A powerful sedative typically used to help people with insomnia, Ambien, generically called Zolpidem, is prescribed for no more than 6 weeks and is generally recommended to be taken for shorter periods of time. If a person takes larger doses of Ambien or takes the drug for longer than originally intended, they may develop dependence and, later on, addiction. If you’ve been struggling with Ambien addiction, treatment is necessary to help you gain back control over your life.
Ambien targets receptor cells in the brain that respond to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that affects sleep cycles. This drug was designed to work similar to Valium by also affecting emotional responses and levels of consciousness. When a person is going through withdrawal, they may experience the following:
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Rapid heart rate
These symptoms are most often experienced during the first two weeks of withdrawal. During week 3, individuals have sleeping issues and reduced cravings, with week 4 only producing anxiety, irritability, sleep stabilization and an overall better feeling. Less than 1% of people have been shown to experience seizures after quitting Ambien “cold-turkey”. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) occurs within 3-6 months and may include nightmares and bouts of insomnia.
Detoxification is the safest way to withdrawal from Ambien because you will have a healthcare team who can monitor you and provide you with medication to help you manage any distressing withdrawal symptoms. After detoxification, the right treatment program will help you learn more about your addiction and how it’s affected your life. Psychotherapy will provide a way for you to develop effective coping mechanisms and better understand the challenges that you’ve faced that have led you to addiction. Group and family therapy will help you relate to others and build any connections that may have been damaged from the addiction.
If you haven’t already, reach out to a reputable treatment center today. It’s never too late to seek help, and recovery is possible.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.