Ambien Withdrawal Timeline: How to Quit Ambien
Ambien Withdrawal and Detox
Drug withdrawal happens to your body when you quit or cut back your drug or alcohol use, and you have developed a physical or psychological addiction to the substance. While Ambien is a prescription drug, taking the medication regularly can produce a dependence which can lead to Ambien withdrawal if the user stops suddenly.
A physical addiction happens when your body becomes used to the substance being in your system and changes physiologically to accommodate the drug. This makes it so your body or brain cannot function normally without the drug. Psychological addiction happens when you believe you need the drug to function, like drinking to unwind or taking medications to fit in and relax in a social setting.
When you stop taking Ambien, your withdrawal symptoms may become uncomfortable or even painful. Entering a prescription drug rehab is the safest and most effective method to quit taking Ambien and make the necessary behavioral and psychological changes to stay away from drugs and alcohol for the long run. Everybody’s recovery journey is different, and at Muse Treatment, we can create a customized program tailored to your unique needs, goals, budget, and preferences to heal your mind, body, and spirit, so you can stop using Ambien and move on, living your best, most authentic life.
What Is Ambien?
Ambien is a brand name for the medication zolpidem, a type of prescription medication that has been designed to help those who have chronic insomnia, intended for short-term use. It helps induce sleep but not to help patients remain asleep.
Ambien is an addictive substance with a “hypnotic high” that can even be addictive for those who do not show predispositions to addictive behavior. Many people who abuse Ambien take the drug without the intention of falling asleep, using more of it than they are prescribed or mixing it with other medications like stimulants and alcohol to enhance the drug’s hypnotic effects. The lowest dose possible is usually prescribed to ensure patient safety. Patients are typically monitored closely for any period after ten days, watching for psychological changes or a need for the medication.
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms
Stopping the use of any physically addictive drug can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur in the body. When you stop taking Ambien, you may experience symptoms like:
- Anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, and irritability
- Flushing and sweating
- Rapid heart rate and breathing
- Nausea, cramps, and vomiting
- Uncontrollable crying and depression
- Rebound insomnia
- Cravings for Ambien
Rarely, in fewer than 1% of cases, somebody experiencing Ambien withdrawal symptoms may experience seizures. This is caused by quitting cold turkey or being otherwise unable to access the drug and experiencing sudden withdrawal symptoms.
A medically assisted detox program, combined with inpatient or outpatient rehab at a professional rehab clinic, is the safest way to stop using Ambien, especially if you have been using large amounts or using it for long periods.
Ambien Withdrawal Timeline
Typically, Ambien withdrawal symptoms decrease or recede entirely within one to two weeks. The worst of the symptoms generally happen within the first three to five days. Still, there are also psychological withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, panic, cravings, and insomnia that can last for weeks or even months in some cases. Everybody is different, and at Muse Treatment, we will treat your substance use issue with care, customizing your treatment plan to help you remain comfortable and safe as your body adjusts itself.
Factors That Determine How Long Ambien Withdrawal Will Last
When you stop taking Ambien, you will want to know how long your withdrawal symptoms will last. It depends on many factors, including:
- How long you have been taking Ambien: if it has only been a short time, you may not have withdrawal symptoms at all, or they will not be severe if you do.
- How much Ambien you were taking at one time: if you were taking more than your prescribed dose, you likely would have developed a tolerance, worsening physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal when you stop taking Ambien.
- What type of Ambien you were taking: The extended-release Ambien provides a higher dose than the non-extended-release version. If you use extended-release tablets in non-prescription methods (crushing and snorting, for example), you will have a much more intense withdrawal period.
- If you were mixing Ambien with other drugs or alcohol: other substances increase the “high” of Ambien and compound your withdrawal symptoms, making them much worse.
Medications to Treat Ambien Withdrawal
There are no medications that can treat Ambien withdrawal, although some doctors may wish to prescribe psychiatric drugs for depression or anxiety related to the withdrawal symptoms. Anti-seizure medications may also be given, and mood stabilizers may be provided to people with severe anxiety or suicidal thoughts. There have also been studies that show that quetiapine helps Ambien withdrawal symptoms in some cases. However, there is not a recommended prescribing practice for the use of this medication yet.
The best method of stopping Ambien use is tapering the dosage over a more extended period to prevent seizures in a medical detox program, followed by an integrated rehab program. This process will treat the physical symptoms of addiction and find the underlying cause of addiction and provide recovery tactics and relapse prevention strategies that will last you a lifetime.
Ambien Detox and Rehab at Muse Treatment
For Ambien detox, the safest and most comfortable route is to enter a Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. At Muse Treatment, we have a welcoming detox facility with professional and caring staff to help you through this challenging but necessary time.
Our integrated MAT program will provide you with FDA-approved prescription medications if needed to help you with any co-occurring mental health issues that require a dual diagnosis treatment, anti-seizure medication, and other medication to ensure you remain safe and comfortable as the Ambien leaves your system. You will live within our facility, with 24-hour monitoring by clinical professionals.
During your stay in detox, we will also provide counseling and introduce behavioral therapy to help you deal with any unwanted emotions or thoughts you may have and help you begin to find the root of your addiction. Once your body is stable enough and any mental health conditions are under control, we will transfer you directly into rehab.
Inpatient rehab is the next recommended step for most of our patients after detox. This is a 30 to 90-day program where you live inside our facility, with full days of customized treatments like one-on-one and group therapy, educational programs, counseling, life skills and vocational training, and other treatments.
We will help you change your actions, change your mindset, and stop self-destructive thoughts and behaviors holding you back in life. You will gain coping techniques and recovery skills that will last you a lifetime, and because you live away from home during this treatment period, you will have the time and space to truly focus on your own healing. The longer you stay in inpatient rehab, the better the chance you will have for long-term recovery, so we always recommend our patients remain as long as they need.
After inpatient rehab, an outpatient program is always beneficial. There are different types of outpatient programs, but they all provide therapy, case management, and 12-step program integration. You will also have full support from peer groups and professionals at our rehab center.
In outpatient rehab, you live outside our facility so you can go to work, school, or attend to life’s other responsibilities like elder care or child care, while still getting treatment. It is a flexible program that can work around your schedule and is completely customizable to each patient. At Muse Treatment, we offer:
- The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): you will commute into one of our outpatient rehab facilities up to seven days a week for full days of treatment, treating rehab as your full-time job. This is usually a transitory program between inpatient rehab and an IOP.
- The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): This program is a customizable, flexible, and tailored program created to best suit your life and fit your busy schedule as you return to your normal life.
These programs are designed to change alongside you as your needs evolve over time, varying in intensity and frequency as you need them to. When you’ve been in an outpatient program for long enough that you feel you are integrated back into your life, we have a less-intensive aftercare program that allows you to schedule therapy appointments when you need them, as well as keeping you connected to peer groups, meetings, and medical care. When you come to Muse Treatment, you are a patient for as long as you need to be, there is no end date, and you are always welcome back. Contact us at (800) 426-1818 today to learn more about Ambien rehab, inpatient rehab, or outpatient rehab programs.
— Muse Treatment (@MuseTreatmentLA) December 1, 2021