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Ambien (Zolpidem) Detox, Treatment, & Rehab

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Ambien, the brand name for the generic medication Zolpidem, is a prescription medication used to help treat insomnia and other sleep related issues. (1) Ambien belongs to the drug classification group known as sedatives, or hypnotics. (2) Approximately 4.9 million individuals engaged in the misuse of sedatives in 2021. (3) Compared to other sleep medications, Ambien is less habit-forming, though physical and psychological dependence can still occur over time. In the United States, approximately 2.2 million individuals met the diagnostic criteria and were diagnosed with sedative use disorder due to uncontrolled Ambien and other sedative use. (4) Due to its addictive properties, it is not recommended to engage in Ambien use for more than 4 or 5 weeks without the approval of a doctor. (5)

At Guardian Recovery, we offer Ambien specific detoxification services for those experiencing addiction and misuse to Ambien. Ambien detox helps individuals conquer their withdrawal symptoms in a safe and medically supervised environment. Our evidence-based addiction therapy programs can aid you, or a loved one, in developing the necessary skills needed to reach and maintain sobriety. Offering various levels of care, such as residential inpatientpartial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient, we are dedicated to providing a wide range of treatment programs. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and to get started on your road to recovery.

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Developing Addiction to Prescription Ambien Medication

Approximately 14.3 million individuals reported engaging in the misuse of a prescription medication within a 12 month period. (6) Ambian is a prescription sedative, meaning that it slows down the brain and central nervous system by flooding the brain with a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). (7) When the brain is slowed down, an individual may become more relaxed, drowsy, or calm. (8)

Common side effects associated with Ambien use include: (9)

  • Drowsiness during the day.
  • Dizziness.
  • Weakness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Loss of coordination
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Nose and/or throat irritation.

Is Ambien a High-Risk Medication?

Ambien has a high-risk of misuse due to how it interacts with the brain. Its ability to temporarily relax the body, and produce sedative effects, makes it a substance that one may develop a tolerance for. (10) Tolerance refers to the need to consume larger doses of a substance in order to reach the desired effect, or effects previously reached. Developing a tolerance for a substance encourages an individual to repeatedly engage in it, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.

How Long Does It Take To Develop Ambien Dependence?

There is no exact length of time that determines how long it takes to become addicted to Ambien. Ambien is typically prescribed for short-term treatment, or approximately 1 to 2 weeks. (11) Taking Ambien longer than prescribed increases one’s risk of developing an addiction, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Ambien Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Being able to identify the signs associated with Ambien addiction can help determine if you or a loved one are experiencing it.

Signs and symptoms associated with Ambien use include:

  • Unsuccessful attempts of cutting back or stopping Ambien use.
  • Experiencing relational, occupational, or personal consequences directly related to Ambien use.
  • Engaging in drug-seeking behavior, such as attempting to receive more than one prescription for Ambien at a time.
  • Experiencing chronic tiredness and fatigue.
  • Changes in sleep patterns or sleep quality.
  • Experiencing a lack of motivation to fulfill personal responsibilities and obligations.
  • Lacking in personal hygiene.
  • Experiencing mood swings.
  • Developing a tolerance for Ambien.
  • Experiencing physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal.

Ambien Addiction Detox & Rehab Process

It is recommended that if an individual is seeking addiction treatment, they begin with the detox process. Detox, or detoxification, is the process of substances being removed from the body. Once an individual stops using a substance and begins detox, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This is why attending a Ambien rehab program is imperative for recovery.

Can You Detox From Ambien Abuse on Your Own?

It is recommended that an individual detoxes from a substance at a treatment facility that provides medical detox. If left untreated, withdrawal symptoms associated with Ambien use can be severe.

Benefits of Ambien detox include:

  • Medical treatment for withdrawal symptoms, which may be extremely uncomfortable.
  • Effective treatment of withdrawal symptoms, which can be unpredictable and lead to  serious health-related consequences.

Dual diagnosis treatment can be utilized for those experiencing mental health and substance use disorders simultaneously.

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Ambien Misuse Medical Detox

Because of the negative symptoms associated with Ambien detox and withdrawal, medical detox is highly recommended. The severity and duration of detox depends on the frequency you, or your loved one, have engaged in Ambien use.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with Ambien use may include:

  • Persistent headaches.
  • Uncontrollable shaking or body tremors.
  • Aches and pains throughout the body.
  • General feelings of physical discomfort.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Profuse sweating.
  • Restlessness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Impaired motor functioning.
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Intense confusion.
  • Depression.
  • Delirium.

Duration of Withdrawal Symptoms

The exact duration of the Ambien recovery process and withdrawal symptoms depends on the individual, their overall health, and the severity of their Ambien use.

Ambien Withdrawal Timeline

Typically, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms 6 to 8 hours following last use. (12) Symptoms are usually fully experienced 48 hours following last use. (13)

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Ambien?

Withdrawal symptoms can last for a total of 1 to 2 weeks. (14) Generally, individuals begin to improve 4 to 5 days after withdrawal symptoms begin. The exact length of Ambien detox varies for each individual. (15)

The Treatment Approach for Ambien & Sedative Medication Abuse

The combination of Medication-Assisted Treatment and therapeutic interventions have been found to be effective in treating Ambien misuse. Medication-Assisted Treatment is the use of certain medications to aid in minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Typically, an individual may be prescribed an over-the-counter pain reliever and non-addictive sleep aid, such as melatonin during treatment for Ambien use disorder. Individuals with more severe withdrawal symptoms may be prescribed medications such as Klonopin, anti-seizure medications, or antipsychotics during treatment. Behavioral therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can help individuals develop adaptive coping techniques needed to overcome their Ambien use.

Rehab Options & Treatment Programs for Ambien Addiction

At Guardian Recovery, we offer psychoeducation and comprehensive treatment options for those experiencing addiction and dependency to Ambien.

Our rehab options and Ambien treatment programs available for those experiencing Ambien use disorder or addiction include:

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Our Simple Admissions Process

At Guardian Recovery, we offer Ambien addiction treatment. One of our Treatment Advisors is ready to speak with you and help guide you through our simple admissions process. A complimentary psychological assessment will be conducted in order to receive an official diagnosis and to help develop your individualized treatment plan. Ask about our free, no obligation, insurance benefits check to determine which of our treatment options is covered by your health insurance plan. Start your recovery journey today at Guardian Recovery.

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://www.drugs.com/ambien.html
  2. https://www.drugs.com/ambien.html
  3. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
  4. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
  5. https://www.drugs.com/ambien.html#side-effects
  6. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
  7. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/sedatives#effects
  8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/sedatives#effects
  9. https://www.drugs.com/ambien.html#side-effects
  10. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/sedatives#dependency
  11. https://www.drugs.com/ambien.html#side-effects
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7425303/

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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