loved one is suffering, many family members don’t know how to help.

Addiction is insidious and can go undetected for years. The person who is addicted finds it challenging to stop themselves from using, and the consequences can ruin jobs, marriages, and self-esteem. There isn’t a quick remedy, but the healing process can begin with professional guidance, family support, and personal effort.


Signs of Addiction

Addiction signs and symptoms can mimic other illnesses such as depression or other mental disorders. If you or a loved one is experiencing unusual urges, mood swings, or irritability and using drugs or alcohol to cope, you may have developed a substance use disorder.

Addiction is not something that you have to guess at or manage alone. Treatment and support are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The list below is a brief look at some initial signs and symptoms of substance use disorder:

  • Changes in physical appearance such as bloodshot eyes, disheveled clothing, or weight loss
  • Personality changes such as depression, mood swings, and isolation
  • Low energy or lethargy
  • Loss of employment, inability to stay focused, sleeping a lot
  • Sudden loss of income, being unable to pay bills, always needing money

Granite Recovery Centers are licensed treatment centers that families can depend on to help end the destructive process of addiction. Licensed clinicians work with addiction sufferers and their families to treat a wide variety of substance use disorders.


How to Know If You’re Addicted to Ambien

Ambien is the brand name of the sedative zolpidem, also known as Intermezzo and Edluar. Ambien is a central nervous system depressant that slows your heart, lowers your blood pressure, and slows your breathing, which leaves you feeling drowsy, sleepy, and very relaxed. According to The Drug Enforcement Administration, the risk of Ambien addiction is low, but misusing any drug, including Ambien, can result in addiction or substance use disorder.

The DEA classifies Ambien as a Schedule IV controlled substance. It becomes more dangerous if combined with other drugs such as depressants, sleep medicines including over-the-counter ones, and anxiety medicines such as benzodiazepines. If you take more than the prescribed dosage or run out of Ambien before your next prescription, talk to a professional who will respect your privacy and guide you towards the help you need.


Are Sleep Medications Addictive?

Ambien helps those with insomnia get to sleep. Other drugs such as benzodiazepines are prescribed for the same use, but Ambien users won’t experience the next-day grogginess typical of benzo use. Ambien and other insomnia medicines are sedative-hypnotics, which means that they cause the brain to relax, encouraging sleep. Ambien is thought to be fast-acting and less addictive than other common sleeping pills. However, Ambien addiction is much higher than you may think. The following is a list of other sedative-hypnotics that those who are addicted to Ambien may use:

These medications alone or combined with Ambien, alcohol, or other drugs can increase the likelihood of dependence and the potential for overdose.


Is Addiction to Ambien the Same as Other Addictions?

When used as prescribed, Ambien has a low risk of becoming habit-forming. However, when used in combination with other drugs or alcohol, the likelihood of addiction increases significantly. There are some differences when comparing addictive behaviors and symptoms, but addiction doesn’t discriminate between substances, so any chemical substance you take can become habit-forming.

People in treatment say that addiction is tricky because it’s the only disease that tells you that you don’t have it or that you no longer have it. Addicts may not want to admit that they have a problem, and they may go to great lengths to hide their drug use from their family, friends, and coworkers. It can be hard to tell if someone has developed a substance use disorder because they may be using different substances, or their substance use issues could be co-occurring with a mental illness.


More Serious Signs of Ambien Addiction

If you’re taking more Ambien than prescribed to get sleep and are finding yourself dependent on your Ambient prescription, it is time to get yourself some help. If you have developed an addiction, you are likely experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Worsening sleep apnea
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Euphoria
  • Driving under the influence of Ambien
  • Withdrawal indicators such as nausea, headaches, and excessive sweating
  • Severe mood swings
  • Aggression, anxiety, or depression
  • Foggy brain function or lack of coordination
  • Feeling hopeless or out of control
  • Vivid dreams or suicidal thoughts

The above list of symptoms is just a part of Ambien addiction. Those experiencing difficulty balancing home and work tasks, forgetting appointments, or skipping out on social commitments may benefit from talking with an addiction specialist who could help you sort through things. Life stressors can often disguise substance use disorder, so it’s never too late to reach out if you think someone you know might be struggling. If your own life is starting to feel out of control, then taking the first step towards recovery can change your life for the better.


Is Ambien Addiction Treatable?

There are several successful treatment options available for prescription drug addiction. Some programs include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help with withdrawal and increase the chance of success. Medication-assisted treatment is conducted by specialists who combine it with a holistic approach to strengthen your mind and body in the early stages of recovery.

Medications such as Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol are often used to help with side effects from withdrawal. Early withdrawal can be uncomfortable, and these FDA-approved drugs can lessen the discomfort and improve the chances of success.


What Treatment Options Are Available for Ambien Addiction?

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for substance use disorder. The opioid crisis caused a terrific scare in this country, forcing doctors to change how they prescribe certain medications. The opioid addiction problem blinded many from seeing the growing dependence on sleep aids like Ambien and other benzodiazepines.


What’s Can I Expect in Ambien Addiction Treatment?

Granite Recovery Centers started with one location focused on men’s recovery and has expanded services to include anyone needing help recovering from addiction and mental illness. We know that addiction takes place over time, and so does the recovery process.

Our clinicians and medical staff have developed a well-rounded, holistic approach to recovery, which includes inpatient and outpatient treatment, nutrition and well-being, a 12-step approach, and more to meet the needs of patients. Granite Recovery Centers are a welcoming environment with trained staffers who understand the deadly nature of addiction. You can count on staff members who respect you, understand your pain, and want you to win.


Granite Recovery Centers Treatment Options

Starting with the mental health program, the treatment focuses on those with other disorders such as

Clients with co-dependencies find success with our multi-tiered treatment process. Each person is different, and so are their responses to recovery. Our treatment specialists will work with you to build the right program for your specific needs. A client with Ambien addiction issues usually will have problems with sleep or stress disorders. We develop a plan that treats the overuse with tools that improve the quality of sleep.

Granite Recovery Centers use a well-rounded variety of treatment methods. The 12-step approach is based on the AA 12-Step Program model. In addition to the 12-step process and MAT, we also include evidence-based therapy with licensed clinicians and addiction specialists through individual and group therapy. In this setting, clients get to share their addiction and recovery experiences in private and with others seeking recovery.


Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

Addiction is a complex disease often paired with a co-occurring mental health issue to go undetected for long periods. Because of the way addiction progresses as a disease, a multi-pronged approach yields the best results.

Not everyone suffering from Ambien addiction will require inpatient or long-term care in a treatment facility. Many people do well in an outpatient setting. Regardless of the methods, the most important thing is to get relief from the pains of addiction.


Ambien Addiction Treatment and Resources

Addiction is a complex disease that can destroy the life of the sufferer and their family. The great news is that help is available, treatment works, and our programs are tailor-made to help the individual get the most success. Once you have completed treatment, you can also count on our aftercare and alumni programs to help you forge ahead on the path to sobriety.

Granite Recovery Centers have staff members that understand what you’re going through. They can show you the way to freedom from addiction. Taking the first step towards recovery doesn’t have to be difficult. You can make a call from the privacy of your home or stop into one of our centers. You can get the help that you need to begin life anew.