For some of us, insomnia and sleep deprivation are a terrible, real-life curse. After lying awake night after night, there comes a point where you feel like you would do anything to just get a decent night’s sleep. With the current boom in prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, it is not surprising that addiction to those magic pills is also booming. Ambien addiction is one of the newest health hazards, exacerbated by the fact that some people deliberately abuse the drug in order experience euphoria rather than sleep.
Ambien is a sleep aid easily obtained over the counter at most pharmacies and drug stores. Addicts often become so by taking more than the recommended dose or continuing to use it for far longer than recommended. Help for Ambien addiction, however, may require more than just counseling or removal of the drug from the medicine cabinet. An Ambien treatment program must deal not only with the accidental addict, but often with hard-core abusers who mix it with alcohol for an intensified effect, or even crush and snort it or cook it for intravenous injection.
Ambien addiction comes with real and potentially hazardous side effects, ranging from anxiety and decreased motor coordination to outright hallucinations. Because Ambien withdrawal can lead to abdominal or chest pain, erratic behavior, and other unpleasant side effects, many people addicted to Ambien who would like to quit still have trouble getting past that phase. An Ambien treatment program for detoxification and rehabilitation may be necessary, in combination with drug counseling, to overcome an Ambien addiction.
For those hesitant to begin treatment or are too embarrassed to seek help for Ambien addiction, consider the hazards of not doing anything. How would you like to go to a company party and end up suddenly taking your clothes off, or getting angry and screaming at your boss? People abusing Ambien can experience loss of inhibition and judgment and increased impulsiveness in social settings or personal relationship. They can also experience a decreased sex drive, which would doubtless make your significant other unhappy. If you are watching your weight, beware: Ambien addiction can lead to increased appetite. And if you think you’re paranoid now, just wait. Addiction to Ambien can lead to outright delusional thinking, which can put you at odds with everyone around you who disagrees with your sudden conviction that flies in the face of facts. There are many well-documented cases of people sleepwalking, driving, talking, and binge eating while under the influence of Ambien. Driving while taking Ambien is considered much more hazardous than driving while under the influence of alcohol.
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Proper treatment for Ambien addiction should address the physical and emotional side effects and the underlying cause, which may be the insomnia, or may be a greater psychological need for the drug rooted in something besides a lack of sleep. Only professionals trained in recognizing Ambien addiction and providing help for it can tell for sure. If you suspect that you, or someone close to you, may be in need of Ambien treatment, call your doctor and get started.