Zolpidem, otherwise known by its brand-name version Ambien, is a type of sleeping pill that can put people into Ambien withdrawal if they grow addicted to the substance and decide to quit suddenly. Symptoms can include chronic depression, intense panic attacks, seizures, increased heart rate, and other life-threatening health risks, especially if left untreated.
While Ambien is said to be less habit-forming than other sedatives due to not having benzodiazepines, Ambien (zolpidem) still acts as an addictive substance and can be abused even without the user realizing it. Because Ambien is regarded as a sleeping aid, many people do not take Ambien addiction or zolpidem withdrawal seriously. But the reality is that people who are addicted to the drug will tend to discover this by going through severe withdrawal.
Quitting Ambien Can Be Difficult
In 2015, approximately 425,000 people aged 12 or older misused sedatives for the first time within the past year, which includes the misuse of Ambien and zolpidem products. About 20,793 people were sent to the emergency room due to zolpidem-related emergencies, as recorded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Because of the nature of the drug, many people find quitting Ambien or zolpidem incredibly difficult, especially if they’re engaging in dangerous substance combination behaviors (e.g. mixing Ambien with alcohol). Having to overcome rebound insomnia and other symptoms triggers relapses for many people who didn’t realize how high of a tolerance they built with Ambien.
Danger in Building Fast Tolerance with Ambien
While some people may think there isn’t much harm in relying on a pill to go to sleep better, the opposite is true. Ambien is not a glass of warm milk before bed; it is not a harmless sleeping pill that you can buy over the counter at your local pharmacy. Ambien is a prescription sedative-hypnotic that does have side effects if used long-term and at high dosages.
One of the major Ambien side effects includes memory loss or short-term amnesia. Though it is stated clearly on Ambien prescription labels, many people are unaware that zolpidem substances can cause people to “wake up” during their sleep and perform actions they will not recall the next morning. These actions include sleepwalking, sleep-talking, sleep-driving, having sex, and other abnormal behavior performed while the user is asleep. Depending on the dosage, users may even begin to affect their memory of actions committed during the day while off the substance, which is a sign that brain damage is beginning to occur to the user.
Attempting to Go Cold Turkey from Ambien (Zolpidem)
As people’s memories start to become affected or people become more aware of Ambien’s side effects, one common reaction is to quit taking zolpidem or Ambien cold turkey, but this can be incredibly dangerous. A person may not realize the extent of their addiction until they find themselves in an emergency room due to severe symptoms, so it is always better to seek out professional drug treatment and enroll in an outpatient or inpatient program.
If you think you or a loved one may have an Ambien addiction, take action now and begin searching for a drug rehab center in your area. Drug Treatment Center Finder has a database of drug rehabs in all 50 states in the nation and can help you narrow down your search. Feel free to call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will assist you with any questions you may have. You can also search for facilities in your area using our Find a Rehab search.
Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal Symptoms
What Are Early Withdrawal Symptoms of Ambien?
Withdrawal symptoms of Ambien or zolpidem vary by person, based on how long they have been using the sleeping pill or how high their dosages have grown to. However, there are some early withdrawal symptoms that indicate an Ambien addiction, no matter how strong.
Some early symptoms are:
Long-term Ambien Usage Raises Tolerance Levels
It is generally recommended by physicians to take Ambien sleeping pills no longer than two to three weeks to avoid developing a physical dependence on the drug. Though Ambien is said to be less habit-forming than sleeping aids with benzodiazepines, the effect of zolpidem within a person’s body loses its strength after a couple of weeks, around the time when tolerance levels begin to rise. Higher tolerances require higher dosages to achieve the same effect and in a matter of time, a person can find themselves building both a physical and psychological dependence on Ambien in order to sleep well at night.
The danger with building a high tolerance or physical dependence on Ambien is that it can turn into an Ambien addiction and long-lasting side effects will begin to occur. People who misuse Ambien long-term are more prone to memory loss, seizures, shaky motor functions, and abnormal sleeping behavior—all of which is a sign that a person’s health is at risk. Users who develop an Ambien addiction are also setting themselves up for severe withdrawal whenever the drug begins to leave their system a few hours after use.
Complete Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal Symptoms
Zolpidem withdrawal can sprout several side effects, depending on the user. Should any zolpidem withdrawal symptoms begin to worsen to an intense degree, it may be necessary to seek drug treatment as soon as possible or dial 911 for immediate medical attention.
- Stomach cramps
- Dry mouth
- Night sweats
- Agitation and irritability
- Nausea and vomiting
- Back pain
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Uncontrollable crying
- Chest pains
- Rebound insomnia
- Suicidal thoughts
Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal Symptoms FAQs
Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal Timeline
Discovering Withdrawal in the First 24 Hours
When it comes to Ambien abuse, it’s crucial to start noticing the withdrawal symptoms and signs as early as possible. Again, people with an Ambien addiction may not realize they’re addicted to zolpidem until withdrawal symptoms start kicking in a few hours after their last dosage. If you don’t act promptly and let the symptoms worsen, it could put your or your loved one’s health and life at risk.
If you start noticing symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it’s time to get drug treatment. Call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will help you find a drug rehab in your area. Should the symptoms worsen to severe conditions, call 911 immediately.
Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal Treatment Timeline FAQs
Ambien (Zolpidem) Withdrawal Detox and Treatment
First Look at How to Safely Withdrawal from Ambien (Zolpidem)
Drug Treatment Center Finder highly advises people with Ambien addictions to seek drug treatment in order to safely go through zolpidem withdrawal—and so do plenty of other physicians.
By enrolling into a drug rehab, Ambien users can safely taper off the drug while being monitored by a trained medical staff. The process varies by individual and also by drug rehab, but generally involves a controlled weaning off the drug by reducing the dosage over the treatment duration period until users can sleep without the drug. This process should not be done alone, but with the guidance of licensed doctors and clinical staff.
Self-Detox and Treatment Can Prove Deadly
Users who suddenly quit taking Ambien or attempt to self-detox and taper off Ambien by themselves can greatly put their lives in danger. Ambien withdrawal can have several similarities to other types of sedative withdrawals, such as benzodiazepines, and can trigger dangerous withdrawal symptoms that will require medical attention.
From increased heart rates to alarming levels (risking cardiac arrest) to delirium and mental instability (which can lead a user to engage in dangerous behavior), people going through withdrawal by themselves gamble with their lives. There is no need to endanger yourself (or others) as there is always help. Find a drug rehab near you and allow people who care about you to guide you toward recovery in a safe environment and at your own pace.
Need Help Finding Treatment in Your Area? Drug Treatment Center Finder Can Help!
Drug Treatment Center Finder has a database filled with drug rehabs in all 50 states in the nation, and we’re more than happy to help you find a drug treatment center in your area. If you have any questions on withdrawal detox and treatment, feel free to call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will gladly walk you through the addiction treatment process. Call now!
Ambien (Zolpidem) Detox and Treatment FAQs
Ambien Withdrawal Facts and Statistics
If you, or a loved one, are considering whether to detox from Ambien at home or to seek treatment at a reputable treatment center, our information can help you decide.
- In Australia, a 2012 review of 91 violent or unnatural deaths in which zolpidem was present showed that 60% of them were suicides.
- The number of zolpidem-related emergency department (ED) visits involving adverse reactions increased nearly 220 percent from 6,111 visits in 2005 to 19,487 visits in 2010
- Females accounted for two thirds (68 percent) of zolpidem-related ED visits involving adverse reactions in 2010
- In 2010, slightly more than half of ED visits involving adverse reactions to any drug were made by adults aged 45 years or older (1,306,460 visits, or 56 percent).