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Ambien Withdrawal

Ambien withdrawal occurs when someone suddenly ceases using the drug after long-term use, although there are instances of individuals experiencing Ambien withdrawal after daily use for just 1 or 2 weeks. Ambien is a sedative or hypnotic drug that has become a popular prescription sleep aid for people with insomnia and other sleep disorders. Ambien is not meant to be used long-term, and is often misused and abused by those who become addicted to it. The hypnotic effects of Ambien are similar to those of benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Klonopin, and so are the addictive qualities. Addiction and dependence often develops even after short-term use, but especially when used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses.

Ambien has a potential for either medical misuse when the drug is continued long term or for recreational use when the drug is taken to achieve a high. Tolerance and dependence can result from continued use of the drug, even if the individual has no prior history of drug dependence. Dependence means that the user feels the need to continue using the drug for fear of experiencing severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The severity of Ambien withdrawal symptoms experienced is dependent on the dosage and length of time it has been taken. Chronic users of high doses are more prone to have a severe physical dependence on the drug, which may cause severe withdrawal symptoms including seizures.

Ambien withdrawal effects can include but are not limited to:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Stomach cramps
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of identity
  • Worsening depression
  • Seizures
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Limited memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal extroversion
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Reckless behavior
  • Muscle cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation

Individuals who take the drug find Ambien withdrawal symptoms to be so problematic that they begin to use Ambien again to stop the withdrawal symptoms. Individuals often cycle through using Ambien, experiencing frightening side effects, attempting to stop using Ambien, and then experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms again. This is the viscous cycle of addiction and the reason that individuals attempting to stop using the drug need to get help at an inpatient drug treatment facility that can deliver a proper detox to get the individual through Ambien withdrawal safely.

Individuals who choose to abuse Ambien not only put themselves at risk of dependence and Ambien Withdrawal, but serious side effects. At high doses, Ambien may cause amnesia and sometimes can result in breathing difficulties. Side effects that commonly occur in people taking Ambien include:

  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Rash

Ambien is also abused by users of stimulant drugs, as is the case with many prescription sedative/hypnotic drugs, to "come down" after the use of stimulants such as amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA. The recreational-misuse of Ambien is becoming more and more common globally, especially in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Recreational users sometimes attempt to fight the effects of the drug by forcing themselves to stay awake. Doing so sometimes causes vivid visuals and a body high. Some recreational Ambien users report decreased anxiety, mild euphoria, changes in perception, visual distortions, and hallucinations.

Overcoming Ambien addiction and withdrawal will not be easy, and many individuals experience rebound insomnia for the first few nights after they stop taking it. The surest way to safely and effectively overcome Ambien addiction and to curb Ambien withdrawal is to seek help, and not try and stop on one's own. Individuals can get that help at a long-term inpatient drug treatment facility that offers a detox program that will help with the withdrawal process. After detox and withdrawal is complete, trained specialists can assist the individual in addressing the causes of their addiction to Ambien.

Counselors at drug treatment centers are standing by to help you get through Ambien withdrawal, and get you through whatever counseling and therapy needed to rid your life of Ambien altogether. Don't go through Ambien addiction and withdrawal alone, get the help and support you need today and the professional care to get you through it. Make sure you know what your options are and choose treatment over addiction today, and get the help you need to assist you through this time.

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