Ambien is a prescription sleep medication commonly used to treat insomnia and sleep disorders. However, it can become extremely addictive after just two weeks of use and can produce dangerous long-term and short-term side effects.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Ambien?
Ambien should only be taken for up to two weeks. Anything beyond this timeframe puts individuals at risk of long-term side effects and potentially serious consequences, including becoming addicted to the drug.
The long-term effects of Ambien can include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of muscle control
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle pain
- Dry mouth
- Digestive issues
In addition to the above physical long-term effects, long-term use of Ambien can result in difficulties with relationships, becoming unemployed, and experiencing financial issues.
Ambien & Complex Sleep Behaviors
One of the primary long-term effects of Ambien usage is complex sleep behaviors. Complex sleep behaviors include individuals attempting to perform activities while not fully awake, such as driving their car, walking, driving, and cooking. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a boxed warning on Ambien prescriptions about this risk.
Ambien & Next-Day Impairment
A second major concern of Ambien use is next-morning impairment. This involves individuals feeling drugged the morning after taking Ambien, making it difficult to go to work, drive their car, and perform other tasks. The FDA recommends individuals that who take Ambien CR (an extended-release version) should avoid driving and other activities.
What are the Short Term Side Effects of Ambien Use?
The most common short-term side effects of Ambien include:
- Upset stomach
- Feeling drugged
- Feeling very tired the next day
Some people also feel nauseous or experience drug interactions (such as if drinking alcohol while taking Ambien).
Who Is At Risk For Abusing Ambien?
Anyone who uses Ambien for longer than two weeks is at risk of developing an addiction to the drug. Additionally, if you have a sleep disorder you might be at risk of abusing Ambien.
How Does Ambien Work?
Ambien works similarly to other drugs that are benzodiazepines in that it increases the activity of the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, which promotes sleep (and inhibits activity in the brain that promotes insomnia.
Can You Overdose From Ambien Abuse?
Yes, it is possible to overdose on Ambien, especially if you become addicted. Many people falsely believe that you cannot overdose on prescription medication, but this is inaccurate.
The symptoms of overdose include:
- Slowed heartbeat
- Deep breathing
- Fast breathing
- Pale, clammy skin
- Becoming unconscious
If someone experiences any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Ambien
The withdrawal symptoms of Ambien can be very severe. They include:
- Intense cravings
- Severe mood swings
- Increased heart rate
- Panic attacks
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
If you abuse Ambien and are trying to quit, you might need a medically supervised detox at a rehab facility to help you safely withdraw.
Ambien Addiction Treatment
Treatment for Ambien addiction at a rehab facility can help you understand your addiction and provide you with tools to reach sobriety. Our Ambien addiction treatment programs include medical detox, residential treatment, and co-occurring disorder treatment.
Our behavioral therapies include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Contingency Management
- Seeking Safety Therapy
- Mindfulness Therapy
- Positive Psychology
- Narrative Therapy
- Reality Therapy
Start Your Ambien Addiction Recovery Today at Luxe Treatment Center
At Luxe Treatment Center, we focus on utilizing evidence-based humanistic therapies and treatment plans that take a whole-person approach with our clients, rather than simply treating people with substance abuse. If you’re ready to take the next step toward drug and alcohol addiction recovery, our team is here to help you begin healing.