Zolpidem is a short-acting nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic that is prescribed to treat insomnia. It is only safe when used for short periods of time, usually no longer than 12 weeks. Long-term use or chronic abuse of zolpidem can lead to drug tolerance and dependence. Zolpidem addiction treatment is available to help people who have become addicted to this prescription drug.
Factoid: Zolpidem is available in immediate-release and extended-release forms. Immediate-release forms of the drug are marketed under the brand names Edluar, Ambien, and Zolpimist. The extended-release form is sold under the trade name Ambien CR. Abee’ss, Amee’s, and Amb’zz are common street names for this drug.
How Prevalent is Zolpidem Abuse?
In a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 500,000 people were reported as abusers of Ambien, and the vast majority of abusers were 18 years old or younger. Ambien misuse and overdose account for over 17,000 visits to the emergency room annually. To safely stop using zolpidem, it is best to participate in a zolpidem addiction treatment program offered by a reputable drug rehab facility.
Zolpidem is the preferred sleep medication in the Netherlands. In 2008, over 582,600 prescriptions were dispensed.
Side Effects Associated with Using
Zolpidem has proven to be an effective drug for inducing sleep. It works within 15 minutes of consumption and has a half-life of two to three hours. Use of zolpidem, however, can lead to the development of unpleasant and dangerous side effects, including:
- Anterograde amnesia
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes in libido
- Impaired judgment and reasoning
- Lowering of inhibitions
- Rebound insomnia
- Increased appetite
One of the major side effects of zolpidem use that is particularly common after the use of Ambien is unusual behavior during sleep, such as walking, binge eating, talking, and driving. This is dangerous because a person who is under the influence of the drug often appears to be in control of his or her actions. In reality, the person may be experiencing hallucinations or suffering from impaired motor control, which can lead to serious accidents if he or she is operating a vehicle.
Zolpidem also impairs memory function. A person may forget that he or she has already taken the medication, consume another dose, and accidentally overdose on the drug. Taking excessive amounts of zolpidem can be fatal, so receiving zolpidem addiction treatment can be lifesaving. Signs that a person has overdosed on this medication include confusion, feeling lightheaded, shallow breathing, sleepiness, fainting, and coma. Seek immediate medical attention for anyone who has overdosed on this drug.
Although zolpidem has anticonvulsant and muscle relaxing properties, it only has these effects at 10 and 20 times (respectively) the normal dose needed for sedation. It is not approved for seizure prevention or muscle relaxation because negative side effects, such as amnesia and hallucinations, will develop at these levels.
Zolpidem abuse can lead to drug tolerance, which occurs when a person needs to take higher dosages of the drug to achieve the same effect. However, taking excessive amounts of zolpidem can result in fatal consequences. Among other negative side effects, this medication can reduce respiratory function and may cause a person to simply stop breathing. Excessive sedation may also occur, which can cause the person to slip into a coma.
“Drug dependence is another side effect of zolpidem abuse.”
Drug dependence is another side effect of zolpidem abuse. A person who is physically dependent on the drug must continue to consume it. Otherwise, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms. Zolpidem accumulates in the body in such a way that abrupt cessation of consumption may cause seizures, delirium, and other severe complications. If you want to stop using zolpidem, it is best to do so in the safety of a zolpidem addiction treatment center.
People who abuse zolpidem often consume the medication in combination with other drugs. This can compound zolpidem side effects and cause harmful drug interactions to occur. For example, the drug is often combined with alcohol, which can increase the drug’s sedative effect.
Zolpidem is sometimes used by people who abuse amphetamines, cocaine, MDMA, and other stimulants to counter the stimulating effects of those drugs and “come down.”
Warning Signs of Addiction
The maximum dose recommended for medical treatments is 10 mg, as any dose exceeding this amount is considered unsafe. People who abuse drugs like zolpidem go to great lengths to cover up their addictions. It is important to know the signs of zolpidem abuse and addiction so you can help users obtain zolpidem addiction treatment.
Signs that a person may be abusing or addicted to zolpidem include:
- Inability to fall asleep without taking the drug
- Feeling a compulsion to continue consuming the drug despite no medical necessity
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after not taking the drug for a period of time
- Increased fatigue due to depression of the central nervous system
- Mood swings
- Increased dizziness and decreased motor coordination
- Reduced performance at home, work, and school
- Financial difficulties
- Legal problems stemming from use of the drug
- Suicidal tendencies or ideation
It may be challenging to convince a person addicted to zolpidem to seek treatment for his or her problem. An intervention may be required to help the person understand how harmful zolpidem abuse can be.
Trained professionals at zolpidem addiction treatment facilities can assist you and your family with an intervention.
Because of its high abuse and dependence potential, zolpidem is classified as a Schedule IV drug in the United States. It has been assigned by the FDA to pregnancy category C and is only recommended for use during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks to mother and baby.
Available Treatment Options
Abrupt cessation of zolpidem consumption is not recommended. Depending on how long and how much zolpidem has been consumed, quitting cold turkey can lead to the development of severe side effects such as seizures. It is highly recommended that people take a step-down approach to stopping their use of the drug.
The primary treatment option for zolpidem addiction is gradual dose reduction over a long period of time. This method minimizes withdrawal symptoms so the person can safely stop using the prescription medication. An inpatient zolpidem addiction treatment center may be the best place to use this method because the person will have limited access to the drug.
Finding the Right Detox Center
Finding the right detox center can be a tricky task if you are looking to help someone, whether it is yourself or a loved one, to get clean from drugs or alcohol. Different centers have different strengths and weaknesses, so you may need a little help to find the right one for you.Read More
However, this method of treatment is not right for every person. Another option is to gradually transition to a benzodiazepine drug and then begin the dose reduction method. Withdrawal symptoms may be less acute when stepping down from the benzodiazepine drug.
For treatment-resistant or difficult-to-treat patients, rapid detox using a drug called Flumazenil may be required. Using this method, the withdrawal process is completed in seven days. This drug may cause withdrawal symptoms to be significantly reduced or absent. However, this drug has been found to induce seizures in 1 to 3 percent of patients. There may also be other disadvantages to using this treatment method. It is best to speak with a knowledgeable professional about the pros and cons of using Flumazenil for zolpidem addiction treatment.
The Detoxification Process
Detoxifying from zolpidem is essential to achieving sobriety and avoiding relapse. The body must purge the drug and associated toxins from its system in order to begin functioning normally again. Although it can take only days to become addicted to zolpidem, it can take several weeks to a few months to get through the zolpidem detox process.
Zolpidem rehab centers may employ additional therapies that can assist in the detoxification process. These therapies may include putting you on a special diet, engaging alternative medicines like acupuncture, and prescribing cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is best to work closely with an addiction specialist to develop a zolpidem addiction treatment plan that is right for you.
Getting the Most Out of Zolpidem Addiction Treatment
Zolpidem treatment facilities will work on helping you overcome your physical and psychological addiction to the drug. Of the two, physical addiction is often the easiest problem to address. Psychological addiction can be more challenging to overcome because of the emotional attachment you may have to taking the drug. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your zolpidem addiction treatment.
- Find the right treatment center – It is important to pick a treatment center that addresses your individual needs and wants. The more comfortable you are with the facility, the more likely you will complete the program.
- Participate fully in the treatment – You are likely to have many thoughts and feel a variety of emotions regarding your addiction. Some of these thoughts and feelings may inhibit your participation in the zolpidem addiction treatment. However, you are responsible for your sobriety. If you want to successfully live as a sober person, you must participate fully in your recovery and get the knowledge and life skills needed to stay clean.
- Participate in aftercare programs – Getting through zolpidem rehab is the easy part. The real challenge comes when you return to your life and try to live as a sober person. However, people who have strong support networks are less likely to relapse. Look for aftercare programs you can join that will help you maintain your new lifestyle. Twelve-step programs like Narconon can be a reliable source of continuing education and support.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – If you find you are struggling with a certain aspect of your zolpidem addiction treatment or having difficulty assimilating back into society, reach out for help. No man is an island, and every person needs a helping hand at one point or another. Reach out to your support network when you are struggling. That is what it is there for.
- When it comes to zolpidem addiction treatment, you get out of it what you put into it. If you work hard and remain focused on the goal of kicking your addiction to zolpidem, you will be successful.
There are several risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing a substance abuse problem. These risk factors include ineffective parenting, lack of a nurturing environment, poor social coping skills, and association with a peer group that uses drugs or approves of drug use.
Choosing the Right Rehab Center for You
There are thousands of zolpidem rehab centers available to help you beat your addiction to the drug. Finding the right one for you is a matter of taking the time to research your options and selecting the facility that best fits your individual needs. A great way to start your search is to call our free 24/7 hotline at . We can assist you by recommending a treatment facility that aligns with your goals and requirements.
Many facilities offer treatment on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The option you choose will have a major impact on your life and your zolpidem addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment programs require you to check into a facility for a period of time. This is the best option for people who may be in dangerous situations or want to focus on healing from the addiction without any distractions. However, you will have to put your life on hold until you complete your treatment.
Outpatient treatment requires you to travel to the treatment facility on a daily basis (excluding weekends) to update your addiction specialist on your progress. This option is typically cheaper than inpatient treatment and allows people to maintain employment and relationships. However, you don’t completely leave the environment that led to your addiction, which may increase the chances of relapse.
Whichever option you choose for zolpidem addiction treatment, make sure it is the one that best fits your lifestyle and needs.
Unsure where to start? Take Our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.