How To Stop Taking Zolpidem
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If you feel like youre relying on a zolpidem prescription to get a good nights sleep, youre definitely not alone. Most people feel dependent on this medication after just 2 weeks. While it may be tempting to stop your prescription cold turkey, this isnt a great ideasudden zolpidem withdrawal can lead to some serious side effects, like severe seizures.XTrustworthy SourceRecovery.orgResource run by the American Addiction Centers organization providing people with educational resources about substance abuseGo to source Dont worry! With patience and commitment, you can begin to taper off Ambien while finding healthy, natural alternatives for your bedtime routine.
The Link Between Ambien And Suicide
Some research suggests that using sedative hypnotics like Ambien increases the risk of suicidal thoughts in people with a history of depression. Limited case studies suggest Ambien is also linked to suicidal ideation in people who dont have a mental illness. This includes a case study of a man at 27 years of age with no psychological disorders who experienced thoughts of suicide after using 20mg of Ambien. The link between Ambien and suicide is non-reliable at this point because controlled studies are limited on the association.
Treatment Near Home Vs Different City Or County
Where is best to receive treatment may vary from one addict to another: some people prefer treatment close to home, where they may be comforted by the proximity of loved ones, while others may wish to go as far as possible from their home environment which has proved so problematic. Speak with an addiction specialist about your particular requirements.
What Do You Do When You Run Out Of Ambien
Ambien is a brand name medication that is generically known as zolpidem. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Ambien is classified as a Schedule IV Substance, which are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.It is a medication that is used to treat certain sleep issues . Ambien belongs to a class of medications known as sedative-hypnotics which are used to induce and/ or maintain sleep. Ambien is a central nervous system depressant that works by acting on certain neurotransmitters in ones brain, specifically the GABA-A . When Ambien binds to this receptor it elicits a calming effect as it slows down excessive brain activity and inhibits the specific brain activity associated with insomnia. The average half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in ones system until the concentration in ones blood has been reduced by half, of Ambien is about 2.5 hours.
Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms
Individuals that abuse Ambien or regularly take higher than normal doses are at increased risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. Common examples of Ambien withdrawal symptoms, may include the following, provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse:
According to the label from the drug manufacturer, withdrawal symptoms appear in approximately 1% of people taking a therapeutic dose of Ambien. Hence, it is rare for individuals who take a regular therapeutic dose of Ambien to experience withdrawal symptoms.
What To Do
How And When To Take It
Zolpidem tablets come in 2 different strengths 5mg and 10mg.
The usual dose is one 10mg tablet, taken 1 hour before you go to bed. If you’re over 65 years old, or if you have kidney or liver problems, the doctor may start you on a lower dose of 5mg.
Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew it. You can take zolpidem with or without food.
It’s important to follow the doctors advice when taking this medicine. They may ask you to take a tablet just 2 or 3 nights a week, instead of every night.
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Tips To Quit Using Sleeping Pills
Up to 50 percent of adults in the U.S. experience insomnia. Many people go through acute insomnia or sleeplessness associated with life events such as severe illness, grief, or other stressors. Research also indicates that 15 percent of adults struggle with chronic insomnia, resulting from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, or other conditions that interfere with sleep. Experts recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep in 24 hours, but many people find it impossible to get the sleep they need.
How To Help An Addict Quit Ambien
Many people addicted to Ambien do not recognize they have a problem because their doctor prescribed the drug. Talking with someone about a potential problem may help them determine the severity of the problem and if it requires seeking Ambien dependence treatment.Here are some ways to approach someone who may have a problem with Ambien.
- Approach the person 1-on-1 before attempting an intervention with several people, which can be intimidating and cause the user to become defensive. A personal conversation improves your chances of getting through to the person and encouraging them to quit zolpidem use.
- Do not confront the person with judgment, anger, blame or threat these are menacing attitudes that will not help and may make matters worse.
- Be genuinely compassionate, gentle, caring and helpful. Show that you are coming from a place of concern rather than judgment.
- Explain why you are concerned about the addictive behaviors.
- Bring up specific behaviors or incidents that have personally affected you or others in your circle.
- Encourage them to seek Ambien dependence treatment.
- If they are not responsive to your suggestions, consider seeking a professional who can help stage an intervention.
- If the person chooses to seek treatment, stay involved and offer support to help them quit Ambien when possible.
- Learn to let go when necessary, and remember only the person is responsible for his or her behavior.
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What Are The Effects Of Zolpidem
The main effect of zolpidem is to induce sleepiness. There are two main forms of this medication: a quick-release version that helps you fall asleep more easily, and an extended-release version that also helps you stay asleep through the night.
Zolpidem works by activating a chemical in your brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid . The boost in GABA calms brain activity, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. More for the NHS.
There are several common side effects you may experience when using zolpidem:
- dry mouth and/or metallic taste in the mouth
- dizziness, lightheadedness, and/or confusion
- combining zolpidem with other substances
- repeatedly taking larger doses than prescribed
- engaging in dangerous activities while on zolpidem, such as driving
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut down or stop using
- buying the drug illegally
- isolating from loved ones and/or regularly sleeping through social events
Its possible to form a physical dependence on zolpidem in as little as two weeks. Many cases of zolpidem addiction begin when insomnia sufferers have been prescribed the medication as a short-term treatment.
After a couple of weeks of use, zolpidem becomes less effective and you need higher doses in order to sleep.
You may find that your insomnia has worsened if you try to stop taking the medication, which is a sign of your body developing dependence.
Natural Alternatives To Prescription Sleeping Pills
Lack of sleep is ruinous. Sleep deprivation has been used as a method of torture in prison camps. Drugged sleep is more akin to unconsciousness than rest, most notably observed in the Cameron deep sleep programs of the 60s. Nestled between these 2 extremes, many natural and non-addictive sleep aids and strategies can gently improve ones quality and duration of sleep. Examples include:
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Helping Someone With An Addiction
When you have decided that your loved one may be dealing with an addiction to zolpidem, figuring out how you can best help them can feel daunting. However, there are some steps you can take to help both your loved one and yourself:
When Dependence Is A Concern
Ambien is still less likely to cause dependence than medications such as Xanax , Ativan , or Restoril . Treating insomnia with medication is not the ideal situation. Research from Mayo Clinic shows that using medication to treat insomnia on a long-term basis could hide other problems. It is also best to use other long-term plans and therapies to combat sleeping problems.
Those who have had a past drug abuse history or psychiatric diagnoses are at an increased risk of becoming addicted to Ambien. One way doctors can help manage addiction is to gradually reduce the use of Ambien until a person can safely stop using it. This is because a quick decrease in dosage has been known to cause seizures, uncontrolled crying, discomfort in the abdominal area, nausea, panic attacks, tremors, and severe anxiety.
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Ambien Addiction Dependence And Abuse Potential
Ambien addiction and abuse have developed into a growing concern according to a 2021 multiple case review out of Italy.24
Previously, the Z drugs, including zolpidem, were considered to present zero risk for addiction or abuse, but research has demonstrated this is definitely not the case. Ambien addiction treatment and Ambien withdrawal and tapering safely, are best handled in a clinical setting where behavioral disturbances or other erratic withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored for safe Ambien withdrawal.25
Multiple studies out of France showed that Ambien addiction, dependence, and abuse potential were higher than previously considered.29,30
Treatment For Ambien Addiction
Many inpatient and outpatient rehabs offer a medically-managed detox as part of their programs. However, treating an addiction to Ambien is often more complex than making it through the withdrawal period. Combining the tapering-off process with therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy improves the chances of a successful recovery.
Both medically-assisted detox and therapy are essential in helping former users permanently quit Ambien. If you or someone you love is struggling with an Ambien addiction and fear you might relapse, there is help available. Contact a treatment provider to learn about your options today.
Featured Centers Offering Treatment For Ambien Addiction
Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: April 16, 2019
Theresa Parisi is a Certified Addiction Professional , Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager , and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor with over 12 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.
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How To Wean Off Ambien
How you taper or wean off Ambien depends on the dose that you are taking. If you are taking Ambien as prescribed by a doctor, it is much easier and faster to taper it off than if you are taking large amounts of the drug throughout the day.
Although you should inform your doctor if you want to taper and stop your prescribed use of Ambien, you may be able to taper it on your own without medical assistance. However, if you struggle with taking high doses of Ambien, the tapering regimen becomes more complex and often involves temporarily adding other drugs. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice if you are weaning from a high dose.
Zolpidem Addiction What Happens In The Brain
So once Zolpidem dependent, a person needs to taper downslowly to avoid dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Problematically, a person who is both Zolpidem dependent andZolpidem addicted is going to have a very hard time controlling their use tomanage a steady daily reduction.
Why is this?
Well, in addition to the neural adaptations seen with Zolpidemtolerance and dependence, Zolpidem addiction causes a number of additional brainchanges and these changes make it very difficult for a person to control theirconsumption.
Areas of the brain altered by addiction include:
- The frontal cortex
- A decreased ability to resist impulses
- A hijacked reward system, that causes a strong drive to seekdrug intoxication
Brain changes that lead to frequent intense cravings,altered memories and diminished impulse control reduce a persons ability tomanage a tapering plan.
Fortunately, your brain will heal, and while it does, youcan compensate by making use of strategies to reduce your exposure totemptation and craving and by learning skills that help you manage cravingsthat do arise.
You can learn the skills you need in an addiction treatmentprogram.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Ambien/zolpidem Addiction Treatment And Rehab
Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most commonly provided forms of therapy in addiction treatment and is probably that which is most familiar to the general public because of its frequent appearance in TV and film. CBT aims to improve overall mental health, and to tackle specific challenges such as zolpidem addiction, by uncovering and addressing problematic patterns of thinking and behaviour, and by helping with emotion regulation and the development of coping strategies. Therapists work with clients to impart new skills such as information processing and to create strategies and mechanisms with which to fight triggers and the temptation to relapse, in order to provide the most solid possible footing for life after treatment.
Taking The First Step Towards Ambien Addiction Treatment
Often, the first step on the journey to recovery is the toughest. Recovery is hard work, but we believe youll find its well worth it. Footprints to Recovery offers evidence-based addiction and dual diagnosis treatment. As you progress in Ambien addiction recovery, youll build a healthy life that supports your sobriety. Though the first step can be hard, it is well worth taking.
At Footprints to Recovery, our inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs provide resources for medical detox along with counseling to work through behaviors that have led to Ambien abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with Ambien addiction and are ready to quit, contact our dedicated treatment specialists here at Footprints to recovery to find out about Ambien addiction treatment options today.
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What To Expect From Treatment
Every addicts experience of treatment and recovery is unique what works well for one addict in treatment may not work for another, and addiction treatment is a highly personalised phenomenon, with treatment programmes leading to react to many unforeseen developments.
Because of this, rehabs are agile and responsive environments, and it is not possible to describe one universally applicable addiction treatment process however, of course there are similarities between treatment programmes and between individual rehabs, and it is possible to draw up a rough guide to what might be expected by someone entering rehab for the treatment of a zolpidem addiction.
Impact Of Zolpidem Addiction On Your Life
In addition to the impact on your health, zolpidem addiction can seriously inhibit your ability to function at work and maintain steady employment. As a result, you are more likely to miss work days regularly, be frequently late, and make fundamental errors while completing your duties. Naturally, this can seriously impact your financial well-being, which can be further exacerbated by the cost of procuring zolpidem on the black market
Zolpidem can also be cataclysmic for personal relationships, including those with partners or spouses, children, and other family members. This can then have a deleterious effect on your happiness and well-being, which can, in turn, feed into the spiral of zolpidem abuse and addiction.
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Withdrawal And Detox From Zolpidem
Withdrawal symptoms typically start within 48 hours of stopping or cutting down use. These can include:
- a general agitation, irritability, mood swings
- anxiety and/or panic attacks
- rapid heart rate and breathing
- sweating and/or tremors
Medically assisted detox is strongly recommended for zolpidem . Not only is detoxing on your own uncomfortable, but it can be dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to manage without medical assistance and surrounding support, raising your chances of relapse.
During detox at Castle Craig, youll receive 24/7 care from our experienced, compassionate staff to ensure your comfort and safety through each step of the process.
Our team of medical specialists works together to create and oversee each patients personalised detoxification and treatment plan.
As part of this detox process, our team of doctors may choose to gradually decrease your dose for a more comfortable transition to complete abstinence. Other medications may be used to help ease the withdrawal symptoms as well.
Until youre completely detoxed, our staff meets regularly to update your treatment plan according to your progress. Once youre stabilised, youll be able to attend restorative therapies such as morning meditation and group sessions.