Do you need Zolpidem every night just to catch some Z’s? Are you addicted to Ambien? Read this article to learn how to quit Ambien and avoid Ambien withdrawal.
Ambien use is on the rise in the U.S., and prescriptions have increased by 220 percent over the last few years!
Along with an increase in Ambien use, there has also been an increase in Ambien abuse and addiction. Millions of Americans depend on Ambien and experience unpleasant side effects as a result of this dependence.
Could you be dealing with an addiction to Ambien? If so, it’s important to seek help to give it up as soon as possible.
Read on for some tips that will help you quit Ambien and avoid (or minimize) Ambien withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of Ambien Addiction
It’s not always obvious that you’re dealing with an Ambien addiction.
Many people convince themselves that, as long as they’re taking a medication for a specific purpose, there’s nothing wrong with developing a dependence on it. That’s not necessarily the case, though.
Drugs like Ambien are very powerful and are meant only to be taken for a short period of time. If you’ve been relying on Ambien for several months or even years, you have likely developed an addiction to it.
Listed below are some other symptoms you may experience if you’re dealing with an Ambien addiction:
- You require higher doses of the drug in order to experience the same effects
- You’ve had to seek out a new doctor in order to get refills on your prescription
- You look forward to taking Ambien or you avoid social situations so you can stay home and take it
- You use Ambien for something other than sleep — such as to experience a euphoric feeling
You may also be dealing with an addiction to Ambien if you are using it even though it’s not conducive to your overall well-being. For example, are you continuing to use it even though you can’t afford to refill your prescription or your loved ones have expressed concerns about your usage?
What to Expect When You Give Up Ambien
If you’re exhibiting signs of an addiction to Ambien, you could likely benefit from giving it up.
Of course, when you’ve developed a dependence on a drug, it’s not easy to stop using it. Knowing what to expect when you stop using your drug of choice can make the process a little less scary, though.
Everyone has a different experience when they stop using Ambien. Generally, though, their experience tends to look something like this:
Just about everyone who is addicted to Ambien experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.
Some of the most common Ambien withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings, irritability, and agitation
- Increased blood pressure
- Fever and profuse sweating
- Tremors or convulsions
- Stomach cramps, nausea, and/or vomiting
- Anxiety, nervousness, and/or panic attacks
The severity of your symptoms will vary depending on many factors. The longer you were abusing Ambien, the worse your symptoms will likely be. You may also experience more severe withdrawal symptoms if you were taking very high doses of the drug.
The Ambien withdrawal timeline usually lasts between one and two weeks.
During the first 4-8 hours, you’ll start to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms fully manifest themselves 1-2 hours after your last dose of Ambien, and they peak between days three and five for most people.
After days 3-5, your withdrawal symptoms will likely start to subside and become easier to manage. It takes about 1-2 weeks for your symptoms to fully go away.
If you were abusing Ambien for a very long time, or if you were taking very high doses, it might take longer than 1-2 weeks for you to start to feel like your old self and begin sleeping normally without the help of the drug.
Minimizing Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms
You may not be able to fully ward off Ambien withdrawal symptoms. There are a lot of techniques you can use to make the withdrawal process more manageable, though.
The following are some strategies that help to minimize withdrawal symptoms:
For some people, tapering off of Ambien is easier than giving it up cold turkey. Tapering involves slowly decreasing your dosage over time.
It takes longer to get off of Ambien when you take this approach, but the longer duration can be worth it since your symptoms may be less severe.
Eating a healthy diet and making sure you’re drinking plenty of water is crucial when you’re giving up any kind of drug, including Ambien. Staying hydrated is especially important, as this helps your body detox more quickly.
Try to exercise regularly, too. Even doing light exercise like walking or yoga can help your body to detox faster and provides a distraction from your discomfort as you go through the withdrawal process.
Finally, don’t try to go through withdrawal alone.
Seek support from an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation facility or join a local support group. There are lots of online communities dedicated to supporting those going through addiction recovery, too.
Finding an Addiction Treatment Program
You’re much more likely to be successful in giving up Ambien if you participate in an addiction treatment program. Of course, finding a good program is often easier said than done.
If you’re looking for a program to help you overcome your addiction, keep these tips in mind:
- Consider the facility’s location
- Consider the facility’s staff and verify their education and training
- Decide whether you want an inpatient or outpatient facility
- Look into the facility’s success rates
Make sure the facility offers a holistic approach and provides treatment for coexisting conditions such as depression and anxiety, too.
Give Up Ambien for Good
Now that you know more about how to give up Ambien and minimize your Ambien withdrawal symptoms, it’s time to seek help and begin your recovery journey.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to Ambien, you’re not alone, and you definitely shouldn’t try to give it up without support.
Contact us today at Muse Treatment to learn more about our addiction recovery services.
You can reach our addiction specialists at any time. They’re standing by ready to offer you confidential support and guidance.