Ambien Usage, Dosages, Signs And Effects Of Addiction And Overdose
Overdosing opioids is one of the biggest problems in the country right now. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, there are more than 130 people in the US who die from opioids overdose daily. Drugs that usually caused addition include prescription drugs, pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Another famous prescription drug that is causing an overdose is the Ambien, which is a widely prescribed drug for people who are suffering from sleep conditions.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse classifies Ambien as a CNS Depressants, which is a group of medicines that includes sedatives tranquilizers, and hypnotics. CNS Depressants are used to treat disorders related to sleep disorders, anxiety, panic, and stress reactions. In 2013, more than 250,000 Americans were abusing this drug, and over two-thirds of the patients who were brought to ERs were female. What are the effects of using Ambien and why is it one of the most abused drugs in the country.
Ambien: Its Use And Accessibility
According to Health, Ambien is the best-selling sleep medicine in the US, followed by Lunesta, Rozerem, and Sonata. It became available for public distribution in 2007 and has seen popularity since then. In 2007 alone, there are over 16 million prescriptions of zolpidem, which is the generic version of Ambien. This drug is used to treat insomnia in adults and aims to help the user sleep faster and get better sleep. Although the prescription-only lasts for a short time, the drug is usually abused because of its effects.
Zolpidem, which is one of the most popular forms of Ambien, is usually used for medications that lasts from about two to six weeks to treat insomnia. The European Sleep Research Society only recommends the drug as the second-line treatment after nonpharmacological treatment options. The drug acts on the brain to produce a calming effect. It only takes up to 20 minutes and is taken just before going to sleep. People who lack sleep often turn to this drug to avoid loss of focus, low esteem, hot-headedness, and poor decision skills.
Common Side Effects Of Using Ambien
Ambien is usually prescribed by a doctor after a clinical checkup, and only for the minimum dosage possible, which is 5 milligrams for women and either 5 milligrams or 10 milligrams for men. There is also a different dosage for people who have hepatic impairment. You can usually buy the product in pharmacies or online with no prescription. This is one of the reasons why dependency in the drug is widespread because it is a substance with easy access.
Just like most of the drugs, Ambien has a side effect which kicks in after its effect wears out. The most common side effect of drowsiness, diarrhea, and confusion. The user can also feel dry mouth, sore throat, constipation, and tiredness after using the drug. More extreme side effects, but are not familiar, are memory loss and mental behaviors such as hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
Symptoms Of Ambien Addiction
Is Ambien addictive? Unfortunately, it is now treated as an addictive substance and is recognized as a drug with the same potential for abuse like Benzos. The creators of the drug designed it to be less addictive and has a less severe withdrawal. However, just like Benzos, people who would want to get that kind of deep and undisturbed sleep will start to take more dosages in the long run. According to Stephen Ross from the New York University School of Medicine, he treated people who have been tolerant to the drug and needs to take 10 or 20 pills a day to sleep correctly.
A lot of people ask, “Is Ambien addictive?” After all, the drug is designed to negate addictive tendencies from similar products. While other people like to take Ambien because of its sleep-inducing effect, some of the people develop an addiction to the “high” impact that they feel when they take the drug. The drug also eases anxiety and is generally one of the reasons why it is abused. Ambien leaves the body quickly, which causes side effects in the morning. To prevent these side effects, most people will pop another pill to combat it.
Other drugs are used to strengthen the “high” effect of the drug is alcohol. Users who already have high tolerance in the medicine will combine alcohol with the substance to amplify the effects of the sedative, which is very dangerous to the central nervous system. Also, sleep-inducing drugs such as Valium, which can result in a fatal overdose and damage essential organs such as the heart, brain, and lungs.
Here are the list o symptoms that might indicate addiction. If you know someone or find yourself exhibiting these symptoms, better call a professional or a rehabilitation facility. Prevention is always better than a cure.
- Taking the drug after the prescription period
- Cutting down drug is unsuccessful
- There is a compulsive desire to get the drug
- Not enjoying former activities before the prescription
- Obsessive thoughts on how to get the drug
Knowing the signs of an overdose helps detect one. If you or someone you know who has been using the drug exhibits symptoms such as extreme drowsiness (more intense than usual), confusion or irrational thoughts, and abnormal breathing, it’s better to see a doctor for a checkup.
Getting Help: Call A Professional For Possible Addiction
When symptoms started to manifest, getting help from a professional or a rehabilitation center is the recommended next choice of action. Treatments for Ambien are usually different from other benzos, but there are essential similarities because of its similar nature. Although there are rehabilitation treatments available, the most extreme cases will need an operation to remove the Ambien from the digestive system.
Just like other treatment for addiction, support from loved ones is essential for a full recovery. Friends, family, and partners are recommended to stay in the patient’s side and cooperate with the rehabilitation center. If you find yourself exhibiting the symptoms, it’s better to be early and seek help for a professional.